Children's Authors' Ally LLC

Connecting Schools With the Books and Authors Kids Love!



Andrea Davis Pinkney

Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of many books for children and young adults, including picture books, novels, works of historical fiction and non-fiction.

Andrea’s books include the novel Bird In a Box, hailed by Kirkus in a starred review as “artfully orchestrated. . . with grace, restraint, and a wealth of historical detail.” She is also the author of the forthcoming novel With the Might of Angels, a book in Scholastic’s Dear America series. Her picture book include: Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down, a Parenting Publication Gold Medal winner and winner of the Carter G. Woodson Award, Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride, a 2010 Jane Addams Honor Book and School Library Journal
“Best Book of the Year”; the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book, Let it Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters, which also won the Carter G. Woodson Award for historical works for young people; Duke Ellington, a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation, a featured selection on Oprah and Friends radio.
Andrea was named one of the “25 Most Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal, a publication for Black professionals. And, she was among “The 25 Most Influential People in Our Children’s Lives” featured in Children’s Health Magazine.
Andrea lives in New York City with her husband, award-winning illustrator Brian Pinkney, and their two children.  The Pinkneys can present together or separately. They are well-versed in serving children of many ages and developmental stages, including those who have learning disabilities.

Andrea’s presentation is very interactive and fun for students and teachers, children and adults. It involves a power point, audience participation, show-and-tell, and lots of feedback from participants. She also reads from her books. Presentations are tailored for each audience. She also delivers keynote addresses at universities and colleges, publishing workshops, and curriculum training.


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

Brian Pinkney

Brian Pinkney, award-winning children’s book author and illustrator, delivers a motivating, inspirational presentation based on the books he has written and illustrated. These works include but are not limited to: Duke Ellington, Max Found Two Sticks, Alvin Ailey, Ella Fitzgerald, and SIT-IN. The program consists of storytelling, a PowerPoint presentation, and an interactive rhythm and scat activity. Mr. Pinkney was awarded the Caldecott Honor for The Faithful Friend and Duke Ellington. SIT-IN: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down (written by Andrea Pinkney), was on the New York Times Picture Book Best Seller List in February 2010.

To learn more about Mr. Pinkney, go to

To view a video interview of Brian and Andrea Pinkney discussing SIT-IN: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down, visit

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

James Preller

James Preller is best known as the author of the “Jigsaw Jones” mystery series, now back in print and published by Macmillan. There’s a brand-new, never-before-published title, The Case from Outer Space, plus eight classroom classics, revised and newly available for the first time in years. His wide-range of books are appropriate for readers K-8 and include: The Pirates Guide to First Grade, the popular “Scary Tales” series, The Courage Test, Six Innings, Better Off Undead (October 2017, hardcover), Bystander and more.

When asked to describe his school visits, James says, “I am relaxed and confident speaking with students at any grade level, though, of course, the content of those talks varies according to age level. Fortunately, I’ve written a range of books that are appropriate for kindergarten up to middle school. Typically, I’ll do three 45-50 minutes presentations during a full-day visit. In addition, schools sometimes like to set up lunches with a small group of students, and I’ve always enjoyed that. I am happy and honored to sign books. For the best results, I’ve found that it makes a huge difference when students are familiar with my work and have thought about questions in advance. Like everything else in life, what you get out of it is in proportion to the energy that’s put into it. If the school leaders are excited and enthusiastic, that energy transfers to the students –- and we all have a terrific, rewarding experience. I don’t juggle, blow bubbles, or put on slide shows. I’m just an author talking about what I do for a living, reading a bit, answering questions, all (hopefully) in an entertaining fashion.”

James Preller lives in Delmar, New York. He blogs regularly at

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

Tish Rabe

Tish Rabe is an award-winning, best-selling children’s book author who has
written over 170 books for Sesame Street, Disney, Blue’s Clues, Curious
George, Clifford, Huff and Puff and many more. In 1995, following the death of Dr. Seuss, she was selected by Dr. Seuss Enterprises to create The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library, a series of science books for early readers. A spin-off television series based on the books The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about That! premiered on PBS kids in 2010. To date Tish has written over 50 Cat in the Hat books. She is also an Advisory Board Member of Reach Out and Read Connecticut and a passionate advocate for the importance of early childhood literacy. She tours the country doing School Author Visits and getting students excited about reading and writing. Ms. Rabe lives in Mystic, CT and New York City .

Learn more on Tish Rabe’s website.

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

Doreen Rappaport


Doreen specializes in multicultural history and stories. Librarians have praised her fifty non-fiction and historical fiction books for their meticulous research and varied literary styles. Younger readers have told her she helped “hook them” into reading history.  Doreen’s books have their share of awards, and she received a lifetime achievement award for the writing of non-fiction from the Washington Post-Children’s Book Guild.

