Maheshwari, Priti (Cambridge, ON)

Priti Birla Maheshwari is an award-winning children’s author and teacher. She is the recipient of the 2023 CCBC and TD Grade One Book Giveaway, as well as many other awards for her debut picture book Chaiwala! (illustrated by Ashley Barron, published by OwlKids Books 2021).

Priti is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP). She gives English and French language presentations and workshops for grades K-3 in the category of fiction.

In-person rates: $400 for 1 session, $650 for 2, $900 for 3 and $1100 for 4, + travel (.68 cents per kilometre, round-trip for SW ON).

Virtual Visits: $300 for one session, 45-60 minutes, $200 for each additional session on the same day.

Priti is an experienced educator and speaker who tailors each presentation to the group in front of her through fun interactive sessions. She can do up to four daily presentations in the same school. As the author of a picture book and an early reader chapter book series, Priti can offer a vast range of workshops for kindergarten to grade 3 students.

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. Priti will provide ordering instructions.

In-person visits:

Priti begins with a PowerPoint presentation that immerses the students in the sounds and sights of India. This is followed by an interactive reading session and then an art activity where the students make personalized teacups.

Participatory Reading & Activities: Age level: K – grade 1; Duration 45-60 minutes. Best for up to 30 students for optimal engagement.

Priti introduces students to facts about India and a fun participatory reading session of Chaiwala! Priti also discusses idea generation and the inspiration for the story. This includes a small moment activity and an art activity.

Key concepts: diversity, arts

Key themes: curiosity, exploration, family and traditions, cultural appreciation

Explore a Book! Age level: Grades 1-3; Duration: 45-60 minutes. Appropriate for classroom visits.

Students will explore the picture book Chaiwala! through the lens of a reader, writer, and artist. They’ll discover how the author and illustrator work together to create a picture book, and how the world in which we live is interconnected with “small moments”. Students will do an activity on what makes a moment special and end with an art activity.

Key concepts: picture book creation, writing process

Key themes: curiosity, exploration

Levels: Grades 1-3

Equipment needs for in-person visits:

  • Laptop with PowerPoint – presentation is on a USB stick (or Priti can bring her own laptop if it can be connected to the school projector)
  • SmartBoard or digital projector and screen for presentation
  • Microphone if the space is larger than a classroom
  • Table to set materials
  • Chair or stool

For virtual visits, school Zoom account (or similar). Student supplies depend on the session which will be discussed before the visit. The teacher or librarian must be present for all presentations, virtual or in-person.

Contact Priti to book a visit:

    Krampien, Celia (Welland, ON)

    SCBWI member.

    Celia Krampien writes and illustrates picture books and novels for young people. She grew up in a small town (population 400) in rural Southern Ontario where she spent most of her time reading and exploring the woods around her house. Celia loves creating bright, colourful, emotionally complex books. Celia’s books are best suited for students in grades JK – 8 but is happy to be flexible and adapt presentations to meet the needs of students of any age.

    Book topics: the power of stories, handling adversity, facing fears, differences in perspective, friendship, bullying, Halloween.

    RATES*:

    Virtual Visits

    $200 – 1 hour virtual presentation + drawing activity + Q&A  (Gr 3 and up)

    $100 – 30 minute picture book story time and drawing demo (Gr JK – 2)

    In-Person Visits

    $250 – two 30 minute picture book story time and drawing activity sessions (Gr JK – 2)

    $300 – 1 hour  presentation + interactive activity + Q&A (Gr 3 and up)

    $500 – two 1 hour presentations with interactive activity and Q&A (Gr 3 and up)

    $900 – all day visit, as many presentations/activities/Q&A sessions as we can fit! (Gr JK and up)

    In-Person, Large Groups (50+ attendees)

    $400 – 1 hr presentation + interactive activity + Q&A (requires podium, slideshow projection system, microphone & sound system)

    *HST will be charged on all fees

    Presentations (all can all be offered virtually or in-person)

    Storytime and draw-along – 30 mins (JK – Grade 2)

    – Picture book(s) read aloud

    – Drawing and colouring activity – students can draw and colour along as Celia demonstrates how to draw characters from her books

    – Q & A session

    Telling Stories with Pictures – 1 hour (Grades 3 – 5)

    – Slideshow presentation about using words and pictures as storytelling tools with examples from Celia’s recent book with Kristen Dickson, Fiona Builds a Fairyhouse

