West Lewis, Amanda (Perth, ON)

Member of The Writer’s Union of Canada; Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators (SCBWI); Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators & Performers (Canscaip); Access Copyright; MASC Artist/Instructor

Presentations:

One Session, In-Person: 50 minutes $395 + HST

One Session, Virtual: 50-minute session: $265 + HST
Half-day, In-Person or Virtual: Two 50-minute sessions $545 + HST
Full-day, In-Person or Virtual: Three 50-minute sessions $670 + HST

Workshops:

One Session (Virtual only): 50-minute session: $265 + HST

Half-Day, In-Person or Virtual: Two 60-minute sessions, or a two-hour session: $ 365 + HST

Full-Day, In-Person or Virtual: Three 60-minute sessions: $525 +HST

Travel $.50/km roundtrip outside of GTA and Eastern Ontario

AMANDA WEST LEWIS is a writer, theatre creator, calligrapher and experienced teaching artist who is passionately interested in exploring the world from the perspective of young people. Her most recent book These Are Not the Words, is a semi-autobiographical novel that uses prose, poetry, jazz and Shakespeare to confront addiction and mental health issues in the lower East side of Manhattan, 1963. Previous books include award nominated September 17 (about the City of Benares disaster, 1940) and The Pact (based on the true-life story of a young boy in Nazi Germany). Amanda has published eight books for young readers and was the Founder and Artistic Director of the Ottawa Children’s Theatre. She weaves her backgrounds in theatre and calligraphy to teach and present to students of all ages.

All of Amanda’s presentations and workshops are adapted to the age of the group. They are geared to each class’s needs and curriculum interests. She loves to work with you to support what you are doing. Please inquire.

Examples of Presentations/Readings:

All presentations include a Q & A

Maximum audience size 300

(Grades 5 – 12)

“Jazz and The Tempest” explores the creation of These Are Not the Words, a novel in poetry and prose. Working with examples from the novel, we’ll explore how sound and rhythm can reflect character and pace. As we dig deeper, we will look at how the novel’s difficult themes of addiction and mental health were presented through poetry.

“Conflict From Both Sides” tells the story behind the story, revealing the true events and people that inspired the novels September 17 and The Pact. We’ll look at images of children from England and Germany during World War 2, to understand the challenges they faced during wartime. The focus is on an empathetic understanding from a child’s perspective view and touches on propaganda, indoctrination, racism, and survival.

Equipment And Other Requirements: A projector compatible with a MAC or a computer for a memory stick.

Examples of Workshops

Adapted to the age of the students

Maximum 30 students

Grades 1- 4 & 5 – 12

“Thrum, Hiss, Warble”

Writing poetry lets you play with language, and rediscover joy in the sound, rhythm, look and meaning of words. It’s the foundation for any writer to learn their craft, no matter what genre they work in. In this workshop we’ll play with the elasticity of language and discover a unique and individual writer’s voice. 

“What’s Beyond?”

Drawing on improvisation and drama games, this workshop will explore character motivation, points of view and dialogue as we discover the hidden meaning beyond the words. Conveying the space between words –– the pauses in life –– is an essential skill for any writer.

Grades 5 – 12

“Who’s in the Picture?”

A picture can tell you a lot about a person. But it’s the writer who discovers who that person is and how they fit into a story. This workshop will use photographs and pictures to get participants creating characters and inventing unique and vibrant stories. You’ll dig deeper with some role-play and dialogue writing. But beware – characters often take on lives of their own and drag you off on unexpected adventures!

“Illuminated Letters”

The workshop helps to develop a love and passion for letters, combining writing skills with artwork.  We start by writing simple poems based on participants’ names. Students are then shown how to draw Versal letters in the style of 15th Century Books of Hours. These illuminated letters will be used to create a uniquely decorated poem.

Workshop Equipment: Writing implements. Chalkboard or Flip Chart. In addition: “What’s Beyond” requires a bit of space to move. “Illuminated Letters” requires paper and pencil. Amanda will bring all additional supplies.

Contact Amanda to book a visit:

    Alladin, Erin (Parry Sound region, ON)

    Writer’s Union member. $250+HST for one 45-60-minute session, $450+HST for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (four sessions). If travel is over 50 km, a CRA-based travel rate applies of $0.61 per kilometer, round trip.

