Children's Authors' Ally LLC

Connecting Schools With the Books and Authors Kids Love!

 

Fiction

Phil Bildner

Phil Bildner is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books for kids. He is the author of many children’s picture books including the Margaret Wise Brown Prize winning Marvelous Cornelius, the Texas Bluebonnet Award winning Shoeless Joe & Black Betsy, Martina & Chrissie, Twenty-One Elephants, The Soccer Fence, The Hallelujah Flight, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Night at the Stadium and The Unforgettable Season. He is also the author of A Whole New Ballgame, Rookie of the Year, and Tournament of Champions, the first three books in the critically acclaimed middle grade Rip & Red series, and along with Loren Long, the co-creator of the middle grade serial, Sluggers.

Phil grew up in Jericho, New York, a Long Island suburb of New York City. He studied political science at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and then attended law school at New York University School of Law. After passing the bar in New York and New Jersey, Phil landed a job as an associate at a prestigious Manhattan law firm, but he quickly realized the legal profession wasn’t his true passion. He always loved teaching and working with kids, so he went back to school and earned a master’s degree in early childhood and elementary education from Long Island University.

For eleven years, Phil taught in the New York City Public Schools. Teaching fifth and sixth grade in the Tremont section of the Bronx, his classroom often lacked basic supplies. As a result, he built an innovative ELA curriculum around song lyrics and music. Dave Matthews, Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler, Lauryn Hill, and Wyclef Jean all visited his classroom. Teaching middle school English and American History on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Phil continued to integrate music and the arts into his curriculum, working with the Lincoln Center Institute, Broadway shows (Wicked, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), and Off-Broadway shows (Def Poetry Jam, De la Guarda).

After leaving the classroom to write full time, Phil began chaperoning student-volunteer trips to New Orleans to help in the post-Hurricane Katrina recovery effort. He founded The NOLA Tree, a non-profit youth service organization and served as the Executive Director.

These days, Phil lives in Newburgh, New York with his husband in a two hundred year old farmhouse. Most of the time, you’ll find him out in the yard playing with his dog named Kat or writing on the back porch (aka, his office) overlooking the Hudson River.

 

 
Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2
 
Genres: Fiction , Nonfiction
 

Harry Bliss

Harry Bliss is an internationally syndicated cartoonist and cover artist for the New Yorker magazine. His self-titled single panel gag cartoon, Bliss, appears in major newspapers across the United States and Japan. Bliss also illustrates books for children. Bliss’ first children’s book, A Fine, Fine School by Newbery-Medal-winning author Sharon Creech, was a New York Times best seller. Bliss went on to illustrate Which Would You Rather Be? by William Steig, and Countdown to Kindergarten and Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth, both by Alison McGhee. Bliss has also created the pictures for Diary of a Worm , Diary of a Spider, and Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin, all New York Times best sellers. Other best sellers include Don’t Forget to Come Back by Robie H. Harris, A Very Brave Witch by Alison McGhee and Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo.

 

School Visits

Since 2004 Bliss has visited many schools and interacted with thousands of children all over the world teaching comics/drawing/satire. Bliss has travelled to Peru, Bucharest, Moscow, Singapore, Dubai and the United States. The goal with these school visits is to demonstrate the need for creating thinking through drawing. With accessible language for kids and educators and aided by a fun interactive ‘scribble’ game, Bliss seeks to illuminate perception based on the act of drawing. He begins with images of his work (some biographical images, cartoons, books), followed by an interactive drawing game (He asks kids to come up and make scribbles, then turns their scribbles into funny things) and finishes with questions and answers. The program lasts 45 minutes and the format is PowerPoint Images for 20 minutes, Scribble Game for 20 minutes and
Q and A for 5 to 15 minutes

Mistakes Are Good
One of the things Harry tries to stress in his programs is patience and how our perceived ‘mistakes’ are in fact, signs of growth and accomplishment. Most adults often say ‘I loved to draw when I was a kid,’ so, why did they stop?  Children all over the world draw, it’s a visceral art form and it should be a life-long activity. He is  convinced that children stop drawing when they become frustrated and believes it’s frustration which contributes to a decline in creativity. He brings this understanding to children so they can move forward in art and life with a more curious attitude about so-called mistakes.

 

 
Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2
 
Genres: Fiction
 

Elise Broach

Elise Broach is the author of more than twenty award-winning books for children, ranging from board books and picture books to young adult novels. Her middle-grade mystery, Masterpiece, was a New York Times bestseller and the winner of the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award of the Association of Booksellers for Children, and her picture book When Dinosaurs Came with Everything was named Time Magazine’s #1 Children’s Book of the Year. Elise lives in the woods of Connecticut with her family and one much-loved, badly behaved dog. Her books have appeared on more than a dozen state reading lists, and she loves talking to school children about the writing process, story structure, and how to write mysteries.