    – interactive drawing activity – students draw along with Celia, drawing their own fairytale creatures and creating a story to introduce them to the rest of the class (requires easel and large pad of paper)

    – Q&A session

    How a Story Becomes a Book (And Why Does it Take So Long?!) – 1 hour (Grades 4 and up)

    – slideshow presentation showing the step-by-step process of the creation of Celia’s spooky middle grade novel, The Bellwoods Game. Students will get a behind the scenes peek at Celia’s journey, starting at her first attempts at writing through to publication day

    – interactive activity- students will tryout different brainstorming techniques to answer the age old question of where ideas come from (requires easel and large pad of paper)

    – Q&A session

    Cover Stories – the making of a book cover (Grades 4 and up)

    – slideshow presentation about the step-by-step process of creating illustrated covers for middle grade novels and why sometimes it’s okay to judge a book by its cover

    – interactive activity – students draw along with Celia to create their own book covers (requires easel and large pad of paper)

    – Q&A session

    Equipment Required:

    –      Projector to display slideshow (in-person visits)

    –      easel and large pad of paper for presentations activities

    –      Paper, pencils/crayons/markers for students for presentations with brainstorming and draw-along activities.

    –      Microphone, sound system and podium for larger groups (50+ attendees)

    Contact Celia to book a visit:

      Campbell, Ashlee (Toronto, Ontario)

      Bilingual early elementary picture book (Spanish/English). All ages.

      $200 plus HST for 1 session, $350 for 2, $500 for 3 and $650 for 4, + travel (50 cents per kilometer, round-trip for SW ON). Virtual Visits: $150 plus HST, for one session, 20-60 minutes, $125 for each additional session on the same day.

      Ashlee is an experienced speaker and Creative Writing teacher at the highschool and elementary levels. Ashlee tailors her talks to each group and is available to present in English, Spanish and French or a combination of languages of instruction. Ashlee is available to do multiple talks or workshops over the course of the day with groups ranging from kindergarten to high school. As a homeschool co-op organizer Ashlee also prepares talks and workshops for mixed-age groups. Ashlee has also given talks on writing, publishing and the author’s journey for adult groups.

      Sample pre-recorded workshops available upon request. Ashlee also takes workshop requests.

      Examples of workshop options:

      All presentations available in English, French and Spanish or a combination of language of instruction.

      JK- Gr. 2 – 45 – 60 mins (including speaker-led multilingual “brain breaks” for children)

      Reading of “Senora Sanasana” followed by a character creation workshop including a LA tie-in worksheet for Gr. 2 and a drawing activity for younger ages.

      OR

      Reading of “Senora Sanasana” followed by learning Spanish words and class discussion about languages spoken and heard in the children’s home and communities and creation of a classroom word cloud of words in other languages the children know.

      Gr. 3-6 – 45 – 60 mins

      Character creation workshop based on common nursery rhymes, sayings and idiomatic expressions, including worksheet and writing activity and group discussion about the rhymes and sayings from their diverse backgrounds. Workshop includes time for students to share their characters.

      Highschool – 45 – 60 mins or two sessions for increased content creation time

      Introduction to critique circle practices and character creation workshop (see above). Workshop includes discussion of “own voice” stories and how to create supportive, compassionate and constructive writing critique groups.

      Adults – 45 – 60 mins

      “Abundance versus scarcity for artists” – this is a talk on having an “abundance” mentality as an artist, basing our creative practices on the belief that there is enough space and enough audience in the world for everyone’s art and writing. This talk also delves into how we define success and takes an anti-capitalist approach to redefining both “success” and “audience” in order for artists to thrive.

      All Venues. All Group Sizes. Equipment required: A table or podium. A microphone for larger groups or in the gym, or if the room acoustics require it. A screen and projector for power-point.

      Contact Ashlee to book a visit:

        Lyall, Casey (Strathroy, ON)

        Copyright Jordan Lyall Photography Personal

        Writers’ Union of Canada member. CANSCAIP member. Silver Birch Nominee. Red Cedar Fiction Award Winner. John Spray Mystery Award Nominee. Barnes & Noble Best Picture Book Nominee. Interactive presentations, writing games, customization available.

        English language presentations and workshops for grades K-6; further age ranges available on request.

        In-Person Visits (45-60 minutes): $300 for 1 session; $250 for each subsequent session up to four sessions in one day. A session may be split into two 25-30 minute sessions for Kindergarten.