    Virtual Visits: $150 for one 45-60 minute session. $125+HST for each additional visit the same day.

    Erin is an author, editor, and educator with a particular passion for outdoor education. She loves to craft energetic author presentations that bring together her years of experience creating children’s programming, teaching outdoor living skills, training adults in leadership and drama, and running gardening workshops. She published her first picture book, Outside, You Notice, after a decade of working in the children’s publishing industry and can offer a rewarding peek behind the curtain of how books are written, illustrated, contracted, edited, produced, and promoted.

    To each presentation, Erin brings her experience and training in engaging groups of every kind. She uses songs, stretches, responsive activities, and games, all focused around a central theme, to keep even the wiggliest audience learning with attention and glee. She also loves to give students the opportunity to share what they themselves have noticed outside. She can provide worksheets to teachers and leaders who want to prep their group a week or so before the presentation to go out and make some observations to share. Physical show-and-tell (e.g. produce from the garden, a cool rock, an old nest, etc.) is welcome.

    Book sales can be organized in advance. Erin will offer ordering instructions upon request.

    The following presentation frameworks can be adapted to meet an audience’s needs:

    Born Naturalists: Ideal for the youngest audiences. In a presentation full of movement, songs, and activities, Erin celebrates kids’ ability to learn about nature simply by paying attention with their own senses. Throughout the presentation, Erin invites students to share their own experiences of spending time outside and noticing interesting things. During an interactive reading of Outside, You Notice, Erin uses props to illustrate a number of the nature facts the book contains.

    Curriculum connections: the five senses; pollinators; the needs of living things; plant life cycles; mindfulness; healthy, active movement

    Notice, Wonder, Write: Ideal for grades 2 and up. In this workshop, Erin takes the audience through the process of transforming Outside, You Notice from idea to book. An interactive book reading is included, if desired. Erin then models the writing of a nonfiction paragraph using her own sensory observations paired with research. A shared writing activity follows, and worksheets are available for optional independent writing later.

    With communication beforehand, this presentation can tie in to a curriculum topic your class is currently studying.

    Custom Nature Workshop: Please contact Erin to discuss specifics if you are looking for a custom outdoor education experience centered around seed starting, a nature walk, gardening, or plant identification.

    Group Sizes:
    Erin’s Born Naturalists presentation can be conducted for any group size, but for an emphasis on discussion and student sharing, one class is ideal. For Notice, Wonder, Write workshops and custom nature workshops, maximum 35.

    Setup:
    For virtual visits, Erin prefers a setup that allows her to see all participants, since she has designed many activities to let them give responses through actions. For discussion periods, a teacher/leader should be prepared to choose which participant will speak next and to manage the mute/unmute button.

    For in-person visits, Erin requires water and a chair or stool to be available. Erin lives with chronic fatigue syndrome and, while she will be energetic and on her feet throughout most of the presentation, she will need the option to sit, particularly during any waiting periods between presentations. For Notice, Wonder, Write workshops, chart paper, a whiteboard, or similar is needed. For group sizes over 35 in a gym or auditorium, a microphone and projector are preferred (Erin can bring her own laptop if it can connect to the school’s projector, or she can bring a PDF of her slides on a USB stick)

    If outdoor space is available, it can be rewarding to conduct the Born Naturalists presentation outside (limit to 35 participants).  

    Contact Erin to book a visit:

      Miskonoodinkwe Smith, Christine (Toronto, ON)

      Miskonoodinkwe Smith, Christine

      Indigenous Editor’s Association, longlisted for the First Nations Community Reads Program, ANDPVA National Signature Online Event 2022.

      Presentation Rates: 250.00 for one session, $450.00 for two, $675.00 for three, $1,000 for full day. Travel fee $.50/km if outside of Toronto. I don’t drive and would require funding for train or bus, plus Uber if available.

