I've done a lot of school visits over the years, all over Utah, and a couple in Washington and Michigan. I always have such a great time with the kids. They are the most wonderful, adoring fans an illustrator or author could ask for. They all have their own books in their heads screaming to come out as they bounce up and down with their hands raised to tell you a "story." They could go on for hours about how they lost a tooth or how their mom went to the grocery store in her slippers. I love it!
I do have to limit the "stories" during a school visit though...or we'd be there all day. I love to involve the kids in my presentations in other ways, like having them help me create a character or giving me alternate endings to stories, and coming up with sequels to my books.
I try to be engaging and enthusiastic and even a little funny in my presentations (which I admittedly am no comedian). Fortunately, I've always been able to entertain and educate a gym full of kids. I even presented to preschoolers through 6th grade at once. They all behaved well and were attentive, but I don't recommend trying to cram that many grades into one presentation.
With the older kids, I like to talk more about process of creation...the art, the writing, the publication. They can handle the more detailed info like that. I even do writing and illustrating workshops for grades 5-8 and anyone interested in learning about creating picture books as a profession.
All I can say is, I definitely have the best job in the world!
Here's a picture from a school visit I did in Southern Utah a while back and a link to the post about it.
Then click on this link to the video clips to see me in action.
I'd love to visit your school. Click on the tab at the top and tell me if you are interested in having me come. I'm sure we can work something out. :-)
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