My fee for 2016 is $1500 per day. One day includes up to 4 presentations. Presentations may be to any size audience. Various grade levels may be combined, but please keep kids in
Pre K-1st in a different group from kids in Grades 2-5.
I also welcome schools to invite a small group of students to have lunch with me so that they can ask questions about writing and illustrating books in a more casual setting. The school must provide the lunch.
A single day visit may be at one school or shared with another nearby school for a half day at each.
Travel expenses may be added for schools more than an hour drive from Northampton, MA. The cost of mileage is at the current IRS rate.
For author visits requiring air travel, travel expenses include hotel accommodations for the night before my visit and the cost of travel between my studio in MA and the school (plane fare and any necessary ground transportation). I will be glad to reserve my airline ticket prior to my visit, but I request that the school arrange for my hotel stay.
The students went home brimming with ideas to share.
- Wendy Howk, School Librarian, San Antonio, TX
Engaging, informative, fun, and lots of other postive adjectives!
- Meg Clancy, Children's Librarian, South Hadley, MA
When I picked up my son, he couldn't wait to show me the illustration he did.
- Christina Ling Micalizzi, PTO President, Edgewater, NJ
Our students LOVED your visit!
- Barbara Donovan, Library Media Specialist, Buffalo, NY
Why you should invite an
author/illustrator to your school:
Meeting an author or illustrator in person can
be a life changing experience for a child.
It builds a student’s love of reading.
It encourages their creativity.
It inspires them to be write and illustrate their own stories while offering a practical
understanding of what it takes to create a book.
Most importantly, it shows them that they can achieve happiness and satisfaction through their own hard work and imagination.
What is my message?
While I discuss many aspects
of making books, my emphasis
is always on the importance of
persistence and not being afraid
to make mistakes. Success in
writing and illustrating comes
from practice, determination
and staying true to what
you love to do.
One of my favorite parts about
making picture books is getting
a chance to show kids how
I do it, and how they can too!
Do I offer different programs for different grade levels?
Yes. I write books for many grade levels, from picture books that use the simplest language (Good News Bad News) to early learn-to-read books (Hippo and Rabbit) to illustrated diary-style chapter books for grades 3-6 (Clueless McGee). Over the years, I have honed my presentations carefully to suit a range of grade levels and attention spans.
I read from one of my newest
books and talk with the class
about how the words and
illustrations work together
to tell the story. I also talk
about my process of making
the paintings for books.
I share examples of how the
book changes from sketches
to final art. Then I demonstrate
how to draw one of the book’s
characters in a step-by-step
method that is fun and easy
Grades 2-6 (60 minutes)
This program explains everything you've ever wanted to know about illustration. What was my work like when I was in 2nd grade? How did I use practice and persistence to develop into a full-time author/illustrator?
I discuss the processes I use to create award-winning children's books while presenting a step-by-step mult-media presentation. Students see how my original ideas grow into final artwork. They learn about the role of an editor and how authors and illustrators collaborate on a project. Our class will discuss the importance of matching the right illustration style with the right story. I will talk about my studio, my materials, and how I combine modern and traditional technology in my work. I'll also narrate a couple of videos that allow students to "look over my shoulder" as I paint my illustrations. I close each session with a sneak preview of my current and upcoming projects, followed by an interactive drawing demonstration that is both fun and educational.
Do you present to middle school and high school students?
Yes. My program for grades 7-12 includes all of the material from my grade 2-6 presentations plus information about creating images as a business as well as an art. I'll discuss my processes for finding new projects to work on, developing my own projects with publishers, and a more in-depth look at how to earn a living as an artist.
What equipment is required?
Here is a list of equipment that the school should provide for my visit:
• A screen or white wall to project my images onto
• A room that can be darkened enough to view the projected images
• A microphone for groups larger than 50 (preferably a lapel mic)
• Crayons, paper, and drawing surfaces for students in grades K-1
• Pencils, paper, and drawing surfaces for students in grades 2-6.
Will you sign books?
Yes! Book sales are an important part of an author's visit. Not only does it offer students a personalized souvenir of their experience, it also provides an inspirational connection to the work. Plus, it’s an essential part of how an author earns their living.
I will autograph any books that the school provides.
With each book to be signed, please include a slip of paper with the name of the person to whom the book is to be personalized.
Sometimes schools and PTAs organize book sales to help pay for my visit. Many schools organize their book sales through a local bookseller. Most publishers offer discounts when schools order multiple copies of a single book.
If a school wishes to organize their own book sale, click here for a list of my publishers and the phone numbers for their sales departments.
How does a school contact me to schedule an author visit?
If you would like to schedule a visit,
or if you have additional questions about my programs, please email me at