      Virtual Visit Fees range from $200-$250

      Christine Miskonoodinkwe-Smith- is a Saulteaux woman from Peguis First Nation and the author of “These Are the Stories: Memories of a 60s Scoop Survivor”. She is an author, editor, writer, and journalist who graduated from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Aboriginal Studies in June 2011 and went on to receive her Master’s in Education in Social Justice in June 2017. Her first non-fiction story “Choosing the Path to Healing” appeared in the 2006 anthology Growing Up Girl: An Anthology of Voices from Marginalized Spaces. She has written for the Native Canadian, Anishinabek News, Windspeaker, FNH Magazine, New Tribe Magazine, Muskrat Magazine and the Piker Press. She has also co-edited the anthology Bawaajigan with fellow Indigenous writer Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler.

      these-are-the-stories-Miskonoodinkwe-Smith-Christine.jpg

      Readings, Talks on Healing, Writing

      Preferred Venues- small spaces, libraries, café’s etc

      Preferred Audience Size-10-25 people, more if comfortable

      Tech requirements- microphone, sound system

      Contact Chrissy Miskonoodinkwe Smith:

        Chua, Charlene (Hamilton, ON)

        Charlene Chua (she/they) is an author-illustrator & member of SCBWI and CANSCAIP. She presents for JK-2, or for highschool upwards.

        Virtual visits start from $150 for a half hour presentation (JK-2), $200 for 1h presentation (highschool/adults). In-person presentations please email.

        HST is extra. Travel fees apply for in-person presentations (the author does not drive).

        Charlene is the author-illustrator of Hug?, as well as the illustrator on numerous picture books. Books she has worked on have been shortlisted for various awards including Blue Spruce, Silver Birch, LAMBA Literary, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award. Originally from Singapore, they moved to Canada in 2007, and currently live in Hamilton, ON.

        Example presentations

        Book reading + drawing demonstration (JK-2, approx. 20-30min)

        Reading of a selected picture book, followed by a drawing demonstration based on the book. Q+A at the end.

        Careers: How I became a picture book illustrator (Highschool-adult, approx. 60min)

        Presentation of my career path from starting out in illustration to transitioning into a specialized illustrator for picture books

        Other notes

        For in-person presentations, I need a laptop and projector. For drawing activities, an easel with paper as well as paper, markers, crayons for the children to draw along with. In-person presentations for JK-2 max 30 per group, teacher/facilitator MUST be present (excepting festivals & events).

        Contact Charlene:

          Macaulay, Regan W. H. (Toronto, ON)

          Member of CANSCAIP, Storylines Trust, SCBWI, IAAMB, and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. Multi-awards, including Literary Classics Book Awards (Silver), Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, Canada Book Awards, Finalist for Best Book Awards, Wishing Shelf Book Awards for my 8 picture books so far. Ages 5 – 8/Kindergarten – Grade 3.

          $200 for one in-person reading, Q&A, and prepared presentation, plus travel ($15 within Toronto, cost of return ticket on a case-by-case basis for outside of Toronto within southern Ontario—in-person visits will depend on ease of travel to the location). All activity PDFs and book order forms are included and emailed in advance of the scheduled visit.

          $150 for one virtual reading, Q&A, and prepared presentation. All activity PDFs and book order forms are included and emailed in advance of the scheduled visit.

          Regan has been a published children’s book author since 2015, and has been doing in person class presentations as her schedule has permitted since 2018. In 2020, she pivoted to virtual presentations. Because of her commitment to writing, her canine and feline massage therapy business, and marketing her three businesses, she is only available for 1-2 class presentations in one day. She is now also expanding to include more school and library visits.

          Presentations according to book and Grades:

          Tamara Turtle’s Life So Far (Grades 2 & 3): Through the eyes of one Red-eared Slider turtle, this story explains why pet turtles should never be impulse purchases, and why they should not be released into the wild.

          After the reading of the story, I have a keynote presentation that includes discussion/comparison of portions of the story (i.e. What does the Painted turtle mean when she says the wrong kind of animal in the wrong place can throw everything off?); optional exercise—dividing into groups to make lists of what was learned from the book, and questions they still have; basic facts about Red-eared Slider turtles; Red-eared Slider key features; turtles you might find in pet stores; turtles native to Ontario; map of Red-eared Slider distribution; map showing where they have “invaded” Ontario; pet turtle set up equipment; what a pet Red-eared Slider needs to be happy & healthy in your home; pet turtle foods and “human foods” that they can and cannot eat; approximate (and simple) budget for keeping a pet turtle (to discourage impulse buying or adopting); reasons people sometimes give up their pet turtles and what they should do; what is a herpetologist?; optional vocabulary and activities (make a poster, make a diorama, raising awareness certificate).

