Syed, Anoosha (Milton, ON)

Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award Nominee, APALA Honor for Bilal Cooks Daal, Society of Illustrators Original Art Show, Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize Shortlist, featured in Netflix series ‘Bookmarks’, featured in Eric Carle museum, Otter Award nominee

Anoosha Syed is a Pakistani-Canadian character designer and the illustrator of over twenty books, including I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown, APALA honor book, Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed and her author/illustrator debut, That’s Not My Name!

She draws inspiration from mid-century artists and her south-asian heritage, and she aims to create inclusive books that children can see themselves in.

Book topics: Empathy, First Day of School, Self-empowerment, Food and Culture. Family, South Asian

Rates: $350 for 60 minute session, $450 for two, Plus a travel fee of $0.50/km if outside GTA. Anoosha is open to traveling further with additional food, travel, and accommodation charges.
Virtual visit fees: $150 for each 30 mins

Presentation format
Book reading + drawing demonstration (JK-3, 30min)
Reading of a selected picture book, followed by a drawing demonstration based on the book. Q+A at the end.

Careers: How I write/illustrate my picture books (Middleschool/Highschool, 60min) + Q&A

How I wrote/illustrate my book ‘That’s Not My Name’, and how the publishing industry works!

Other notes
A projector is required for in-person visits, and microphone + podium for larger groups.
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.
+HST
+Travel outside of GTA

Contact Anoosha to book a visit:

    Shiell, Mike (Georgetown, ON)

    Mike’s books have received numerous awards and commendations including being shortlisted for the Red Cedar award (2021 & 2023) and the Hackmatack award (2023).

    In person visits: $300 for 1 session, $550 for 2, $750 for 3 and $900 for 4/full day (may be shared with a neighbouring school), + travel (50 cents per kilometer, round-trip).

    Virtual Visits: $200, for one session, 60 minutes, $175 for each additional session on the same day. For virtual sessions, mornings; 9am – noon ET is preferred but he is flexible on this.

    Mike was a guest speaker at the 43rd edition (2022) of the Toronto International Festival of Authors for both “Linty: A Pocketful of Adventure” and the “Gross Science” Series with writer Edward Kay.

    In addition, Mike has over 25 years’ experience working as a director, animation supervisor and animator. He has directed and supervised a number of children’s shows including the Emmy awarding winning, “The Backyardigans” and “Mike the Knight”.

    Mike is the author and Illustrator of “Linty: A Pocketful of Adventure”. “Linty” is a hilarious and offbeat graphic novel for early readers. Silly and engaging with loads of heart, it’s the perfect book to place in the hands of any reluctant or emerging reader. Every day is pretty much the same for Linty: Some cardio. Sightseeing (“So blue!”). Solo Marco Polo. Until one day, everything changes! The relatable emotions of the lovable main character as portrayed in the story and the expressive illustrations support social-emotional learning with themes of making friends, embracing what life throws at you, and finding the courage to try new things.

    Mike is also the illustrator of 7 other titles published by Kids Can Press.

    Presentations by age:

    5 – 10yrs: “Linty: A Pocketful of Adventure”

    Mike aims to make his presentations as fun, positive and interactive as possible. Mike’s sessions include; “draw-along-with-Mike”, selected readings of Linty, showing animated clips of Linty and a question and answer period. Mike also talks about what inspired him to create Linty, the creative process when writing and illustrating children’s books and also what it’s like to be a full-time author, illustrator and animator. Mike’s Linty presentations include lots of fun and laughs but there are also some educational and inspirational moments to take away.

    Group size: Any but 15 – 30 is ideal especially for the segment where he asks volunteers to come up and draw with him

    A/V and other needs for in person: Monitor/Projector to present animated clips (MP4s) and images, smart board or white board, paper and coloured pencils and a drawing surface for each child, either a clipboard or table and a microphone will be needed for larger groups.

    A/V and other needs for virtual visits: Students should come ready to draw and ask questions! 

    10 – 15yrs: What It’s like to be a writer and illustrator and how I got here.

    For all those aspiring writers and illustrators, Mike does a 1 hour session (workshop) in which he discusses the inspiration that lead him to create Linty, his creative and writing process and his path to becoming a full time living as an author, illustrator and animator and what that career is like. At the end Mike opens up the floor for questions and further discussion.

    Group size: Any but 15 – 30 is ideal.

    A/V and other needs for in person: Monitor/Projector to present animated clips (MP4s) and images, smart board or white board and a microphone will be needed for larger groups.

    Needed for virtual visits: Students should come ready to talk about their work, their inspirations and aspirations to ask lots of questions! 

    Contact Mike to book a visit:

      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:

        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:

          Lordon, Claire (Vancouver, BC)

          Claire Lordon

          Claire Lordon is an author, illustrator and Writers Union Member based in Vancouver, BC. Her presentations are in English. She presents to K-5.

          Her school visit rates are $150 for a half hour virtual presentation (for grades K-1), $200 for a 50 minute virtual presentation $250 for one 50 minute in person presentation $450 for two 50 minute in person visits $675 for three 50 minute presentations.

          GST is extra. Travel fees are extra except for the greater Vancouver area.

          Claire is the author-illustrator of one book, and the illustrator of five more. She is an experienced school speaker who loves presenting to schools. Her presentations and workshops are upbeat and fun and can be catered to your group’s needs.

          Here is a typical talk:
          Presentations include a reading, a discussion about being an author-illustrator, process sketches, how she comes up with ideas, and a fun interactive drawing game. There is also a Q&A.

          In addition to schools, she also gives presentations to libraries, conferences, organizations and more.

