A few years ago, I reached out to schools and libraries about visiting. The responses were heart-warming. I've been doing presentations, story times with art enrichment, and visual storytelling workshops ever since.
Sharing my experiences as an author-illustrator and lover of children's books has been a blast. And I have enjoyed brainstorming how to convey info in fun, interactive ways— Warming up the crowd by telling bad jokes and asking kids their favorite books? Check, check! Reading books together with my audience, using silly voices and wearing makeshift bunny ears? Check! Disguising drawing demonstrations as "magic shows" with my magic Sharpie marker? Check! I have also loved meeting kids individually (the hugs!), fostering imaginative play with puppets, organizing book-inspired enrichment crafts, and fielding LOTS of great questions asked by bright, curious kids.
My favorite part of visits is meeting readers of all ages. These are kids, their parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians, and all the kindred spirits excited about the book-making journey, from sketching ideas to getting published. I foresee that many of these folks are talented authors/illustrators in the making, with unique voices and fresh stories that I can't wait to read one day.
I will continue developing new books and programs so I can visit new places, as well as revisit the wonderful places I've been. Life has changed so much since last spring, but I'm looking forward to "seeing" everyone, whether in person or as a virtual visit. Be well and safe till then.