An author’s visit should get children excited about books and reading. I’ve visited many schools over the years.
I love making books and enjoy working with children. I’m also planting seeds to tell students they are artists and writers too. When they pick up a pencil and paper or read a book, they are doing just what I do. I’ve just been doing it longer.
Below is a description of my program and details on how to arrange a visit. I limit the number of visits that I do in a year and my schedule fills up quickly. Please contact me at least 6 months ahead of time.
My program has two parts. The first part is a 45-minute presentation suitable for small or large audiences, plus 10 minutes for questions. This can be followed by a 30-40 minute workshop appropriate for smaller groups.
No matter what the size, I work to keep my presentation hands on and interactive with the audience.
I begin by drawing and storytelling about where I get my ideas.
Next, I take the students through the process of creating a book. I bring sketches, dummies, original art and proof sheets. Students help me hold a dummy that can stretch the length of 10-20 children. The older the students, the more involved I get in the writing process of making picture books.
The final part of my presentation involves slides. Many books that I write and illustrate are based on my family and community and students can see where these stories come from.
I end by answering questions from the students and teachers.
The presentation can be followed directly, or later that day or even the next day, by the workshop.
In the workshop I become the publisher and the students become the illustrators. Using a short simple poem, first we brainstorm ideas together and then the children draw their own illustrations. They each create their own dummy.
The students learn that even though they all have the same text, they are different artists. Like each child, each book is unique.
The workshop is a time when the students can share with me what they can do. This is fun for me and for the students. It’s their time to shine.
The presentation is best suited for grades K-4, although I have also worked with 5th and 6th graders. I adapt my presentation to the age of the audience. I have spoken to audiences that range from 2 months old to 80 years in the same group!
The workshops are most effective with grades 1-4. Kindergartners also enjoy the workshop and handle the process very well, as do older students.
Presentation: Small and large groups, 50-200 students.
Workshop: Small groups, up to about 40 students.
Presentation: 45 minutes for presentation plus 10 minutes for questions.
Workshop: 30-40 minutes
A Typical Day Depends on the Needs of the School
Possible schedules include:
Talk to me about what will work for your school.
"Your presentation...was one of the best we’ve had. We appreciate your enthusiasm and rapport with students. I have already begun to use your books in my classes (along with ideas from your website), and students LOVE the lessons."
“The openness and enthusiasm you exuded while here has left a permanent mark with our students. They love your books, but more importantly, they love you too. They made a real connection.”
“...sharing her expertise in writing and illustrating, inspired children and adults to incorporate her ideas into their own work. Her effervescence matched that of her characters and left a lasting impression of the joy of creating books...”
"What a wonderful day it was and even more so, how you have touched so many lives here in London, Ohio! The students and staff still talk about your visit....It was a visit we will never forget!"