School Visits

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.

The Program

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.

Presentation Description

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.

Workshop Description

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 Audience

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.

Group Size

Presentation: Small and large groups, 50-200 students.
Workshop: Small groups, up to about 40 students.

Program Length

Presentation: 45 minutes for presentation plus 10 minutes for questions.

  • Less time for kindergarten
  • Add 10 minutes for older students

Workshop: 30-40 minutes

A Typical Day Depends on the Needs of the School

Possible schedules include:

  • 3 presentations; or
  • 2 presentations followed by 2 workshops; or
  • 1 large audience presentation followed by 3 workshops; or
  • 3 presentations one day and 4-5 workshops the following day

Talk to me about what will work for your school.

Children’s Art