Visiting schools is one of my favorite ways of staying in touch with the energy and creativity of young people, their teachers, and librarians. My programs are designed to inspire children to write and illustrate their own stories. I can also customize a workshop based on your specific needs.
A typical school day visit includes three presentations. Each session lasts for approximately 50 minutes (30 minutes for kindergarten classes). During free time, before or after sessions, I would be happy to sign books.
My programs are interactive and tailored to grade level. They work best for grades K-3, but I am happy to speak to older classes, and adults too. The ideal group size is 20 to 60 with a maximum of 80. Learn more about the programs I offer below:
Picture Books: The Inside Story Grades K-3 My slide show is quick-paced and has lots of pictures and illustrations. I begin with information about myself (especially the silly things), my studio, and how I work. After reading my latest picture book, I take the students step-by-step through the process of making the book—from the initial concept, to sketches and final art, on through to the printing press. I display my journal, the dummy, running sheets, and F&Gs. Students learn how ideas can come from the strangest places, how doing research can be a critical first step, how characters develop over time, and how many mistakes and revisions it takes to get a book just right. I conclude with a doodling demonstration, seeking assistance from the class. If time permits, I love to answer questions from the class.
Creating Characters with Personality Grades K-3My slide show is quick-paced and has lots of pictures and illustrations. I begin with information about myself (especially the silly things), my studio, and how I work. After reading Miss Mingo and the First Day of School, l trace the steps taken to develop three of the key characters in the book. Students learn how facial expression, body stance, clothing, color, and other “props” are used to develop character. I end with an interactive demonstration in which the students help me create a new character using a giant paper doll. If time permits, I love to answer questions from the class.
Watch, Wonder, Wait and See Preschool After reading two of my picture books to the children, Don’t Grown-Ups Ever Have Fun? and Miss Mingo and the First day of Shool, I do a doodling demonstration (seeking assistance from the class). I conclude the workshop with a craft activity that ties into one of my books—wait and see what the children come up with on their own! If time permits, I love answering any and all questions from the students. I leave custom coloring pages for the children to take home.