          Easy and fun activities included in the PDF I email in advance, along with book order forms: four colouring pages, a maze, picture drawing. The length of this presentation can be adjusted to best suit your class, whether you need to fill an hour or half an hour.

          Beverlee Beaz the Brown Burmese (Gr. K, 1 & 2): This story is about a Burmese cat whose creative imagination games take her on wonderful adventures. 

          After the reading of the story, I have a keynote presentation that includes a little bit of background on the origins of the Burmese cat; examples of Beverlee’s imagination games; then the kids get a chance to reimagine different animals!

          Easy and fun activities included in the PDF I email in advance, along with book order forms: five colouring pages, a story writing page, drawing pages, and a maze. The approximate length of the reading, Q&A, and presentation is 20-30 minutes.

          Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast (Gr. K, 1 & 2): This story is about an odd, red, round-shaped mischievous creature living at Riverdale Farm in Toronto, who learns the error of his mischievous ways when he accidentally hatches a baby chick.

          After the reading of the story, I have a keynote presentation that includes some background information about Riverdale Farm (in Toronto, where the story is set); short presentations on some of the farm animals present in the story.

          Easy and fun activities included in the PDF I email in advance, along with book order forms: three colouring pages, maze, drawing page, make a poster, and parts of a chicken. The approximate length of the reading, Q&A, and presentation is 30 minutes.

          Libby the Lobivia Jajoiana (Gr. 2 & 3): This story is about a cactus plant who learns that what makes her different also makes her very special.

          After the reading of the story, I have a keynote presentation that includes information and background on Libby’s (lobivia jajoiana cactus) and Violet’s (African Violets) native habitats; violets in space trivia; cactus uniqueness and traits (how they evolved); growing a cactus or violet at home. Easy and fun activities included in the PDF I email in advance, along with book order forms: three colouring pages, drawing pages, maze, and further to growing a cactus at home (full instructions through Cactus Caffeine’s YouTube channel). The approximate length of the reading, Q&A, and presentation is 30 minutes.

          Dog Band (Gr. 1 & 2): In this story, a newly formed band comprised of dogs ask their group of diverse friends—from dogs to frogs—what their favourite music genre is as they decide what kind of music they want the band to play.

          After the reading of the story, I have a keynote presentation that includes information on some of the real life versions of the main characters, along with some background on their (dog) breeds; information about types of musical instruments, including brass, percussion, strings, keyboards, and woodwinds. The presentation will develop to include different music genres in future.

          Easy and fun activities included in the PDF I email in advance, along with book order forms: five colouring pages, two drawing pages, maze, name the members of the band, and postcard. The approximate length of the reading, Q&A, and presentation is 30 minutes.

          Sloth the Lazy Dragon (Gr. K, 1 & 2): In this story, a brave little dwarf helps Sloth get in shape by teaching the dragon about nutrition and exercise.

          After the reading of the story, I have a keynote presentation that includes examples of healthy foods; examples of exercise (which can be turned into an interactive activity); which are the healthier food choices discussion.

          Easy and fun activities included in the PDF I email in advance, along with book order forms: make a poster, name some vegetables, name some fruit, circle healthy food choices, two colouring pages, two drawing pages, maze.

          Merry Myrrh the Christmas Bat (Gr. K, 1 & 2): In this story, Myrrh experiences the wonders of his first Christmas, as well as the kindness of the farm family that find him in their home.

          After the reading of the story, I have a keynote presentation that includes information about the little brown bat, including North American distribution map; information about white-nose syndrome (which adversely affects many bats); frequently asked questions about bats answered; why bats are so important to our ecosystem.

          Easy and fun activities included in the PDF I email in advance, along with book order forms: three colouring pages, parts of a bat sheet, maze, make a poster, and draw the four seasons. The approximate length of the reading, Q&A, and presentation is 30 minutes.

