Email me to schedule online or in-person school and library visits with children.

I love leading Whole Book Approach storytimes featuring my own books and books by other authors and illustrators. I shifted away from in-person programs in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and started to resume such offerings in 2023. Here are some possible offerings that I offer online or in person:

  • Whole Book Approach overviews for children to support mock-Caldecott and bookmaking programs.
  • Whole Book Approach author-visit storytimes featuring my picture books A Crow of His Own, A Kid of Their Own, and Real Sisters Pretend
  • Storytimes featuring my new early reader series Every Day with April and Mae

I am also booking online programs for teachers, librarians, parents and caregivers, and undergraduate and graduate students

These programs are based on my books for adults:

Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking About What They See;

Read It Again: 70 Whole Book Approach Plans to Help You Shake Up Storytime; and

Book Bonding: Building Connections Through Family Reading.

(Please note that educators at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art also offer Whole Book Approach programs, so you may wish to contact them, too.)

The Whole Book Approach and Critical Literacy

I co-lead programs about how Whole Book Approach storytime conversations about art and design can give way to children’s comments and questions about picture book characters—particularly regarding representations of race and other aspects of identity. Whenever possible, I work with a BIPOC colleague so the session does not center my voice as a white person in Critical Literacy. My colleagues and I can offer programs for caregivers, teachers, and librarians with emphases on:

  • inclusive book selection and collection development as acts of social justice
  • holding space at storytime for kids to engage in brave, empowering discussions about race and other aspects of identity
  • helping readers resist stereotype and bias in texts
  • exploring how reading can lead to action and change

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 $250/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 online) 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 65.5 cents/mile in 2023.

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