How do authors get ideas?  Translate them into fiction or nonfiction? Plow through stumbling blocks? Deal with criticism? Using examples from among my fifty books, Doreen opens the exciting process of writing, research, thinking and revision to children.  She empowers their writing by showing them how she discovers her voice. By sharing her writing process, Ms. Rappaport encourages theirs.

Well versed in the rhythms of children and the curriculum from seven years of teaching, Doreen hand tailors programs to the needs of individual schools. Her programs include writing workshops, women’s history, African-American history, and the classic author appearance. Her teacher guides on her website help prepare students prepare for her visit.

For more on Ms. Rappaport and her books, visit

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

Pat Schories

Pat Schories is the author/illustrator of the wordless Jack books and illustrator of the popular Biscuit beginning readers. She especially enjoys presenting to the very youngest of students, and has prepared a school program for grades K-1. She will talk about how a book illustrator does his job and show the children sketches, book dummies, and finished art. Her slide presentation includes several complete stories of both BISCUIT and JACK as well as pictures of her studio, her models, and her art supplies. Pat concludes with sketching, and answering any questions the students may have. In the course of a school day, she will present up to four 45-minute presentations. Based in the New York metropolitan area, Pat is available for school programs in the Northeast.

For learn more about Ms. Schories, visit

Or view a video interview at:

Grade Levels: Grades K-2
Genres: Fiction

Roni Schotter

Award-winning author of 30 books, Roni Schotter communicates her passion for the power and pleasure of words and story.  She speaks to children as “fellow writers,” encouraging them to turn their ideas, events & feelings into their own nonfiction or fiction.  With younger grades, she reads and speaks simply and directly about the magic of books and story, suggesting they ask, “what if?” to trigger their imaginations.  In grades 2-6, she emphasizes the writing tips embedded in Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street, used in many schools to inspire writing.  She imparts her enthusiasm for savory, surprising words by sharing The Boy Who Loved Words.  Linking in other books, e.g. Doo-Wop Pop, Mama, I’ll Give You The World, and her semi-autobiographical story, The House of Joyful Living, she shows how she used the writing techniques described in 90th Street to pen them.  With older grades, she uses her Underground Railroad novel, F is For Freedom, to discuss the need & pleasure of doing research to tell certain stories.  With all grades, she shows her own very rough drafts to underscore the fact that even professional writers need to revise their own work.  Encouraging children to rewrite, she convinces them that it can be fun!  A former editor, she shows the components of a book from manuscript to press sheet, to f&g, to binding.  Roni’s aim is to inspire children–to convince them that language is fun and that anyone who chooses to can write easily and well!

Roni is especially thrilled to introduce her two latest titles, All About Grandma’s and Go, Little Green Truck! 

More information on Ms. Schotter’s books can be found at

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

Bob Shea



Bob Shea has written and illustrated over a dozen picture books including the popular Dinosaur vs. Bedtime and the cult favorite Big Plans illustrated by Lane Smith.

His characters and animations have appeared on Nick Jr, Playhouse Disney and PBS Kids.

Bob spends his days writing, drawing and having “conversations” with NPR.

Please visit Bob Shea’s website for more information.

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

Charles R. Smith Jr.

Charles R. Smith Jr. is a children’s author and photographer, and the 2010 Winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration.  He is the is the author of over twenty books, including but not limited to: My People, Chameleon, Winning Words, Hoop Kings, I Am America, Twelve Rounds to Glory The Story of Muhammad Ali, and The Mighty 12 Superheroes of Greek Myths. Regarding his school visits, Charles says, “I truly enjoy visiting schools and meeting the kids that read my books. The children are an inspiration to me. My hope is to plant a seed that they too can write and take photos, and to achieve any goal by reading. I talk about life as a professional photographer and writer, and where my career has taken me in the world and what goes into creating a photograph. I also talk about each book, perform poems and discuss how and why I did things the way I did.  When it comes to my poetry, I try to bring the words to life by performing them so students and teachers can see the power of words at work. I also discuss my interests as a person and how that determines what projects I might do.”

Charles can be found on the web at

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

Melissa Sweet

As author and illustrator, Melissa Sweet’s presentations begin with the question:  Which comes first, words or images? Melissa shows materials used in making a picture book, from sketches to the art and the unbound pages of the final book. She talks about where ideas come from and the process of drawing, revising and editing. For each presentation, Melissa has a slide show with images of her studio, and using one title appropriate for the age group, Melissa shows slides of the making of that title. Some of the titles include: the Sleepy Little Alphabet, Carmine: a Little More Red, and the Caldecott Honor book, A River of Words. Next, she provides a small drawing booklet for each student and draws with the class showing simple cartooning techniques. The presentation concludes with questions and answers and a chance talk about upcoming books and projects.

To find out more about Melissa’s work, go to

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