|As the author and/or illustrator of over forty children’s books, I have a lot of experience in creative thinking, writing, editing, sketching and illustrating. I love sharing my work and talking about the process of writing with children, touching on the universal themes of brainstorming, drafting, revision and editing. I look forward to school visits!|
|Increasing the Educational Benefit of a School Visit
When teachers and librarians share my books with students in the weeks before a school visit, the familiarity with my work will greatly enhance the learning experience. Writing and drawing projects related to the themes or subjects of my books are a good idea. Questions can be gathered in advance to ask me when I arrive. Follow-up discussions or activities can be planned to build on what I have discussed during my presentations.
Buying my Books for a School Visit
I am happy to autograph copies of my books when I do a school visit, but I do not personally handle ordering or sales. I will provide you with a list of my publishers and all of the books in print that can be ordered. Most publishers offer discounts. You should also consider ordering books from a local bookseller. Whichever method you choose, be sure to get your orders rolling at least six to eight weeks before my visit!
My Needs on Presentation Day
I need a laptop and projector set up for PowerPoint. I bring my program on a flash drive, and set up with your laptop when I arrive at the school. A mic and a big screen for viewing images is also a must!
I make my presentations in the school library or media center, or in a gym or multi-purpose room. A carpeted space where you can adjust the lights in order to show slides is best, but other spaces will do, as there are not too many distractions (like noisy lunch preparations going on in the background) and the room is not too bright.
If you are going to group different grade levels, make sure that they are consecutive–that is, K-1, or 1-2, or 2-3 works best. If you put a kindergarten class with a fourth grade class, neither group will get the maximum benefit from my presentation.
|The best audience for picture books is in grades K-3. Most of my work is for them. When I speak to older elementary and middle school kids, I usually talk about my fantasy novel series “Elf Realm,” or share poetry and songs from some of my works, both published and unpublished. I talk to them more about the process of writing and the steps necessary to complete writing projects. I may also focus on how to develop and sketch new characters, as well as allow more time for questions and dialog.
Skype visits are not a replacement for actual in-person visits, but for groups who are studying authors or writing, are in districts with limited means or simply live too far from my New Jersey home, Skype may fill your needs. I schedule free, twenty-minute Skype visits for classes around the country that have questions for me they have prepared in advance. Email me with questions!