          Additional Presentations and Workshops:

          •How a Picture Book is Made
          Good for grades K-5

          •How Claire Became an Author-Illustrator
          Good for grades 3-5

          •Class-Created Picture Book Story
          Good for Grades 1-4

          •Professional Workshop: Create a Submission-Ready Book Dummy.

          For adults. Note this workshop is either two one-hour sessions or one 90-minute session. Priced at $500 plus GST (if applicable).

          Maximum size for presentations: 35

          Equipment needed: Drawing easel and markers, a projector and screen for some presentations.

          CONTACT CLAIRE TO BOOK A VISIT:

            Morse, Joe (Toronto, ON)

            Joe Morse. Illustrator/educator. Toronto. English. Grade levels: Grade 3 and up. Rates: $250 for one session, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (four sessions) Plus HST and travel fee of $0.50/km if outside Toronto.

            Joe Morse’s recent picture book Go Show the World with Wab Kinew was nominated for the Governor General’s Award, won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award and is a Finalist in the Forest of Reading (Silver Birch Express).

            Joe Morse is an award winning book illustrator and educator. He has won over 200 awards as an Illustrator in editorial, advertising and books working with international clients: Universal Pictures, Nike, the NBA, and Major League Baseball and 30 years of teaching Illustration with a focus on drawing.

            Joe’s Workshops are tailored to 2 different needs.

            1. Heroes without Capes: audio/visual presentation on the super powers each one of us has using the real life characters from the book Go Show the World. Focus: history, personal storytelling, culture, empowerment, empathy, diversity, environment and media awareness.

            2. Draw Thinking: smaller groups with paper and drawing tool (crayon, pencil). He shows the original art for Go Show the World and the group works with the second best form of communication we humans have (after physical gestures) DRAWING. A language that is truly universal.

            Focus: hands on fun. Creative thinking. Making mistakes is good for you. Note: for students that may have challenges with the physical aspect of drawing, he can emphasize the visual identification of shapes drawn during the workshop.

            Audience size: 1. Heroes without Capes: can be any size. He needs a screen and projector with an HDMI input/output. For 2. Draw Thinking: size dependent on table space for drawing. (30 and less optimal). He needs a screen and projector with an HDMI input/output. (If a projector is not available, please let Joe know in advance and he will attempt to bring one with him).

            Contact Joe to connect him with your readers:

            Continue reading “Morse, Joe (Toronto, ON)”

            McLeod, Cinders (Toronto)

            Writers’ Union Member. Now doing virtual visits only: $200 for one 60 minute session, $350 for 2, $525 for 3, $675 for 4. Maximum 4
            sessions per day. JK to SK: two 30-minute sessions for the price of 1.

            Cinders presents to JK to Grade 3. Single class size is best for discussion, but Cinders is flexible.

            Author-illustrator of the Moneybunnies financial literacy for young children series, published by Penguin N.Y. She is also a well known human rights cartoonist and musician. Cinders has 20 years’ experience in Canadian and British books and newspapers, is the creator of the 8-year-old Broomie Law cartoon and one of the few published, women political cartoonists in the world. She is also an experienced performer (singer, songwriter, double bassist with a record on Billy Bragg’s label) and cartoon workshop presenter. She wrote and illustrated EARN IT! SPEND IT! SAVE IT! and GIVE IT! for ages 3- 8 because it’s never too early to teach children about money. The Moneybunnies series is popular with STEM educators.

            Continue reading “McLeod, Cinders (Toronto)”

            Hohn, Nadia (Toronto)

            The Writers Union member. Picture book. All ages. $350 for 1 session (60 min) $ 600 for 2 sessions of 60 minutes (1/2 day)$ 400 for 2 x 30 minute sessions (great for JK to 1). Full day (4 sessions) $ 1000. + kilometrage. Can present in English and French.

            Nadia is fully booked for the remainder of the 2021/2022 school season. She is currently scheduling for the 2022/2023 school year. 

            Malaika’s Costume (2016) and Malaika’s Winter Carnival (2017).

            Continue reading “Hohn, Nadia (Toronto)”

            MacKay, Elly (Owen Sound)

            Writers’ Union Member. Author, illustrator, picture books, Forest of Reading, lightbox, paper, children’s books, primary, workshop, art project. Elly’s rate is $275 for one session, $475 for two, $675 for three and $800 for four, plus local travel from Toronto when in the area (either taxi or being picked up by a teacher to accommodate her in bringing her miniature theatre and supplies). Continue reading “MacKay, Elly (Owen Sound)”

            Bender, Rebecca (Burlington ON)

            Author-Illustrator. Burlington, ON. Writers’ Union Member. Blue Spruce winner. Mainly K to 3, but also any age.

            In-person: $350 plus HST for 1 session, two for $600, three for $800 and four for $1000, + travel for destinations further than 50 km.

            Virtual visit: $200 plus HST for one session, 20-60 minutes, and $150 for each additional on the same day.

            Rebecca’s goal is to inspire children to imagine their own characters and stories and to act on it! The students will take part in creating illustrations, drawn live before their eyes, that will bring forth story ideas and animated discussion. She shares her journey of becoming an author-illustrator and her process for coming up with ideas. Rebecca requires an easel, chart paper, table, and a chair and prefers a maximum of 65 students per presentation.

            For larger groups, a variation of this presentation is done with slides. Please note a projector and sound system is required for this option.

            Rebecca also offers a workshop on jump-starting a picture book. She shows the students how to go from creating a strong central character to a solid story idea. For this, tables or clipboards and basic drawing supplies are necessary.

            Contact REBECCA TO BOOK A VISIT: