Douglas Florian has written and illustrated more than 50 books for children. 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 College Best Book of the Year, and Poetrees, which School Library Journal called an “exquisite collection.” His book How to Draw a Dragon was starred in a Booklist review and was an amazon.com Best Book of the Year. In 2015 Holiday House published his easy reader Pig Is Big On Books. More recently The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits was published by Little Bee Books. It received a starred review from School Library Journal (Dec) and a glowing review from Kirkus. Last year Beach Lane Books published his Friends and Foes: Poems About Us All. School Library Journal called it, “An amazing collection to read aloud and share with a group—add this new favorite to poetry shelves.”
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 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.