        Virtual Visits (45-60 minutes): $200 per session. A session may be split into two 25-30 minute sessions for Kindergarten.

        Writing Workshops (2 hours): $500 per session.

        HST applies to all sessions. If travel is over 50 km, a CRA-based travel rate applies of $0.61 per kilometer, round trip.  

        Casey Lyall lives in Southwestern Ontario where she also works at her local library. She is the author of humorous picture books and middle grade novels such as the Howard Wallace, P.I. series, A Spoonful of Frogs (illustrated by Vera Brosgol), and Gnome Is Where Your Heart Is. Casey has a number of fun books on the horizon including the upcoming graphic novel, The League of Littles (illustrated by Ken Niimura.). During her presentations, Casey aims to entertain and inform while leaving her audience excited about creating their own stories.

        Casey takes students on an in-depth, behind the scenes look at her path to publication. She shares every part of the process: elementary school writing, failed projects, rejection and editorial letters, as well as revised and finished manuscripts. She offers tips and tricks for finishing a story and how to tackle the dreaded revisions. Other topics Casey can touch on include developing characters, the elements of a mystery, writing with humour, working on a graphic novel, surviving rejection, the value of persistence, and how to find your voice as a writer.

        Each presentation is approximately 1 hour with time allowed for student Q&A throughout and ending with a group story-building game. Casey is a very flexible presenter and can adapt her presentation to suit the needs of a school. If there is an interest in focusing more on one aspect of writing or on one of her books specifically, that can be accommodated.

        Casey can also customize presentations for specific groups. For example, a publishing-centric presentation for adults, an in-depth discussion with book clubs, educators looking to start a writing group for students, or a craft chat with a writers’ craft class, etc. Always feel free to reach out!

        If there is an interest in book sales at an event, Casey can provide order forms with instructions to help organize the process in advance. She co-ordinates with a bookstore that offers her titles at a discount.

        Writing Workshops are also available for smaller groups and run for approximately two hours. (Maximum size is one class or approximately twenty adults.)

        Workshop topics available:

        Building Your Story – focus on creating a story arc, writing dialogue that crackles, and developing characters and setting. Story prompts will be provided to practice applying each discussion to the page.


        Making Your Story Shine – focus on pacing, building tension, deepening relationships between characters, and sticking the ending. (Students should have an in-progress story to work on during the session.)

        As with presentations, customized workshops can be arranged (with different topics and/or longer sessions for an increased price.) Contact Casey to discuss details.

        Casey can accommodate presentations to groups of any size, but if she is presenting in a large venue, a microphone is required. A librarian, teacher, or other school representative should be present throughout any event. A digital projector and screen may be required (Some presentations are accompanied by PowerPoint slides. Casey can bring her laptop or provide a flash drive). Water and a table to keep supplies on are also appreciated as well as lunch if booking for a full day visit.

        Contact Casey to book a visit:

          Bradley, Sandra   (Kingston, Ontario)

          Sandra is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her debut picture book, Henry Holton Takes the Ice (Dial, 2015), was an OLA Blue Spruce Award nominee and a Maine Chickadee Award nominee. The title was featured in a number of journals and magazines, such as Today’s Parent, and was celebrated by comedian Ray Romano as he joined a cast of other Hollywood personalities for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Storyline Online.

          Sandra is an experienced classroom presenter. As a Clinical Social Worker (OCSWSSW) with almost thirty years of experience in working with children and their families, she offers a unique perspective to school visits. Sandra is very happy to travel and has visited TDSB schools on many occasions. Her rates are $300 for one session, $500 for two, $700 for three, or $900 for a full day (four sessions). Her travel fee is $0.68/km for school visits made outside the Kingston area. Sandra also offers virtual visits which are $200 and up, depending on the number of classes and time spent presenting.  

          Sandra begins presentations by chatting with students about some classic children’s picture books, as well as finding out if they have any favourite books they would like to share. Sandra then reads whichever book the school desires (Henry Holton Takes the Ice or Cocoa Magic). She can tailor presentations to the school’s requests, however, most of her workshops focus on either the subjects of inclusion and/or empathy or the craft of writing. Sandra’s presentations are fun, lively, and interactive.

          Sandra is comfortable with any group size up to one hundred students though she prefers single or double class groups. She is happy to present in a classroom or library and requires only a projector screen and laptap suitable for a PowerPoint presentation.