Elise’s school visits consist of 50-minute presentations tailored to the age and reading interests of the audience. For grades K-2, she gives a presentation called “From Idea to Story,” which focuses on the path from initial inspiration to finished book, using one or two of her picture books as examples. This presentation covers where we get our ideas, creating memorable characters, the key parts of a story, the illustration process, and the importance of revision.
For grades 3-5 and 6-8, Elise gives a presentation on mystery-writing that focuses on the elements of a good mystery, building suspense, the value of research, and the revision process. This presentation can be tailored to a particular book – Masterpiece, Shakespeare’s Secret, the Superstition Mountain trilogy, or The Wolf Keepers – if large numbers of students have read a single title.

Elise also offers writing workshops focusing on mystery and suspense, and special presentations designed for schools participating in a One School, One Book program using Masterpiece (and its companion series for younger grades, The Masterpiece Adventures). For more information on Elise’s school programs, please see: www.elisebroach.com/visits/

 
Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2 , Middle School
 
Genres: Fiction
 

Nick Bruel

2278885Nick Bruel is the author and illustrator of New York Times bestseller Boing, Bad Kitty, Bad Kitty Gets a Bath and Bad Kitty Meets the Baby, among others. Nick is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist, and during his down time, he collects PEZ dispensers and grows tomatoes in the backyard. He lives in Tarrytown, NY with his wife Carina and their lovely cat Esmerelda.

 

 

 
Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2
 
Genres: Fiction
 

Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Alyssa Satin Capucilli is the award-winning author of the best selling BISCUIT series for emergent readers and numerous other books as well. Believing that we are all writers with stories to tell and to share, the creation of a book from inception through publication is explored through a highly interactive presentation. Gathering ideas, weaving together words, and developing a world for characters to live in are all explored in a fun and accessible program that is appropriately tailored for both intimate and large groups. Students, even the youngest, are encouraged to engage in the writing process with the author and to explore how our most beloved characters are invented. Depending on the size of the group, puppetry and storytelling, may be incorporated.  Ms. Capucilli is delighted to present writing workshops for all grade levels.  Workshops for staff development are available as well.

To read more about Ms. Capucilli’s books and find reproducible literary activities, visit www.alyssacapucilli.com

 
Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2
 
Genres: Fiction
 

Peter Catalanotto

Pic2013

In the words of Peter Catalanotto:

Since 1990, I’ve presented in over 1500 schools in 40 states, showing my creative process from inspiration to finished book. I demonstrate basic strategies for getting ideas and developing them.

Many children feel there’s nothing in their lives interesting enough about which to write. I show them how the simplest things from everyday life can become an interesting and imaginative story.

I also draw in each program, showing tips and techniques that children are eager to try.

Following a visit, many teachers have written to tell me how inspired and empowered their students were to write and draw after leaving my program. Some have told me children will want to stay in from recess to create a story or they’ve asked if they can take their journals with them out to the playground.

I tailor each program for different ages and I have presentations appropriate for grades Kindergarten through 5th.

I also have a presentation that I do for educators at conferences and in-services. I show teachers many basic, child-friendly strategies to inspire even the most reluctant writer.    I also give the teachers tips to make them more confident as writers and writing instructors.

I’ve published over 45 books for children, 16 of which I’ve written, including Ivan the Terrier, Matthew A. B. C. and Emily’s Art. The first of my early reader series; Monkey & Robot was released in January, 2013. More of Monkey & Robot will be released in early 2014. I’ve illustrated for some wonderful writers including Cynthia Rylant, Mary Pope Osborne, Joanne Ryder, Megan McDonald, George Ella Lyon and Robert Burleigh.

In 2013 I taught the first children’s book writing class at Columbia University and have been invited back to instruct a more extensive course.

Learn more at Peter’s website www.petercatalanotto.com

 

 
Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2
 
Genres: Fiction
 

Ying Compestine

Award-winning author of over twenty books, Ying Compestine is a sought-after inspirational speaker who has visited schools all over the world. Her keen interest in cuisine has led her to weave food into her writing — from cookbooks, novels, to picture books for young readers. Schools often invite her to present from primary, upper elementary students, to teachers and parents. Besides assemblies, Ying also offers a week-long Writer-in-Residence program, writing workshops, as well as hands-on cooking demonstrations on healthy eating and cooking.

Her highly acclaimed novel about her life growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution, Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party, has received over 33 national awards and has been selected as required reading in schools around the world. Several of her works are currently being optioned for film adaptations, television series, and video games.

