Children's Authors' Ally LLC

Connecting Schools With the Books and Authors Kids Love!


Grades 3-5

David A. Adler

David A. Adler is the author of 220 books including all the Cam Jansen Mysteries and the Picture Book Biography Series.  When he speaks to children he follows a book from idea through the research, writing, rewriting, editing, galleys, illustration, and printing steps.  For just about every step there is a demonstration of one kind or another. The demonstrations differ depending on the age/grade level of the audience.

To read more about Mr. Adler’s books, visit

To view a video interview of Mr. Adler, see

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

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

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

Peter Catalanotto


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


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

Ying Chang Compestine

Ying shares with students how her life in China inspired her writing, her journey as a writer and the challenges of writing in her second language. For younger grades, Ying utilizes a PowerPoint presentation using pictures of her life growing up in China to introduce students to Chinese culture, its delicious food and how she was inspired. She engages them in hands on activities, teaching them how to make dumplings or use chopsticks. Additionally, she presents a video from a Discovery TV show featuring her picture book The Run Away Rice Cake, which introduces the Chinese New Year, the values of sharing and compassion. For older grades, she discusses the writing and editing process, developing ideas, and researching. She shares the process of writing her award-winning novel, Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party, which was inspired by her childhood in China. She gives a PowerPoint presentation showing the locations and people that inspired her stories. Revolution is Not a Dinner Party has been chosen for the One Book, One County program for San Mateo County, CA, and has been selected as a required reading book for many schools. In addition to speaking about her writing, Ying can also present healthy Asian eating and lifestyles, conducting healthy cooking classes for teachers, parents and older students. The classes are popular auction items.

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

Why I Wrote Revolutionan interview with the Children’s Book Council

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

Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2 , Middle 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

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

Nina Crews

NinaNina Crews has been sharing her unique photo-collage picture books with schoolchildren since 1996. She brings her studio to her audience by showing examples of the tools she uses and discussing where and how she works.
She also shares about the experience of growing up in a picture book family, and how that has influenced her work. She is the daughter of picture book authors Donald Crews and Ann Jonas.

Nina tailors her programs to the age of her audience. With the youngest she keeps her points simple – thinking in pictures, using a camera, collage and where ideas come from, and she spends some time reading or singing songs from her books. With older children she talks more technically about what she does: the hard work of writing and rewriting – showing drafts and sketches, what happens at a typical a photography session, and when feasible a Photoshop demonstration of her technique.

Whatever the age, she devotes time towards the end of the session to questions. She understands that for many children, her visit is an opportunity to talk with a real live book author, and considers this dialog as meaningful as her presentation.

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

Cynthia DeFelice

Cynthia truly enjoys the opportunity to meet her readers and talk with them about her books and the writing process. As the author of both picture books and novels for middle-grade readers, she has programs for students in grades Pre-K through Grade 8.  Cynthia tailors the depth of her program to the students’ ages, but always talks about getting ideas (we all have them!) and turning those ideas into satisfying stories. Including storytelling for the youngest children, Cynthia’s enthusiasm for her craft is infectious. Your students will come away inspired to write and to read!  A few of Ms. DeFelice’s recent titles are: The Ghost and Mrs. Hobbs, Signal, The Missing Manatee, and One Potato, Two Potato.

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

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