          Chloe the Unfeathered Parrot (Gr. 1, 2 & 3): This tale is based on a true story, and a true parrot, and the people at the Parrot Sanctuary who help this near-featherless parrot find her forever flock.

          For the moment, only the reading and Q&A option is available. A presentation on parrots is COMING SOON.

          I prefer groups of no more than two classes (of approximately 30 students per class). Any venue is fine (in-person) provided there is a projector and screen available. I have a MacBook Air M1 2020, or iPad Pro first generation with an HDMI adaptor for each. I can also provide the files on a USB thumb drive. If absolutely necessary, I do have an Epson projector, but I do not have a screen. PDFs of activities and book order forms will be sent by email in advance. It is up to you whether you prefer to pass these forms or activities on to students/parents by email, or print out and photocopy for your class.

          Contact Regan:

            Bailey, Jen Lynn (Ottawa, ON)

            Photo Credit: Sam Bond Photography

            Member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, the Ontario College of Teachers, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Canada, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP). English language presentations and workshops for grades K-5; all ages on request.

            In-person rates (45-minute sessions): $250 for one, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (4 sessions). For kindergarten classes, Jen offers two 25-minute sessions for $250, or a discounted rate for one session if combined with a second session for an older group. A CRA-based travel rate of $0.61/km, round-trip, applies if location is more than 25 km from downtown Ottawa. Jen is willing to travel anywhere within a 150 km radius of Ottawa and is open to travelling further with additional food and accommodation charges. Virtual visit fees are $150 for one 45-minute session (or two 25-minute sessions for kindergarten students); $125 for each additional session the same day.

            Jen Lynn Bailey is a children’s author and certified Ontario elementary teacher whose debut picture book This is the Boat that Ben Built (illustrated by Maggie Zeng) was published in 2022 by Pajama Press. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Science Studies from Carleton University, and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Martin Luther College. Previously Jen taught science and French in an elementary school and writing and editing in the Professional Writing program at Algonquin College. Now Jen works for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada where she combines her love of science, education, and writing by supporting science and engineering promotion programs.

            Jen is an experienced teacher, workshop leader, and presenter who loves introducing kids to the animals of the northern river ecosystem through fun, interactive sessions. She also enjoys teaching about writing and about how picture books are made. She will gladly collaborate with teachers and/or librarians to customize visits to meet the children’s interests and the teachers’ curriculum requirements. Students and staff have the option to order personalized, signed books which will be delivered to their school. Jen will provide ordering instructions.

            Jen Lynn Bailey  the boat that ben built

            Here are some sample presentations, which each include an author intro and Q&A: 

            This is the Boat that Ben Built – Participatory Reading & Activities Age level: K – grade 1;Duration: two 25-minute sessions

            The first 25-minute session introduces kids to the northern river ecosystem in a fun participatory reading session of This is the Boat that Ben Built. Jen also discusses idea generation and the inspiration for the story. The second 25-minute session includes a generative alliteration activity and an animal size classification activity.

            Key concepts: ecology, species diversity, food webs, STEM, poetry

            Key themes: curiosity, natural world, exploration

            Explore a Book! Explore an Ecosystem! Age level: Grades 2-5; Duration: 45-60 minutes

            Kids will develop an explorer mindset toward 1) picture books and 2) the northern river ecosystem. Following a reading of This is the Boat that Ben Built, they will discover how the author and illustrator work together to create a picture book, brainstorm other living and non-living parts of a river ecosystem, and add their own living thing to the story.

            Key concepts: ecology, species diversity, food webs, STEM, picture book creation, writing process, cumulative stories, science

            Key themes: curiosity, natural world, exploration

            Levels: primary, junior, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5

            Writer’s Workshop Age level: K – grade 5; Duration: 45-60 minutes (shorter for kindergarten)

            Using This is the Boat that Ben Built, Jen will describe poetic techniques and explore word choices that make compelling, rhythmic stories. Includes generative writing and sharing time.

            If you are interested in writing workshops for students in grades 6 – 8, secondary school, or college, or in workshops for adults, please contact Jen about your group’s needs.

