School Visits are Grrrrreat!

November 1, 2017 Leave your thoughts

It was described to me as a battle.

“You’ve got to go in ready. They’re ruthless beasts. If you give an inch, they’ll rise up against you like a crazed mob.”

They are kindergarteners. And 1st and 2nd graders. They are all three grades in one room at one time. And you are tasked with the job of entertaining them and educating them for about 45 minutes.

Ahh, the joy of school visits.

Over the past two weeks, I visited 7 schools. I gave 9 presentations and spoke to about 2,500 kids. I can see why it’s not a good plan for the faint of heart. (I can also see why teachers deserve WAY more money and all of our admiration for the jobs they do!) But I also have to tell you that I had a blast.

For the first set of visits, I traveled with Jason Gallaher, author of Whobert Whover, Owl Detective. If if you have kids and you haven’t yet introduced them to this story–do! It’s a laugh-out-loud whodunnit. Oh, and did we laugh!!


For the second set of visits, I shared the stage with co-author Nate Evans.

I should also say that these were not my first visits. With 4 novels published for tweens and teens, I’ve been to many middle schools and high schools and even an elementary or two. But with a new picture book like Cookiesaurus Rex, things are different. I’m sharing stories and creating stories with kids aged 5, 6, 7, 8. That’s young!!

What I could share with them that would be meaningful? That would make a difference?

As it turned out: Laughter.

Cookiesaurus Rex is a story about a dinosaur cookie who wants to be special–who wants to look better than all the other cookies. Yeah, there’s an important theme there that most of us can relate to. But on every page, there’s silliness. There’s a costume surprise waiting for the reader.  And there’s laughs.

My school visit trips left me feeling so happy. That’s not the right word, but it’s as close as I can come right now. I wanted to share a love of stories and I wanted to share with the kids how they could create their own stories. I did that. But I also shared in their laughter and that’s what inspired me. And now, I want to write more books and I want to visit more kids.

I’m ready for the battle: I’m ready to fight for their attention and their focus and their connection. No matter what, I can’t lose.

If you’re a teacher or librarian and you’d like to talk about a school visit to your students, you can contact me through my website! 


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