          Contact Sandra to book a visit:

            Polak, Monique (Montreal, Quebec)

            Writers’ Union of Canada, CANSCAIP, Quebec Writers’ Federation, English Language Arts Network

            Monique Polak is three-time winner of the Quebec Writers’ Federation Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, recently renamed the Janet Savage Blachford Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Her work has been nominated for several prizes including the Arthur Ellis Award, Best Juvenile or Crime Book and the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People.

            Presentation rates: $250 per hour. Plus travel unless I am in Toronto area for
            other reasons. I come to Toronto several times a year to visit family and friends. I charge HST.

            Monique Polak is the author of 32 books for young people – and she has two
            more books slated for publication! Monique was a long-time teacher at
            Marianopolis College in Montreal, where she taught, amongst other courses,
            Writing for Children and Print Journalism. Monique began her writing career as a reporter and her stories have been published in newspapers across Canada. A
            classic extrovert, Monique loves doing writing workshops with kids (and adults) of all ages. Monique’s mother was a Holocaust survivor who went to school with Anne Frank, and Monique has a special interest in Holocaust stories and the history of the Holocaust.

            Monique has done writing workshops for students in Grade 1 all the way to
            university.

            With her youngest audiences (Grades 1-3), Monique teaches basic story-telling
            skills, such as how to find a beginning, middle and end, and how to ensure that a story has drama. She also reads from her new picture book, The Brass Charm.

            With older audiences (this includes students in Grades 4 and up, high school
            and college students), Monique shares writing tips she wishes someone had
            shared with her when she was an aspiring author. Monique also discusses the
            inspiration behind some of her stories. And of course, expect Monique – who
            love stories – to tell some stories. You can also expect writing exercises.
            Monique is especially interested in personal memory as a source of inspiration.
            One of her exercises is designed to use personal memory to find the story
            participants in her workshops most need to tell!

            Monique can handle groups of any size! No special supplies needed – Monique’s only requirement is that students have paper and pen (or in the case of very young participants, crayons!).

            Contact Monique to book a visit:

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

              Member of the Writer’s Union, 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. Author of picture books and middle grade books.

              $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:

              Peter Little Wing (Gr. 4 – 6):

              Peter, a captive Southern Fiordland tokoeka kiwi, and his friends from the National Aquarium—Onion, a little blue penguin with an inner ear imbalance; Tim, a tuatara with Generalized Anxiety Disorder; and Rangi, a kea with clipped wings—embark on a quest through the unfamiliar wilderness of New Zealand in search of three ingredients needed to create an elixir to cure Peter’s ailing grandfather. Together, they traverse the length of the South Island of Aotearoa, all the way across the Cook Strait and back home to the North Island. They learn what they are all capable of in the wild of the wop wops, and what the world beyond the “Wall of Shadows” of Peter’s habitat is all about.

              After a reading of Chapter 1, plus a Q&A, I have a keynote presentation which will include information about the species represented by the main characters (kiwi, little blue penguins, tuatara, kea, brushtail possums and Green and Golden Bell frog), as well as a few other NZ species of interest. Included is information about New Zealand itself, and the locations mentioned in the book (Napier/Hawke’s Bay, Queenstown, Haast Pass, Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson, Punakaiki, Mount Richmond Forest Park, the Wairau river, Picton/Marlborough region, and Wellington).

              There is also the opportunity for your students to do their own presentations and project assignments and an optional NZ/British vocabulary/expression discussion. I am available to return to watch and review student presentations (extra $100 plus travel fee).

              Along with book order forms, I can also send a PDF of optional projects and presentations the students can do. The approximate length of the reading, Q&A and key note presentation is 60 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 a bit of information on some of the real life versions of the main characters, along with some background on their (dog/cat) breeds; information about types of musical instruments, including brass, percussion, strings, keyboards, and woodwinds (sound samples are included). I then give a little introduction and discussion of each of the musical genres presented in the book, including: rock, jazz, hip hop, folk, reggae, opera, swing/big band, rock & roll, blues, country, musical theatre, classical.

              Easy and fun activities are 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.

              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.

