Let me be your next guest author!
I am available for school visits, library programs, Skype talks, workshops, conferences and book fairs. I have presented to all ages from infants to adults, to enthusiastic book readers and informed book professionals. I tailor my programs to my audience.
When speaking with young children, I keep my points simple – where ideas come from, thinking in pictures, using a camera and collage, and I read or sing songs from my books. With older children and grownups, I talk more technically about what I do: the hard work of writing and rewriting, what happens at a typical a photography session, and, when feasible, a demonstration of my illustration technique. I have participated in author panels at Bank Street College of Education, William Paterson University and The New York Public Library to name a few.
Whatever the age of the audience, I devote time towards the end of my presentation to questions. This dialog is a meaningful part of my presentation.
What I talk about:
- growing up in a family of author/artists (Donald Crews and Ann Jonas)
- my studio
- getting an idea down on paper
- writing and rewriting
- how a book is made
- making mistakes
Nuts and bolts:
I will make up to four presentations in one day. My presentations are generally about 45 minutes long. Workshops may run a bit longer and talks to Pre-K groups are often shorter. I use a Powerpoint presentation if a projector is available or show a portfolio of original art and photographs. I will use a microphone, if one is provided, for talks to larger audiences.
I am based in Brooklyn, NY and consider visits in all boroughs and in the NYC Greater Metropolitan area “local”. For “out of town” visits, I request compensation for my travel and accommodation expenses in addition to my fee. I recognize that inviting an author to your school or library can be expensive and I am open to discussing ways to make it happen if your budget is small.
School visits are most successful when the students have read my books before I arrive and have spent some time thinking and talking about them with their teacher or school librarian. Please consider either purchasing books or borrowing books from your library for circulation in your classrooms before my visit.
Free 10 minute Q & A skype sessions are available. For full 45 minute programs, fees are based on the number of presentations requested. I will make up to four presentations in a day. A technical run through can be very helpful before the actual “visit”. No recording of Skype sessions is allowed without prior permission.
I have done a variety art workshops with children and I am happy to brainstorm with you on a fun and educational way to introduce art techniques and illustration concepts to your group. Most projects are completed in one workshop, but I have worked on more extended projects with organizations like Behind The Book and the National Book Foundation.
Following are brief descriptions of a couple of projects I have done in the past:
- Using Below as inspiration. I made “Guy”, Jack’s toy in the book, kids make their own superhero out of pipe cleaners and model magic.
- Using picture book dummies as inspiration. Make your own accordian fold book. We start by creating a simple blank book. Most of the project time can be spent on decorating the book jackets and writing the stories that go inside.
- Using One Hot Summer Day as inspiration. Fourth and fifth graders digitally photographed and wrote collaborative stories weaving observations about their neighborhood into their stories.
- Using The Neighborhood Mother Goose as inspiration, 2nd graders created their own interpretations of classic Mother Goose rhymes in mixed media collages.
I look forward to opportunities to discuss my work with educators, librarians and other book professionals.
Selected past events:
- “The Building Blocks of Play,” Panel Discussion at Bank Street College of Education, April 2015, New York, NY
- “Photography and Children’s Books,” Panel Discussion at Children’s Book Literary Salon, New York Public Library, March 2014, New York, NY
- “How Children’s Book Authors Help to Shape our World View,” Diversity Panel Discussion, Medgar Evers College, May 2013, New York, NY
- “Creating Books for Early Childhood,” Panel Discussion at Bank Street College of Education Mini Conference, April 2013, New York, NY
- “From Scissors & Glue to 0’s & 1’s: An Artist’s Toolkit Goes from Analog to Digital,” Artist Talk, Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC), November 2011, Westmoreland Community College, Youngwood, PA
- “An Afternoon with the Ezra Jack Keats Awards,” Panel Discussion, New York Public Library, April 2011, New York, NY
- “Picture Book Families,” Author Symposium at William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ , April 2009
- Commencement Speaker, Creative Writing MFA Graduation, Pine Manor College, Chestnut Hill, MA, July 2008
- The Virginia State Reading Association Conference, March 13-15, 2008
Book Fairs and Festivals
Selected past events:
- Chappaqua Book Fair, September 2015, Chappaqua, New York.
- Albany Children’s Book Fair, November 2014, Albany, New York
- Ghouls and Gourds Festival, October 2014, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Brooklyn, New York
- Story Fest, June 2014, South Carolina State Library, Columbia, South Carolina
- Savannah Children’s Book Festival, November 2013, Savannah, Georgia
- Stamford Book Fair, December 2012, Stamford, Connecticut
- Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival, October 2012, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
- Hudson Book Festival, May 2012, Hudson, New York
- Chicago Public Library – Bookamania, December 2011, Chicago, Illinois