Presentations

For Younger Grades will highlight:

  • Her life as a writer growing up in China, emphasizing the rich culture and delicious food that are main themes in her books
  • The inspiration of behind writing her picture books
  • One of the short cooking videos of her preparing the recipes from The Runaway Rice Cake or Boy Dumplings

For Older Grades will highlight:

  • Her journey writing her novel Revolution is Not a Dinner Party, based on her life growing up in China
  • The process of writing a story: developing ideas, researching, writing, and revising
  • The importance of rewriting, with examples of her revision process from A Banquet for Hungry Ghost
  • The bittersweet experience of co-authoring Secrets of the Terra-Cotta Soldier with her high-school son, as well as their research and writing process.

Here are some photos of her recent school visits.

Here are some photos and a video of her cooking the recipes from her books with students after reading their favorite stories.

Here are some of Ying’s cooking videos

 

Watch how to make dumplings Recipe from her picture book Boy Dumplings.

Watch how to make Rice cakes Recipe from her picture book Runaway Rice cake

Upcoming:

  1. New picture book The Chinese Emperor’s New Clothes, January 9th 2018
  2. Ying’s bilingual picture book, Boy Dumplings is being developed into a TV series
  3. Ying’s award winning novel, Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party, is being adapted into a feature film
  4. Ying’s MG Secrets of the Terra-Cotta Soldier is also optioned by a studio to be adapted into an animated film

What people say about Ying’s visits

 

“Students from kindergarten to fifth grade enjoyed presentations that enriched their writing skills and understanding of other cultures. Chopsticks-using contests and videos made Ms. Compestine’s words even more memorable!”

– Joanne Endo, Teacher, Baker Elementary School

“Ms. Compestine was a wonderful speaker and enthralled everyone from kindergarten through 8th grade.  Her personal stories are woven with her books in an entertaining and thoughtful way. The kids continue to talk about her visit.”

— David Giff, Middle School Librarian, HPA, Hawaii

“Ying took German Swiss International School (Primary) by storm.  Everything was well prepared and she left us wanting more. We definitely want her back and wait for her next book.”

– Megan Lindsay, Teacher-Librarian, German Swiss International School

“Ying Compestine just completed a highly successful visit to our Middle School Division at Singapore American School. She had engaging conversations with students and teachers throughout her stay and made separate presentations to our 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. We would love to have Ying back to SAS in the future for a longer stay. ”

Ron Starker, SAS Librarian, Singapore American School

“The students were inspired by your life story and how it influenced your writing.  Teachers were pleased with your many writing tips for the students, especially the photos of the pages of rewrites!  You artfully modified your presentation to fit the audience grade level.  We hope that you will come to our school again.”

— Linda Reser, Librarian, ‘Iolani School, Hawaii

For information on Ms. Compestine’s books and presentations, visit www.yingc.com

Why I Wrote Revolution– an interview with the Children’s Book Council

 

 

 
Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2 , Middle School , Upper School
 
Genres: Fiction
 

Bruce Coville

Bruce Coville has published nearly 100 books, and won children’s choice awards in over a dozen states. He is also an acclaimed speaker who has presented in schools on five continents and been commissioned four times by the Syracuse Symphony to create original stories to perform with the orchestra. Bruce’s basic presentation opens with Bruce storytelling the first two chapters of his book The Monster’s Ring. He then tells the story-behind-the-story of how the book was written and revised, using an engaging mix of comedy, motivation, and serious writing instruction. The hour long session includes the famous “puddle story,” which has inspired writers from third grade through working professionals. For audiences below third grade Bruce offers a shorter presentation about the creation of his first picture book, The Foolish Giant. He can also provide writing workshops and small group instruction. You can find him on the web at http://www.brucecoville.com

 
Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2 , Middle School
 
Genres: Fiction
 

DyAnne DiSalvo

Writer and illustrator, DyAnne DiSalvo’s trade mark theme of “Helping Neighborhoods ©”, has been featured on Reading Rainbow, (Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen) and theatre productions, (City Green).  She received a Congressional Commendation from the State of New Jersey for her book, Grandpa’s Corner Store, a story which makes “children…realize that they are not always powerless, that they can make a difference.” (School Library Journal).

Based on the real life inspirations that make her children’s books come alive,  DyAnne inspires students to “never give up” and take action in their neighborhoods.  From her growing-up years in Brooklyn, New York, DyAnne narrates a humorous and lively PowerPoint  presentation including rejection letters, re-writes, book dummies, and crayon character drawing which is donated to the event.

“The Sloppy Copy Slipup” which was written for reluctant readers and writers is also based on the authors experience as an unwilling bookworm !  Writer’s Workshops are available for grades 3-5.

To find out more about DyAnne’s work and school visits:  www.dyannedisalvo.com

 
Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2
 
Genres: Fiction