Programs for Children
My nonfiction K-5 programs demonstrate how I research, write and illustrate my nature picture books. My presentations are tailored to your occasion and audience. Hosts select the book/s on which they would like me to focus that support their curriculum, such as Bring On the Birds and Bird Show for a unit on birds; Stripes of All Types for a unit on animal behavior and habitats; or Fantastic Flowers for a unit on plant life. My programs seamlessly integrate language arts, visual arts, and science.
Using visual props and a PowerPoint format, I share:
• what inspires my book ideas;
• my source material, manuscript drafts, sketches, storyboards, dummies and final illustrations;
• fascinating scientific facts ranging from how animals carry their young to how flower shapes attract pollinators;
• the importance of conveying accurate information in nonfiction shown through errors I made before scientists corrected them;
• how to add sparkle to writing with strong verbs and adjectives, vivid synonyms and rich alliteration;
• how children can become "picture detectives" by discerning changes between my sketches and final images, enhancing their visual literacy skills;
• and how they can realize their dreams with patience and persistence, as I did to become an author and illustrator.
What Teachers and Students Say
"The teachers thought your presentation was fun, highly engaging and perfectly aligned with what they are doing in their classrooms. The students loved hearing your stories ...and thought that your writing/illustrating process was very interesting and helpful for their own work."
Jennifer Donnelly, All Saints' Episcopal Day School, Phoenix, AZ
"Her presentation was thoughtfully crafted, engaging, and hit on so many of the points we try to raise with our readers and writers!"
Deborah Hensley, Horace Mann Elementary School, Washington, DC
"Her freshness of approach, honesty and enthusiasm enchanted the children."
Ann Edmonds, The Galloway School, Atlanta, GA
"A marvelous guest author/illustrator for any elementary school group of children."
Jeffrey Brewster, International School of Brussels, Belgium
"The part I loved was when you told us your mistakes and how you fixed them."
Fourth grader, Harford Day School, Bel Air, MD
Click on this Testimonials tab for more comments.
Book Signing: I'm happy to sign books. Click the link up above for book order information and an order form that can be customized.
Tech Requirements: an LCD projector and screen; a microphone (preferably a lapel type); and a table for my props. I bring my own MAC laptop and adapter.
Programs for Adults
I enjoy presenting to adults, from educators to aspiring children's book authors and illustrators to those who simply love picture books. I’ve spoken at events ranging from the National Book Festival to the American Library Association’s Annual Conference. Click here for a list of others at which I have presented.
Programs for Educators
I demonstrate how teachers and education students can use my books to teach in the classroom via hands-on activities in language arts, visual arts, science, social studies, math and movement. I help them make powerful connections between my books and their students' lives.
“You were the highlight of our week. The students so enjoyed you.”
Dr. Carolyn Cook, Mount St. Mary’s University
Here are some sample classroom activities using my books:
Click on the image to enlarge it.
Let's Make Art! A Workshop
Everyone is an artist, so let's make art!
I begin my workshop by reading from one of my picture books selected by my host. I demonstrate how I illustrated the book, from sketches to final paintings. Next, I lead participants in an exploration of different shapes, colors and patterns, using my illustrations as examples. Then the participants design their artwork in brilliant colors and leave with their own vibrant creation.
“Your workshop may have been one of the best ever. Thank you for providing all of us with such magic!”
Melissa McDonald, Gaithersburg Book Festival