My goal in school appearances is to get kids excited about books, writing and art. My presentations are energetic, interactive, and kid-friendly. I use lots of drawings, photos, and images from my books, and I always draw for the kids. Any program can be tailored to incorporate your curriculum.

Most of my programs are for grade school kids, but I also do presentations for high school students, college classes and adult groups.

PROGRAMS

How is a book created? 30-40 minute presentation / grades 1-8
The question I hear from readers most often is "How did you get started as an author?" In this presentation, I tell the story of how I wrote my first book (by accident!), how I come up with ideas for books, and how I create sketches and final illustrations. It includes an overview of three books. Along the way, I do lots of drawings for the kids (some with their input, which they LOVE), and finish up with some Q & A.

Let's create a book! 60-90 minute workshop / grades 2-7
This is a fun art and writing workshop where each child creates a book of their own. I present a quick overview of how I create books, and give the kids some starting points for their story. Then I help the kids as they create their own books. Kids get a lot out of this workshop, but please note that it requires tables or desks, art supplies and more time than the usual class period.

How to make a living making stuff up. 30-40 minute presentation / grades 8 and up
I've been very fortunate to make a living with my creativity for over 25 years. It wasn't easy at first, but I eventually worked my way into jobs in advertising and publishing that let me use my imagination every day. Now I like to share my story with young people to demonstrate that creativity is not just a novelty, but has real value in the professional world. Perfect for middle and high school kids.

Nurturing our creative side. 30-40 minute presentation / college and up
Creativity is becoming more important in our culture and our economy, but how do we teach it? Speaking from personal experience, I talk about what inspired me as a kid and how we can encourage kids to think creatively.

Miscellaneous activities. Special activites to fill the day, grades 3 and up

  • Small group discussion, critique or lunch with gifted writers and artists
  • Art class participation. I take part in the regular lesson and chime-in with observations.
  • Storytelling mini-workshop. A condensed version of the Let's Create a Book workshop.


Click here to download a complete event planning guide

 

 

"The kids loved it and it made them want to read and draw more."

Teacher, St. Cletus School,
LaGrange, Illinois

"The slide show
was perfect!"

Teacher, Whittier School
Downer's Grove, Illinois

"A fabulous presentation. It held the students interest and moved along smoothly. Afterwards, the students were very motivated to sketch and write their own stories. A great springboard to model after."

Teacher, Western Avenue School,
Geneva, Illinois

"Fun, humorous, delightful. A very well-spoken illustrator and author."

Librarian, Illinois Librarians Assoc.
Annual Conference