            Library Storytime Age level: preschool – grade 1; duration 30-45 minutes

            Following a participatory reading of This is the Boat that Ben Built, Jen will lead kids in a simple craft about the animals in the northern river ecosystem. Digital templates will be provided in advance; craft supplies to be provided by the library.

            All venues; library or classroom preferred.

            General Equipment needs: For in-person visits, laptop with PowerPoint or Google Slides (can bring own laptop if it can be connected to school projector, otherwise will bring USB stick), digital projector and screen for presentation, microphone if space larger than classroom, chair or stool, glass of water. For virtual visits, school Zoom account (or similar). Student supplies depend on chosen session and will be discussed prior to visit. Teacher or librarian must be present for all presentations, virtual or in-person.

            Jen offers picture book manuscript critiques as well.

            Contact Jen:

              Sadler, Judy-Ann (London, Ontario)

              Judy-Ann Sadler (London, Ontario) is a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, CANSCAIP, and Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC). She presents (in English) to students in JK to grade 5 and beyond.

              Rates:

              • 1 session: $300
              • 2 sessions: $525
              • 3 sessions: $675
              • 4 sessions: $800

              These rates include craft supplies for 50 students per 1-hour session. Travel costs are extra. No HST. Rates for virtual visits are negotiable.

              Judy-Ann Sadler is the bestselling author of over 25 books for children that have sold over a million copies in various languages around the world.

              Ever since Judy-Ann can remember, she has loved to read, write and make things. She feels passionate about sharing stories and crafts with children. She knows that using your imagination and working with your hands encourages creativity, curiosity, resourcefulness, patience, passion and generosity. She feels that these are all qualities our children will need to help make the world a better place!

              Judy-Ann has presented to, and made crafts with, tens of thousands of children at schools, libraries and festivals. Here are a few examples of what she does during a presentation, but she always tailors her presentations to the needs of the students. She loves to keep her audience engaged and excited about books, crafts and stories!

              JK- grade 1: Read a picture book, show other books, show crafts from some of her books, take questions, make a craft.

              Grade 2-3: Read one of her picture books, show other books, show lots of crafts and chat about the joy of making things, answer questions, make a craft.

              Grade 4-5: Talk about and show samples of the many steps involved in putting together a good book, read a story, show her books and crafts, answer questions and hear about the creative activities and writing projects of the students. Make a craft!

              For presentation set-up, Judy-Ann requires a couple of tables at the front of the room, and tables with chairs for the students. She will present to a maximum of 50 students/two classes per session.

              Contact Judy-Ann to book a visit:

                Hughes, Susan (Toronto, ON)

                Writers Union Member. Canscaip. SCBWI. Fiction & NF, multiple Forest of Reading nominations. Multi awards. Mainly grades K to 6.

                Virtual visit: $200 (plus hst) for one session of 40-50 mins; and $150 for each additional session on the same day. Also, $220 (plus hst) for two back-to-back 30 min sessions with Kinders.

                Susan is an award-winning author of over 30 children’s books (fiction and non-fiction), including picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, and YA novels—and even some graphic narratives (picture books and middle-grade). She runs through the local cemetery, where she glimpses coyotes and foxes; was dog- and horse-crazy as a kid; and no matter what’s she’s doing, would usually rather be reading.

                Susan’s books have won and been shortlisted for several awards, including the Silver Birch Express, Silver Birch Non-fiction, Red Maple, Red Cedar Information Book, Hackmatack, Prix des Libraires du Quebec (Jeunesse), Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year, TD Canadian Children’s Literature, Diamond Willow). Her books have received starred and recommended reviews from Kirkus, CCBC, CBC Books, Quill & Quire, School Library Journal, Resource Links, The Globe & Mail, CanLit for Little Canadians and CM Magazine.

                Susan loves chatting with young readers about her books, the writing and publishing process, and their own writing projects. Susan will read from one or more of her books, discuss the inspiration for her book and the writing, research, and publishing process, and engage in a lively Q and A with young students.  

                Readings from her book(s), plus Q&A’s with audience (20-30 mins for kinders; 30-50 mins for gr 1 and up)

                Suggestions of picture books for presentations:

                Same Here: The Differences We Share (gr 2 – 5)

                This MG informational picture book introduces readers to kids from around the world, the lives they lead, and the common needs that unite them. The child-centered narrative and evocative illustrations explore how education, family, free time, and other aspects of daily life look different depending on who you are and where you live.

