Author visits are a great way to inspire your students, and to celebrate the joy of reading. I love visiting schools since students inspire me too! Please e-mail me as soon as you can to discuss your needs, as my calendar fills up quickly.
In addition to reading my books, I often use songs and visual aids during my interactive presentations. After reading Marsh Music , the students become part of a frog orchestra and we perform a frog symphony. With Over in the Ocean, in a Coral Reef, younger children act out the motions of the sea creatures as they sing the song. With Going Home, the Mystery of Animal Migration, older grades can do a Readers' Theater. In Animalogy, students compare and contrast different animals, while in , Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek,children follow the tracks of woodland animals. In The Tree That Bear Climbed, students act out and recite the cumulative verse of how a tree stands tall, and in "Daisylocks" there also are many downloadable teaching resources (www.Arbordale Publishing.com) some of which I use during my presentation. "The Swamp That Gator Hides" published in 2014 by Dawn Publications is another "informational" picture book that promotes literacy achievement and science, and is a fun read as children wonder who Gator will have for lunch. See: www.dawnpub.com and click onto "Activities."
For children, Pre-K and K, I include puppets and other props. For Grades 1-5, I am happy to answer questions and gear my program to a course of study, such as planets, swamps and other wetlands, oceans and the seashore, the rain forest, the Arctic, animal migration, Australian animals, African Animals, a temperate forest ecosystem, animal analogies, mountain animals, or how trees and plants grow.
I enjoy working with small groups in individual classroooms, and also with larger groups,(as many as 100-300 at one time). I bring a flash drive and use the school's LCD projector so everyone can enjoy the illustrations. The room needs to be darkened when I show my books on a large screen.
Materials needed are:
1. an LCD projector and laptop to which I can insert a flash drive.
2. a large screen or white wall
3. a table and chair
4. a microphone (preferably a lapel mic)if addressing a large group.
When speaking to a large group, I need assistance from a teacher or a volunteer to be at the computer, while I am facing the students, moving about and explaining what they are seeing on the screen.
Students will get more out of the program if they are familiar with my work. Please share my books with your students before my presentation.
I also enjoy presenting Writers' Workshops for Grades 3 and up, taking them through the fascinating world of book publishing. We discuss how a picture book is made, from the time I get my idea to when I am holding the finished product in my hand. Questions and answers are an important part of this workshop, which can be adjusted to a particular grade level, including Middle School.
FEES AND NUMBER OF PROGRAMS
My fee for an all-day program is $800. For this I will do three presentations with ample time allowed for autographing my books and a lunch break.
Often schools work together and I stay in an area for three or four days. Lodging and reimbursement for meals and mileage, if coming by car, or airfare, are required.
Each program is usually 45 minutes long, possibly an hour for older groups and a little shorter for Kindergarten.
Travel expenses can be paid later, but I appreciate my honorarium to be paid on delivery of service.
ORDERING AND AUTOGRAPHING MY BOOKS
Schools often raise enough money to pay for my visit by ordering books for students directly from my three publishers. My books are published in both hardcover and paperback editions. There are also Board Book versions of "Over in the Ocean," "Over in the Jungle" and "Seashells by the Seashore" for younger kids.
However, ordering all twentyof my books through Sunburst Books, a distributor in West Melbourne, FL, with a 40% discount is the easiest way. Please see: www.sunburstbooks.com or call Chris or Rachael Wicht, Owners at 321-409-0225.
Often PTO'S help with the distribution of books to students and can make a profit for their organization from the sale of my books.
Please order my books a month in advance. Books can also be ordered from your local bookstore, but you would have to arrange for your own discount with them.
I am happy to e-mail you a reproducible form to send to parents, indicating which books they want and what should be inscribed. This needs to be arranged before my visit so that students' names are spelled correctly, and that all books can be autographed by the end of the day.
For children who do not get autographed books, I have available book marks that can be reproduced to give away to your students as a souvenir of my author appearance.
HOW CAN I GET AUTOGRAPH STICKERS?
Please contact me if you would like me to send you personalized autographed stickers to place in any of my books that your school or library has in your collection.
I also enjoy visiting public libraries. My fee is negotiable depending on location. I am delighted that my books are in many library collections across the country and on so many state reading lists.