Laurie Keller is the author of many delightful books for children, including the American Library Association’s 2017 Theodor Geisel Medal Winner from the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading Series We Are Growing as well as The Scrambled States of America, Open Wide: Tooth School Inside, Do Unto Otters, Potato Pants!, Arnie the Doughnut, and the delightfully silly spin-off chapter books series The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut. Laurie’s presentation is typically 50-60 minutes long but can be shortened if necessary. She spends the first 20 minutes showing a Powerpoint presentation about her books, her favorite childhood books, her childhood and college artwork and any current books she’s working on. The next 20-30 minutes is all interactive with Laurie and the students drawing together and discussing the writing process. Laurie shows them some of her cartooning tricks and how they can apply them to their own drawings. They discuss her love of using inanimate objects as characters and after learning to draw some of her commonly used cartoon expressions, they create new characters and brainstorm story ideas based on those characters. It’s always the kids’ favorite part of her program and it gets them excited about writing and drawing (Laurie says that she has been contacted by teachers weeks later saying how their students continually ask for writing and drawing time!). The visit concludes with about 5-10 minutes of questions and answers.
Information, including downloadable classroom activities, can be viewed at lauriekellerbooks.com.