Children’s Book Shares the True Story of a Water Skiing Baby

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Water Baby Learns to SkiSouth Carolina author bases the tale on her son, a champion water skier

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, there are more than 74 million recreational boaters and more than 10 million water skiers in the US. But very few of those water skiers are babies. In her new children’s book Water Baby Learns to Ski (Ambassador International; May 2013; $14.99, hardback) author Barbara Collins shares the true story of a nine-month-old who learned to water ski.

Collins based the book on her own son, Chevis. Collins’ husband Dean pulled the baby on trainer skis in the family’s den at just nine months old. Before his first birthday he was “skiing” in the front yard and at 19 months began skiing behind a boat. “He began to compete when he was just six,” remembers Collins. “Water skiing is something my family has done for more than four decades.” Collins’ son was ranked among the top water skiers in the country, winning Nationals in California at age 13 and competing for Clemson University during college. “We love the sport of water skiing because it is family oriented,” says the author. “We practiced together every day.”

The illustrations in Water Baby Learns to Ski are based off of actual photos of Collins’ son. It’s the first book in the Water Baby series. The next installment is expected to be released in 2014. “My goal is to share my family’s love of the water and the outdoors with young readers,” explains Collins, a former elementary school teacher. “It’s an inspirational and fun story for children.”

About the Author: Barbara Collins, a native of Anderson, South Carolina, is a retired elementary school teacher specializing in reading. She has a BA and a Masters degree in education from Clemson University.

About the Illustrator: Water Baby Learns to Ski is illustrated by award-winning artist Gale McKinley. McKinley is an artist-in-residence with the South Carolina Arts Commission.

To learn more about the author and her book Water Baby Learns to Ski, visit h For interview requests, please contact Alison Storm at