Children's Authors' Ally LLC

Connecting Schools With the Books and Authors Kids Love!

 

Poetry

Douglas Florian

Douglas Florian has written and illustrated more than 50 children’s books. These include beast feast, winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, insectlopedia, a national bestseller featured on National Public Radio and The Today Show, Dinothesaurus, a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, and UnBEElievables, now in its 5th printing. Recently Beach Lane Books published his How to Draw a Dragon, which received a starred review in Booklist and was called in Kirkus Reviews a “rhyming romp (that) will no doubt spur multiple requests for rereading—and redrawing.” In 2016 Little Bee Books published his The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits, which received a starred review from School Library Journal (Dec) and a glowing review from Kirkus. The sequel, The Curious Cares of Bears is being published August 29th, 2017.

He’s also visited more than 800 schools throughout America as an author and artist. In his high-energy presentations to students (grades K-8) he illuminates the entire process of creating a book, using humor and audience participation to generate excitement and understanding. He discusses where he gets his ideas and the importance of research. He shows his original artwork and book dummy, as well as the printer’s proofs. And he demonstrates how the editor and designer work with him to improve both the text and art for the book. From there Florian moves on to poetry, relating its different aspects and elements, such as rhyme, rhythm, repetition, wordplay, personification, alliteration, and, of course, imagination. He enthusiastically recites poems from his books of humorous verse, while holding up blowups of the illustrations. He encourages choral and echo reading with the students. He then finishes with a large‑scale drawing demonstration (kids love it!) and answers any questions the students may have. His presentations connect science and non-fiction with poetry and creative writing. And they convey and express his love of poetry to the students and teachers.

More on Mr. Florian’s art  and poetry can be found at      http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=1624

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

Ted Scheu


Ted Scheu makes writing fun! One moment he’s a gigglebone-tickling poet, sharing his funny, ‘heartful’ verses aloud in a rollicking, interactive assembly. Next, he’s an inspiring, energetic teacher—of kids and teachers—zooming around their class, helping them look carefully at their world and find their own writer’s voices, while sharing the power and fun of poems.

Ted’s goal is to connect with kids—to get them excited about writing, and, secondarily, to get their teachers excited about teaching writing (Ted has taught grades K to 5 in Vermont)—all the while getting rave reviews from kids, teachers, and parents. Ted does single or multi-day residencies with 4-5 presentations per day with students in Kindergarten through Sixth grade.  Before each program, Ted sends along complimentary books and a workshop ‘menu’ from which teachers choose—figurative language, revision, writing from the heart, rhyming, or customized workshops. Each child—even the most hesitant writer— succeeds in writing a poem draft in each class, and begins the revision process.

Ted also does teacher workshops, evening family events (where kids and parents write and laugh together) and ‘virtual visits’ via Skype. Each school Ted visits can do a Skype follow-up visit with him a month or so later, to check in.

Ted’s poems appear in over a dozen anthologies and collections  in the US and UK, including his family poems, “I Froze My Mother,” his school poems, “I Tickled My Teachers,” and his sports poems, “I Threw My Brother Out.”

Learn more about Ted at www.poetryguy.com. You will not be disappointed!

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

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 www.charlesrsmithjr.com

http://books.simonandschuster.com/My-People/Langston-Hughes/9781416935407

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

Janet Wong

Janet Wong is the author of 21 books, a wide variety of topics and genres for a K-8 audience that includes pictures books, poetry collections, chapter books, and books about writing. Her work has been featured on CNN and Oprah and she has read at the White House. About a quarter of her titles celebrate her Chinese and Korean heritage, such as This Next New Year (about the Lunar New Year as a time for hope). Several of her books will spark lively discussion: Me and Rolly Maloo, a “hybrid” graphic novel ideal for grades 3-5, centers on an incident where 4th graders cheat on a math test.

Perhaps what is best about Janet’s work, in terms of school visits, is its appeal to the whole school community: P.E. teachers will want to use TWIST: Yoga Poems, art teachers will want to lead recycled-art projects based on The Dumpster Diver, and chess-playing families will want to make their own lists of “Top 10 Chess Tips” inspired by Alex and the Wednesday Chess Club.

Janet does 4 presentations per day, typically an all-school assembly and three writing workshops. Her assembly is a high-energy, interactive mix of storytelling, poetry performance, and explanation of the publishing process. Children love her suitcase of props (with each prop connected to a poem or story), while teachers and parents enjoy hearing about Janet’s transition from lawyer to published author. Janet packs the writing workshop with tips on craft and makes it easy for students to write an excellent first draft of a poem (providing the basis for an exercise in revision that teachers can continue in their classrooms). The most-reluctant readers and writers often become fans of poetry after one of Janet’s visits!

Learn more about Janet at www.janetwong.com

To view an interview with Ms. Wong, visit http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/wong

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