                Themes: common needs, global connections, equality/equity, diversity, education, communication, socio-economic realities, social studies

                Walking for Water: How One Boy Stood Up for Gender Equality (gr 2 – 5)

                In this inspiring picture book story of individual activism (based on a real boy), Victor recognizes gender inequality when his sister must stop attending school — and decides to do something about it.

                Themes: equality, gender, children taking action, Malawi, fiction/ non-fiction, graphic novel, family, diversity, authenticity, experts, Citizen Kids, global connections

                Carmen and the House That Gaudi Built (gr 1 – 6)

                Carmen Batlló must move to the city, leaving behind her imaginary salamander—but then meets architect Antoni Gaudí. This picture book is inspired by the real Batlló family and the house Gaudí designed for them.

                Themes: fiction versus non-fiction, based on, imaginary friends, architecture, home, nature, moving, Antoni Gaudi, change

                What Happens Next (gr 2 -6)

                This picture book story is told by an unnamed protagonist who, when bullied by a girl at school, confronts the bully in a unique way— helping the bully see the world with a new perspective.

                Themes: bullying, emotions, empathy, non-gendered character, point-of-view, differences and similarities, courage

                Walking in the City with Jane: A Story of Jane Jacobs (gr 3 – 7)

                A fictionalized story of the life of Jane Jacobs, one of the world’s greatest urban thinkers and activists, this picture book is a terrific resource for exploring civic engagement, urban life, and the role of city planning.

                Themes: urban activist, ecosystem, grassroots, observer, perseverance, courage, citizenship, initiative, prison, biography, annual Jane Walks

                Up! How Families Around the World Carry their Little Ones (K to gr 2)

                A celebration of diversity, this non-fiction picture book depicts children being carried in many different ways by various family members in 10 places around the world.

                Themes: family, emotions, empathy, rural/urban, diversity, global connections

                Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World  (gr 4 to 7)

                In this middle-grade non-fiction book, you’ll travel around the globe to visit some of the world’s most incredible schools (on boats, on train platforms, mobile schools, etc.) and meet the students who attend them.

                Themes: education, equality/equity, tough decisions, diversity, initiative, interviews, citizenship, global connections

                Virtual meetings can be on Zoom, Google meets, or Skype. Audience size: let’s discuss!

                Connect with Susan to book a visit:

                  Stemp, Heather (North Bay, Ontario)

                  Writer’s Union Member. English. Historical Fiction In-person

                  Rates: $225. for one session, $400. for two sessions in the same school

                  Virtual Rates: $150. for one session, $125. for each additional session in the same school.

                  Sessions: 60 minutes (virtual visits only, at this time)

                  Heather is a retired teacher, mother, and grandmother. All these roles have made her a dedicated supporter of young readers through her writing, classroom visits, and community events.

                  Her first book, Amelia and Me, is a middle grade historical fiction, which was nominated for the 2015 Red Cedar Award. Her second book, Under Amelia’s Wing, has been nominated for the 2021 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and the 2021 Red Maple Award (YA).

                  After Heather retired, she began writing her family history. She found that the Ross’s of Harbour Grace, Newfoundland were involved in early transatlantic aviation. Then Amelia Earhart arrived in 1932 to make her own transatlantic flight. That’s when Heather’s family history turned into her first book, Amelia and Me. Her second book, Under Amelia’s Wing, continues her Aunt Ginny’s adventures with Amelia in the newly-developing field of female pilots.

                  Presentations

                  Heather collaborates with teachers and/or librarians to customize visits to meet the students’ interests and the teachers’ curriculum requirements.  