              After reading, I have a keynote presentation on parrots and parrot rescue. We’ll talk a little bit about the real Parrot Sanctuary, some of the issues presented in the book (Why did Chloe start plucking her own feathers? Why was her previous owner’s home and lifestyle not the right fit for her?), a little bit about the real Chloe, the other parrots mentioned in the book, facts about different kinds of parrots (those that are sometimes kept as pets, and those that are only in the wild), diagram of a parrot’s wing, set up and care for pet parrots, and optional extras like “what is an orthinologist?” Also optional, presentations that the students can do (make a poster, make a diorama, raising awareness certificate).

              Easy and fun activities are included in the PDF I email in advance, along with book order forms: five colouring pages, two drawing pages, maze, name the parrot, and postcard. The approximate length of the reading, Q&A, and presentation is 30-45 minutes.

              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.

              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.

              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

                Jen Lynn Bailey is an award-winning children’s author and certified Ontario elementary teacher. She is the recipient of the 2023 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award, picture book category, for her debut picture book This is the Boat that Ben Built (illustrated by Maggie Zeng, published by Pajama Press 2022).

                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-6; all ages on request.

                In-person rates for a classroom visit (45- to 60-minute sessions): $275 for one, $400 for two, $525 for three, $650 for a full day (4 sessions). For kindergarten classes, Jen offers two 25-minute sessions for $275, or a discounted rate for a single session combined with a second for an older group. For larger venues with up to 100 students in the same or adjacent grade level(s): $375 for a 45- to 60-minute presentation. A CRA-based travel rate of $0.61/km, round-trip, applies, from downtown Ottawa.

                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 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.

                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. Appropriate for up to 30 students for optimal engagement.

                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. Appropriate for classroom visits or larger venues.

                Students will explore the picture book This is the Boat that Ben Built through the lens of a reader, writer, scientist, and artist. They’ll discover how the author and illustrator work together to create a picture book, and how the animals of the northern river ecosystem are interconnected in the story and real world.

                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 Workshops Age level: K – grade 5; Duration: 45-60 minutes (shorter for kindergarten). Appropriate for visits with up to 30 students.

                Animals as Story Starters: Stories ideas come from our real-world experiences with people, places, and things. One great source of inspiration is animals in their natural environments. In this workshop, we’ll use animal behaviours, habitats, and adaptations to generate story characters, settings, and conflicts.

                Witty Words, Awesome Animals: A Poetry Workshop: Kids will use their “poetry toolkits” to uncover meaning and music in a variety of animal poems, then generate their own. Includes an exploration of poetic techniques such as similes and metaphors, alliteration, consonance, assonance, and onomatopoeia, as well as a look into animal behaviour, habitats, and adaptations.

                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. Jen offers picture book manuscript critiques as well.

                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.

                General Equipment needs: For in-person visits, laptop with PowerPoint or Google Slides (Jen will bring her own laptop if it can be connected to school projector, otherwise she will bring a USB stick), digital projector and screen for presentation, microphone if the space is larger than a classroom, chair or stool. 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:

                    Crawley, Oksanna (Brampton, ON)

                    CANSCAIP and SCBWI member. Author/Illustrator of picture books, early reader books. Available for virtual presentations or in-person presentations for grades K-8. Oksanna lives in Brampton, Ontario.

                    Virtual presentation (30 minutes or 1 hour) $100.00

                    In-person presentation (1- 2 hours)  $250.00 (ability to project images from author’s laptop, prefers one or two classes)

                    Oksanna is the co-author and illustrator of the picture book, PIRATE GLITTERBEARD, published by Rebel Mountain Press.

                    “My class giggled with delight as I read this book to them. They loved the whimsical characters and the vibrant pictures. Pirate Glitterbeard breaks down all the stereotypes of how a pirate should act and look. This book should definitely be on the shelves of EVERY classroom. Highly recommended.” ~Karen Williams teacher/librarian

                    Oksanna has also written a non-fiction book for children about her favourite Canadian artist, Tom Thomson, which will be published in 2024 by Fitzhenry and Whiteside.

                    A series of over 30 books for early readers, SUPER HAMMY’S ADVENTURES, which she wrote and illustrated is available from Blueberry Hill Books.

                    Oksanna is a retired teacher and would be happy to tailor her presentation to the needs of your students. She loves to talk about how a book comes to life from idea to final product, how to approach illustrating a picture book from thumbnail sketch to final illustration, how to construct or plot a story, how to write a non-fiction book, etc.

                    School Presentations include a PowerPoint presentation

                    Contact Oksanna to book a visit: