Connecting with my readers and listeners is one of the joys of being a children’s author. I adore the unforgettable questions like “What happens if it rains on The Goodnight Train?” I enjoy the curiosity of the suspicious girl who told me she looked me up and wondered who my friends were! My favorite came from confidant five year old who offered the definition of doubloons when I read Shiver Me Letters. “Doubloons (da blues) are when you’re so sad you’ll never be happy again!!
The majority of my school visits cater to lower elementary school grades with a large assembly format that lasts 45 minutes to an hour. I also can visit 3-4 individual classrooms in a half day with a shortened program. Shiver Me Letters – A Pirate ABC is the focus of my program. My presentation is a reader’s theatre with selected students and the audience participating in the story. The enthusiasm of 250 six year olds screaming RRRRR is music to my ears. In the time allotted, I usually can read B Is for Bulldozer and The Goodnight Train as well as take questions from students and teachers. With early planning, a Shiver Me Letters reading can be tied to an International Talk Like a Pirate Day event on September 19th.
On occasion, I have been asked to present to an entire elementary school where my focus is shifted from read aloud to writing and the process of creating a picture book for the upper grades.
Family Literacy Nights
The theme of my family literacy night presentation is Pirates and Pajamas. Family Literacy Nights are often held is conjunction with school book fairs where guest authors provide read aloud fun for children of all ages. Children are encouraged to attend my reading of Shiver Me Letters and The Goodnight Train in their PJ’s with a pirate accessory or two.
Visiting local libraries provides me with a way to connect with my different parts of my community as well as an opportunity to encourage early literacy. I am available for programs in the Los Angeles area.
Yes, I like to speak to adults! I have had the opportunity to make presentations reading associations, teachers, librarians and college students. My focus is on my creative process and a step-by-step presentation with original materials as how a picture book comes to be. I have been an annual guest speaker at the Children’s Literature class at Pepperdine University, a keynote at SCBWI Central California conference and appeared on several panels at Southern California book festivals.