Email me to schedule school and library visits with children. I love leading Whole Book Approach storytimes featuring my own books and books by other authors and illustrators, and I also do classroom Skype visits.
I am also available to give talks, speak on panels, and lead programs about the Whole Book Approach based on my book Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking About What They See. I can adjust program content to address teachers, librarians, parents, and other caregivers who read with kids, as well as graduate and undergraduate students. See my Events page for a chronology of past and upcoming programs, and please note that educators at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art also offer Whole Book Approach outreach and onsite programs at The Carle, so you may wish to contact them, too.
Here are some specific notes about my availability in the 2019/2020 academic year:
Library and classroom Skype visits for kids of all ages:
- Whole Book Approach overviews for kids to support mock-Caldecott and bookmaking programs.
- Whole Book Approach author-visit storytime featuring my picture books A Crow of His Own, A Kid of Their Own (publishing February 2020) and Real Sisters Pretend
I am also booking programs for teachers, librarians, and other educators:
- Whole Book Approach Skype consultations with teachers, librarians, and others who’d like to build on their reading of my book, Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytimes and Get Kids Talking About What They See and enrich their storytime practice
- Picture Book Family Diversity Skype presentation: resources and tips for integrating picture books about diverse family constellations into libraries and classrooms
In-person Programs Based on Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytimes and Get Kids Talking About What They See
- Keynote presentations, panel participations, and talks for large audiences about the Whole Book Approach
- Small group presentations for educators, parents, and other caregivers about the Whole Book Approach
- Whole Book Approach overviews for kids to support mock-Caldecott and bookmaking units.
- Whole Book Approach Storytimes for children of all ages in schools, libraries, and community groups, featuring my picture books and other favorite titles.
The Whole Book Approach and Critical Literacy
I’ve started leading programs that examine how Whole Book Approach storytime conversations about art and design can give way to children’s comments and questions about picture book characters—particularly with regard to representations of race and other aspects of identity. I can integrate this focus into programs for caregivers, teachers, and librarians with emphases on:
- inclusive book selection
- holding space in discussions for kids to engage in brave, empowering discussions
- planting seeds of resistance to stereotype and bias
Manuscript Development and Targeted Expert Reading
I’ve begun fielding many requests for general advice about becoming a children’s book author, including requests for picture book manuscript critiques. I am happy to provide this service for a fee of $50/manuscript, up to 1,000 words. Requests should start with an email to me, and in return for this fee, I will provide an editorial letter with suggestions for manuscript revision and development, but I cannot provide aspiring authors and illustrators with connections to publishers or agents. I recommend checking out SCBWI for guidance and help with the practical steps of getting published. If you are working on a longer text and would like my guidance, I can consider projects on a case-by-case basis.
I am also able to serve as a targeted expert reader (also called a sensitivity reader) for writers working on picture book texts (and perhaps longer texts) featuring diverse family constellations. Services and fees will be negotiated on a case-by-base basis, and requests should start with an email to me. I can offer advice and guidance based on personal, lived experience to authors writing about two-mom families, bisexual characters, co-parenting divorced parents, blended families, and multiracial families.
I recommend that authors who are not adoptees and who write books about adoption first seek out sensitivity readers who are adoptees or birth parents since adoptive parents’ voices are almost always privileged and centered in stories about adoption (check out the resource Writing in the Margins for many possible sensitivity readers). I am an adoptive mother of four children, but I still sought out sensitivity readers who are adoptees and birth parents for my own books featuring adoption.
Consultation and Guest Classroom Lectures
I have worked as a consultant for various organizations over the years in order to support their program development related to children’s literature. Fees are negotiable based on program scope and needs.
I have also given many guest lectures in college and university classrooms (in-person and via Skype) and would be happy to discuss options with colleagues in the field. The most common topic I am asked to address is the art and design of the picture book in survey courses.
Fees and Travel Expenses
Fees vary depending on the time necessary for each program, audience size, and whether they are held online or in-person.
Mileage expenses are calculated at the federal rate of 58 cents/mile in 2019.
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