"Our kids loved meeting with you! We had a great time and already look forward to having you back next year." —Matt Reed, 1st Grade Teacher
"All the books went home today and the students had the biggest smiles on their faces! It was special because it was personalized and they could read their name next to yours." —Kayla Caron, 1st Grade Teacher
"I've heard from multiple parents that the kids can't stop talking about it! At the end of the day, I took your sketch, had it framed at Michaels and presented it to the principal. She was thrilled and is looking to display it for all the kids to enjoy." —Erika Makesyn, Authorfest Enrichment Coordinator
"Thank you so much for such a wonderful and fun visit to [our school] this morning! It was great to have you there! Our first grade students AND teachers loved your presentation." —Dana Lanciloti Enrichment Coordinator
"The students really enjoyed your visit. It was wonderful to see them so engaged and enthusiastic. Drawing the monster was a big hit. . .thanks for [coming to] speak with the kids and making these books come alive for them. Visits like these make all the difference." —Jen Varney, School Librarian
"Your show is so great! Thank you for being such a great exemplar of the citizen author!" —Alice Jacobs, Librarian
Art, Reading and Storytelling 101
If you've ever had an author visit your school, you know the students' enthusiasm for them—the cheers, the many questions, the wide eyes! But an author visit to your school is more than a chance to meet a real, live author and illustrator. Its a focused session on drawing and writing that can help cultivate and deepen a love of reading. In my many years of presenting to students at schools, I have seen first hand kids' renewed appreciation for reading, storytelling and drawing. Let's do this!
What to expect
My presentations are 45-60 minutes in length for elementary-aged children, usually in a classroom or library setting. I start with a short talk about what I do as an author/illustrator, showing a few steps from my process in a slide show—as well as several drawings from when I was a young artist. Then I'll draw (sometimes asking a few students to come up to draw as well) and I'll read from my books. There's time for questions throughout and I'm pretty flexible if you'd like me to speak to something in particular—a current lesson plan tied to writing for instance. I live in the Boston area but will travel.
Book sales make my visit more valuable to students. Offering books for sale promotes literacy because they can inspire kids to keep reading, writing and drawing. After all, they've just met a person who does it for a living! If selling books is something you'd like to have as part of my visit, your local independent bookstore can sell books at a discount for our event. Once the books are ordered and received, I will sign them as part of my visit. Admittedly, these sales can be a good deal of work; consider asking your PTA to help—they may even organize the entire sale on your behalf. You might also consider using bulkbookstore.com as they allow you to buy my books (25 copies or more) wholesale. In addition, I have an order form I can send to you to send home to parents.
Tips to get the most out of my visit
Play up my visit! Get the attendees familiar with and looking forward to my books and my visit and they will appreciate our meeting that much more. Here are some ideas:
- Read and display my books ahead of my arriving; in the library or in the classrooms.
- Pick a book or two that has a particular theme (say Spoon and Chopsticks or The Nuts books) and create an activity/unit around it.
- Put up some posters or flyers about my visit in in the classroom or school.
- Have the kids dress up in a theme—for instance polka dots for The Nuts books or even Bigfoot—or Mostly Monsterly!
- Hold a contest for students to win an autographed book—or a to win an illustration I create during my presentation.
Ready to set up your event? Let's get started. Please fill out the form below. I will get back to you with my fee schedule and answer questions you have. Thank you!