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.


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)

    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

        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.

          $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.


              • 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)

                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:

                  McLellan, Stephanie Simpson (Newmarket, ON)

                  Writers Union Member. English. Fiction (Picture Book and Mid Grade), Mr. Christie Award winner, Ruth Schwartz Award Winner, 2022 Blue Spruce Award Honour Book. Grades K-3 and Grades 5-8.

                  In-Person Visits: $300 plus HST for 1 session, $500 for 2, $750 for 3 and $1000 for 4, + travel (50 cents per kilometer, round-trip for SW ON).

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

                  Stephanie is the award-winning author of six picture books and one mid-grade novel. She reviewed children’s books for twelve years for Today’s Parent magazine (for which she got to interview the legendary Maurice Sendak!), operated an online bookstore for a few years called Neverending Stories, and wrote several scripts for the gemini-nominated children’s television series Roll Play (on Treehouse).

                  Her books have won and been shortlisted for several awards (Mr. Christie Award, Ruth Schwartz Award, Chocolate Lily Award, CNIB Tiny Torgi Award, Crystal Kite Award and Blue Spruce Award) and have received starred and recommended reviews from Kirkus, CCBC, CBC Books, Quill & Quire, School Library Journal, Resource Links, TVO Kids, Chickadee Magazine, The Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, City Parent, CanLit for Little Canadians and CM Magazine.

                  A passionate promoter of literacy, Stephanie has toured twice for TD Canadian Children’s Book Week: to Labrador in 2014 and Northwest Territories in 2018. Surrounding the release of her 2017 picture book, The Christmas Wind, Stephanie worked with almost 1,700 primary students in every province and territory of Canada (plus one school in Australia) on a unique literacy initiative that resulted in over 13,000 student drawings of her characters Jo, Murdock and the wind. Widely profiled by CBC, The Christmas Wind Story Project involved the Canadian Children’s Book Centre in the spring of 2016 and was a top 10 finalist in the 2016 CST Inspired Minds Learning Project Contest.

                  Presentation Description

                  During Stephanie’s school presentations for grades K-3, she encourages children to look for and understand their own creativity by sharing the stories behind her stories, how these stories/ideas turn into books, and what it’s like to write for a living. Specifically, she has four goals with each school presentation:

                  • To entertain students with a dramatic reading of her books so they will come to know and care about her characters and about the value of story
                  • To stir the writer/creator inside each student by sharing the stories behind her stories, thus empowering them to see the connection between their own lives and their own potential works of art
                  • To create a natural bridge to relevant, valuable and interesting learning (e.g.Hoogie in the Middle – a simile exercise; Leon’s Song – a mini science quiz on how frogs survive the winter)
                  • To give students a sense of what goes into the creation of a book (the illustrator, the publisher, the ideas) and what it’s like to write for a living 

                  For grades 5-8, Stephanie will focus on her mid grade novel Sully, Messed Up to explore themes of self-esteem, identity, life choices, social-emotional learning and bullying.

                  Ahead of each school visit Stephanie creates a school specific page on her website to help teachers and students prepare for her visit.

                  Maximum group size: 50-60 for optimum interaction 

                  Equipment required: a table, an easel (for presentation boards), water, microphone for larger groups or in the gym.

                  Contact Stephanie to book a visit:

                    Garbutt, Loretta (Toronto, ON)

                    Loretta Garbutt is based in Toronto, ON and developed a passion for children’s books while working at a local bookstore where she was a storyteller, bookseller and reviewer. In this magical world, Loretta was also thrilled to be putting books into the hands of tomorrow’s big readers.

                    Loretta has been a writer and voice performer for over 30 years and worked on many wonderful animated shows including Babar, Julius Jr. and the unforgettable Max and Ruby and her interaction with groups of children is one of her favourite things to do. 

                    Loretta has been enjoying class visits since her first picture book, A Stopwatch from Grampa was published in 2020. 

                    She loves the one on one discussions with students and the questions and surprises that follow. Loretta likes to keep her presentations fresh full of interaction with writing prompts and simple games.


                    • TWUC member
                    • Canscaip member and reader for The Writing for Children Competition.
                    • SCBWI member

                    PRESENTS TO…

                    • English
                    • JK-GR 4

                    30-min presentation rate – $150


                    A Stopwatch from Grampa was given a starred review from Kirkus and The School Library Journal. The book was also named one of Kirkus’ Best Books of 2020. Kirkus: “An excellent and understated portrayal of grief from a children’s perspective.”

                    From Canadian Review of materials: A Stopwatch from Grampa would make a strong choice for parents, teachers, and librarians to read with young children who have experienced loss. The picture book may provoke discussion about dealing with grief as well as the memories and mementos from loved ones who have passed. Highly Recommended.

                    Class presentations for this title focus on how the objects we have, like a stopwatch, can remind us of those we love. Her presentation includes the fun of timing games, family memories we love to share and the illustrator’s (Carmen Mok) influence on the story. 

                    Kids Can Press – May/2022

                    • And J.J. Slept is a story about family and what makes a house a home.
                    • From the Canadian Review of Materials: 
                    • Garbutt only mentions in the beginning that J.J. is adopted when he is brought to his new family by the adoption worker. Otherwise, adoption is not necessarily the focus of this book, but rather it’s the meaning of home and family, whether adopted or not. For some people, that could be a quiet home in the countryside or an energetic life in the city. In the case of And J.J. Slept, home for J.J. becomes a lively and busy household full of the sounds and love of his siblings and parents. 

                    Class presentations for this title include discussion around what it means to be a part of a family and the different types of families. 

                     What are some of your fun traditions, sleep rituals and the games you play together? 

                    Contact Loretta to book a visit…