                  Here are a few suggestions for virtual classroom visits:

                  Invite Amelia Earhart into Your Classroom

                  (She will arrive in a full flying outfit, if desired)

                  Interview Amelia or ask her to describe:

                  • her time in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland before her flight- the secrecy, the  other female pilots trying to beat her across the Atlantic, and those who helped her
                  • her actual flight- the problems, how she solved them, where she landed, her “staged” reception, and the world’s reaction

                  Other characters from, Amelia and Me, could be used in a similar manner. For example:

                  • interview Ginny Ross, the main character, or ask her to tell you about growing up in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland and how difficult it was to follow her dream of becoming a pilot.
                  • interview Joseph Ross, Ginny’s grandfather, or ask him to describe the depression in Newfoundland in 1932 and how it affected store owners like him
                  • interview Rose Archibald (Ginny’s aunt) or ask her to tell you about the role of women in 1932
                  • interview Heather Stemp, the author, or ask her to describe how family stories can be turned into books, the writing process, the editing process, or why people write books

                  A similar approach can be used to explore Heather’s second book, Under Amelia’s Wing, which is set at Purdue University in 1936. Ginny Ross is enrolled there as a mechanical engineering student. Amelia Earhart is there as a part-time career counselor for women and aviation advisor. Characters from the book can be interviewed or asked to describe certain aspects of the story. This book is for young adults, grades seven and eight. The use of costumes with this age group can be discussed with the teacher before Heather arrives.

                  Curriculum connections are numerous in these STEM friendly historical novels so hands-on activities can be included in different content areas. The interests of the teacher and the students will define the visit.

                  Historical black and white photos, videos, and maps can be used, if desired.

                  Information on audience size limits, writing workshops, set-up requirements.

                  Virtual visits only, at this time. Best with one or two classes to allow Heather to interact with students. Larger groups negotiable.

                  Contact Heather to book a visit:

                    Crawley, Oksanna (Brampton, ON)

                    Author/Illustrator of levelled books for Kindergarten and Grade One

                    Member of CANSCAIP and SCBWI

                    Virtual presentation $100.00 + HST per one session

                    Oksanna is a retired Kindergarten teacher and early literacy specialist. She loves writing funny books about a goofy, super hero hamster and has just as much fun drawing the illustrations.

                    Oksanna is the author and illustrator of over 30 levelled books – Super Hammy – My First Reading Series (a collection of 15 books, Fountas & Pinnell levels A-C), and Super Hammy’s New Adventures (a collection of 15 books, Fountas & Pinnell levels D-F). She is also the author and illustrator of Super Hammy ABC. The books are also available in French and Chinese.  She writes levelled picture books for preschool, kindergarten and grade one. Books for beginning readers. Books that teachers and parents can use to help children learn to read. 

                    Oksanna has two 30 or 45 min. virtual presentations for grades K to 3. Choose one.

                    Presentation # 1 emphasizes reading and writing.

                    • Oksanna talks about herself as a young girl and how she was bitten by the writing and drawing bugs.
                    • She reads her Super Hammy books, and, using a PowerPoint presentation, shows how an idea in her head becomes a book.
                    • After a short dance break, more read alouds, and then students brainstorm super powers they’d love to have. Super Hammy’s super powers are love and kindness.
                    • A talk about the elements of a story ensues – setting, characters, problem, solution, beginning, middle and end with examples from a Super Hammy story.
                    • Then, a Q & A.
                    • The task: Students write and illustrate a story about their super power on their own time.

                    Presentation #2 emphasizes reading, writing and art.

                    • Oksanna talks about herself as a young girl and how she was bitten by the writing and drawing bugs.
                    • She reads her Super Hammy books and, using a PowerPoint presentation, shows how an idea in her head becomes a book with an emphasis on illustrations.
                    • After a short dance break, more read alouds, and then students brainstorm super powers they’d love to have. Super Hammy’s super powers are love and kindness.
                    • Oksanna demonstrates how to make a 4-panel comic/how to draw and write – with a problem and a solution.
                    • Then, a Q & A.
                    • The task: Students make a 4-panel comic (captions and drawings) with a story about their super power on their own time.
                    • Teacher will be provided with a template of a 4-panel comic to be photocopied for students.

                    Audience: One class at a time, or two or three grouped together for a Zoom presentation. Oksanna would appreciate that the students be familiar with Super Hammy books. Books can be ordered from DC Canada Education Publishing. The presentations are done in English, however, Oksanna can do the read alouds in French if requested.

                    Contact Oksanna to book a visit: