AUTHORS

Authors for K-5

Authors for Upper Elem/Mid/High School

Authors for Kindergarten - 5th Grade

Dr. Alma Flor Ada


Dr. Alma Flor Ada is a world-renowned children's book author. She was the founder and first Editor-in-Chief of NABE, Journal of the National Association for Bilingual Education.

Alma Flor directed the Center for Mulitcultural Literature for Children and Young Adults at the University of San Francisco for many years, through which she created the "Reading the World" conference.

Alma Flor is so prolific, it's hard to count how many books she's written-- but recent titles include: PIO PEEP, WITH LOVE THE LITTLE RED HEN, AUTHORS IN THE CLASSROOM and I LOVE SATURDAYS Y DOMINGOS. Dr. Ada is available for select, local visits.

Alma Flor and Isabel Campoy are now offering AUTHORS IN THE CLASSROOM professional development workshops for teachers.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Jon Agee


I grew up in Nyack, New York, just up the street from the Hudson River. In our house, there was always an art project going on, thanks to my mom.

My early drawings were very animated: a lot of stuff zipping around, airplanes, racing cars, football players. No surprise my first published drawing was a pack of rats running along a highway (The Rat Race). I did that for the New York Times Op Ed page when I was still in high school.

I went to college at The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, where I met a lot of interesting people. I took up painting, sculpture, lithography, photography and filmmaking, but the thing I loved most was sketching out cartoons and comic strips in my spare time.

When I graduated, I hauled my pile of doodles into the offices of a bunch of editors, with the wild notion that somebody might publish them. When that failed, I wrote a story for kids to go with my pictures (IF SNOW FALLS). It was two sentences long (which counts, by the way). Frances Foster, a wonderful editor with Pantheon at the time, saw something in that book and signed me up.

The next book, ELLSWORTH, was about a dog who teaches economics at a university. When he gets home, he throws off his clothes and acts like a dog, which is fine, until some fellow teachers discover this and he loses his job. Somebody told me that ELLSWORTH was a story about "being yourself." I never realized it had a moral.

I moved to another publisher with LUDLOW LAUGHS, the story of a grumpy guy who laughs in his sleep. This book was doing very poorly until the comedienne Phyliss Diller read it on PBS's Reading Rainbow. It stayed in print for over twenty years.

My fourth book, THE INCREDIBLE PAINTING OF FELIX CLOUSSEAU, was a hit. One of the first people to see it and give it the thumb's up literally, hot off the press was Maurice Sendak. We bumped into each other at the printers. It was a lucky first meeting, and happily not our last.

That was all a long time ago. Since then I've written several other picture books, illustrated a few by other authors, and created a series of offbeat wordplay books, beginning with the book of palindromes, GO HANG A SALAMI! I'M A LASAGNA HOG!

I visit schools across the country and sometimes around the globe. I live with my wife, Audrey, in San Francisco.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Marsha Diane Arnold


“Marsha brought books to life for our children! The teachers said she was the best author we’ve ever had!” That’s Missouri librarian Beth Smith talking about Marsha Diane Arnold, an award-winning author whose books include HEART OF A TIGER, THE PUMPKIN RUNNER, PRANCING, DANCING LILY, and ROAR OF A SNORE.

Marsha also enjoys speaking at conferences and writer’s workshops. She has been on the faculty of the Oregon Coast Writer’s Workshop as well as a speaker at many conferences, including California Reading Association, Reading the World, California State Library Association, West Coast Literacy Conference, and regional SCBWI events.

Among Marsha’s many honors are Ridgeway Award for Best First Book, state Children’s Choice awards, IRA Distinguished Book, Family Choice Award, and Smithsonian Notable Book. The media has referred to her as “a born storyteller” and “the writer of children’s books adults can’t wait to read to their kids and grandkids.” Educators have called her a “true literary artist” whose books show “warmth and respect for one’s self.”

Marsha travels internationally as a speaker for schools, conferences, and young author festivals. She weaves storytelling, information on the writing/revision process, and a humorous/engaging slideshow into one entertaining, informational, and inspirational presentation.

Marsha’s vision is to show students, young and old, the fun of reading and writing and to inspire them to follow their own unique visions and dreams. One educator said, “Marsha gave the students the juicy bits they need to read, write, and draw in their own ways.”

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Darleen Bailey Beard


Darleen Bailey Beard is the award-winning author of Operation Clean Sweep, The Flimflam Man, The Babbs Switch Story & others. She presents outstanding performances to ALL AGES - Author Talks, Hands-on Writing Workshops, keynote addresses, conferences, & more! "Her visit was delightful and her sweet spirit was contagious," Sammie Garnett, Author Visit Coordinator, Bay District, Panama City, FL. Ready to travel.

"Darlene is one of our favorite authors to visit the Owasso Public Schools. We've had many author visits in the past 20 years and she is one of the most personable, prepared, and child-friendly authors we have ever experienced. She is also the lowest maintenance guest and that means a lot with seven different schools, librarians, faculties, and school climates to deal with. (She presented 28 sessions to appx. 4000 students!) Owasso Public Schools highly recommends Darlene for your next author visit!" Cheryl Golightly, Library/Media Coordinator, Media Services, Owasso, OK

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen


Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen is the author of several books for children, including seven picture books. Some of her titles include TIGHTROPE POPPY THE HIGH WIRE PIG, THE HAMPIRE (HarperCollins, forthcoming), SNORING BEAUTY (HarperCollins, forthcoming), THE MINE-O-SAUR (G.P. Putnam's Sons, forthcoming), VINNIE AND ABE (Chronicle, 2007) and FLYING EAGLE (Charlesbridge, 2007).

Sudipta enjoys reading, gossiping over hot chocolate, shopping for shoes, and sleeping in. Sudipta lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters, Isabella and Brooklyn. She graduated with a B.S. in biology from the California Institute of Technology in 1998, and then completed a M.S. in biology in 2002, also from Caltech.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or phone at 1-866-528-9269.


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Brigitte Benchimol


Born and raised in Paris, France, Brigitte Benchimol has a background in Journalism and Sociology. Her first career in Paris was as a freelance journalist and photographer.

For the past ten years, she has lived in Los Angeles, where she has studied Early Childhood Education at UCLA and directed the Berlitz Language Center in Beverly Hills. Currently, in addition to writing the Jadyn series, she owns and runs a preschool and reviews children’s books for a yoga magazine.

Brigitte has traveled to more than twenty-five countries and speaks three languages fluently. Her passion for exploring cultural differences and her perspective on human nature gained through traveling triggered a desire to share the benefits of her experience. She finds fiction—like travel—a fun, interactive way for children and adults alike to learn about real concepts.

Brigitte Benchimolis an expert on Early Childhood Education and a children’s book reviewer.Jadyn and the Magic Bubble: Discovery India won the 2007 Dr. Toy’s Best Product Award. Her next book in the seriesI Met Gandhidescribes Jadyn’s experience as he travels back in time to the pre-independence era and interacts with one of the greatest leaders Mahatma Gandhi.

Brigitte Benchimol, award-winning author and preschool owner will offer an outstanding presentation through the five senses stimulating children's minds and enhancing their knowledge in India. Every presentation is tailored to children’s needs to ensure the best learning experience possible. Brigitte’s entertaining program not only teaches character education but also important curriculum subjects such as History, Geography, Science, Music and Art. An enchanted discovery guaranteed and a great lesson to remember!

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Kim Brown


"Sometimes, I don't know if I should even admit that I'm the real D.W. She can be a tad sassy at times. One of my favorite quotes By D.W. is, 'I'm not bossy, I'm assertive,'" says Kim Brown, sister of writer and illustrator, Marc Brown.

"I grew up near the shores of Lake Erie in Millcreek, Pennsylvania with two sisters and one brother," adds Kim" Being the baby of the family, I suppose I had to be assertive in order to be heard. But I never imagined my creative big brother would one day model a character as wonderful as D.W. after me. I am truly honored to be an assertive aardvark that millions of children, all over the world, learn lessons from every day."

Kim attended college in Boston and received her Associates Degree from Newberry Junior College, followed by a Certificate from Paris Fashion Institute in Paris, France. She worked in interior decorating for several years, and later turned her passionfor cooking into a gourmet catering business. (She also received her real estate license but realized, even as assertive as she was, D.W. wasn't cut out for that profession.)

Now Kim visits schools and libraries across the country and shares childhood memories with children about growing up with Marc. Her presentation is filled with all types of information that only a sister would know. "Everyone knows who Arthur and D.W. are, and the children are so eager to learn more about them and Marc Brown. I've also found that teachers and parents enjoy my presentation as much as children do."

Kim lives in Litchfield, Nebraska with her son Miles. When she is not visiting schools, some of her favorite hobbies are gardening, antiquing, reading, music, cooking, football and, most of all, spending time with her son and her family.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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F. Isabel Campoy

F. Isabel Campoy is the well-known author of numerous children’s books in the areas of poetry, theatre, stories, biographies, and art.

She is a researcher and author of several books on the culture and civilization of the Hispanic world. Songwriter and storyteller, Isabel’s goal is to provide children the key to interpreting the world in a fun, challenging and affirming way.

Isabel’s poetry has appeared in eleven anthologies published by Harcourt and by Alfaguara/Santillana U.S.A. Poetry has been her way to communicate to children the wonder of life and words, the joy and magic of creativity.

F. Isabel Campoy is a scholar devoted to the study of language acquisition, a field in which she started publishing in 1973 after obtaining her degrees in Philology from Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Reading University in England, and UCLA in the United States.

It is not surprising that Isabel has authored books to facilitate language acquisition and development, to discover the playful possibilities of language, and to explain the history of the Spanish language.

Born in Alicante, Spain, Isabel traveled at the age of 16 to the United States where she lived in Trenton, Michigan. Years later she moved to the United States, where she has lived in Los Angeles and Boston. Currently, she lives in San Francisco.

About herself she says, "From my mother I inherited a robust pride in my roots, a wealth of folklore through her storytelling and sayings, and an abundant sense of humor. From my father, the passion for learning and the art of teaching."

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Nancy Castaldo

Nancy Castaldo is an award-winning author of several non-fiction books, including OCEANS, RAINFORESTS, DESERTS, and RIVER WILD. Her book, PIZZA FOR THE QUEEN, a Junior Library Guild selection, is a historical fiction picture book for young readers. She is also the author of SUNNY DAYS AND STARRY NIGHTS, WINTER DAY PLAY! and RAINY DAY PLAY!, activity books for younger children.

A native of New York’s Hudson Valley, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Marymount College, completing majors in biology and chemistry, and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in children’s literature from the State University of New York . She is a Girl Scout leader and member of the Board of Directors for her local Girl Scout council.

As an author, environmental educator, and Girl Scout volunteer, she has led numerous children’s workshops. Her school programs include workshops on ocean creatures, creative writing, pizza making/Italy, and other nature activities. She has conducted programs at the Boston Children’s Museum, Atlanta Zoo, Tennessee Aquarium, among others and has spoken at the Science Teachers Association of New York State and New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Nancy’s activities are also featured in Castaldo’s Corner.

Latest Books: Leap Into Space (released Spring 2008) WilliamsonBooks Keeping Our Earth Green (to be released Fall 2008) WilliamsonBooks

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Rene Colato Lainez (Libropalooza)

“My goal is to produce good multicultural children's literature; stories where minority children are portrayed in a positive way, where they can see themselves as heroes, and where they can dream and have hopes for the future.” Known by his students as "the teacher full of stories,” René Colato Laínez is the award winning author of I Am René, the Boy/ Soy René, el niño, Waiting for Papá/ Esperando a Papá, and Playing Lotería/ El juego de la lotería. His picture books have been honored by the Latino Book Award, the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, and the California Collection for Elementary Readers. He is also a weekly children’s literature columnist for La Bloga . René was named “Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch (and Read)” by latinostories.com. He is a graduate of the Vermont College MFA program in Writing for Children & Young Adults.

His presentations are full of music, games, roots, English and español and of course full of stories.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Amy Costales

Amy Costales is an award-winning bilingual author, a passionate speaker, and an advocate for multicultural approaches in the classroom.

From her grandfather she got her first words of Spanish, as well as a love for stories. Amy grew up in Spain, Mexico and Southern California and became a teller of bilingual tales herself. She has taught Spanish, Social Studies, ESL, and bilingual primary school in the U.S. public school system and in international schools in India and Thailand. She firmly believes that all children should be able to open books and see the astonishing diversity of the world, as well as a life that looks like their own. This belief, above all other things, led her to writing for children.

Amy’s first book, Lupe Vargas and Her Super Best Friend/Lupe Vargas y su super mejor amiga (Luna Rising), Junior Library Guild Premier Selection, is about two confident and unstoppable girls who share daily adventures until they have a fight. This story celebrates girls, childhood, and apologies.
Amy’s second book, Abuelita Full of Life/Abuelita llena de vida (Luna Rising), Americas Award Commendable Title, is about a young boy who must adjust to the arrival of his grandmother from Mexico. Jose has to making more space for his Abuelita, speak Spanish to her, and listen to her music. He discovers that he doesn't mind the changes at all because Abuelita is astoundingly full of life. This book celebrates life, aging, and the extended family.
Her third book, Hello Night/Hola noche (Luna Rising), International Latino Book Award Best Bilingual Picture Book, is in bilingual verse. Written for her son, it is sure to sooth any child at bedtime.
Amy has two up-coming titles with Arte Público Press. Amy has also spoken at CABE, the University of Oregon, library associations, Border Book Festival, and numerous schools. She is currently finishing a memoir and an M.A. in Spanish literature, both of which focus on the U.S./Mexican border. 

Amy shares her days with her family, her cats, her dog, and the friendly folks in Eugene, Oregon. She would love to visit your community.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Karen Ehrhardt

KAREN EHRHARDT's debut, THIS JAZZ MAN, was released by Harcourt in November 2006. This finger-snapping, toe-tapping picture book features nine immortal jazz musicians in a swinging new version of the song "This Old Man." Kids bop, shimmy, and sing along as "Satchmo" scats, "Bojangles" dances, and seven other musicians play the instruments for which they are famous. Fun anecdotes about each Jazz Man make the musicians come alive.

"I picture my second graders using this as a starting point for some projects, and I picture myself using it to illustrate just what it is that biographies do!" - advance praise from school librarian Stacy Dillon on Booktopia.

THIS JAZZ MAN recently won the Nick Jr. Award.

With nine years experience on staff at the Palo Alto Library, Karen began pursuing her M.F.A in Writing For Children and Young Adults at Vermont College. Karen does assemblies for Preschool and Kindergarten through 2nd grade. Karen lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is available to travel to schools throughout California and the U.S. Please contact Connecting Authors for specific dates.

"Ehrhardt wittily revises the lyrics, while Roth deploys a pulsating palate of colors and collage to introduce each jazz man and his instrument. Readers are invited to snap their fingers and sing along." NPR

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Antonio Frontera

Chef Antonio Frontera fell in love with cooking at the age of six when he was given his very own toy oven. He learned how to cook from his family during his school years and then went on to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America. He became interested in cooking with children when he realized how meal preparation was lacking in today's families. Antonio now introduces the world of cooking to kids and families through his live cooking shows for television at his restaurant studio.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Susan Goldman Rubin

The Cat with the Yellow Star: Coming of Age in Terezin, co-authored with Ela Weissberger, a survivor of Terein and the Holocaust (Holiday House 2006), received a starred review in the June 2006 issue of School Library Journal. The reviewer wrote, "Rich in detail, yet not overwhelmingly dire, this is a book about remembering, and the importance of sharing one's stories with the next generation, and the next."

Fireflies in the Dark: The Story of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and the Children of Terezin (Holiday House 2000) won numerous awards including a Sydney Taylor Honor Book, a Finalist in the National Jewish Book Awards, and a 2001 Notable Book for a Global Society by the Children's Literature and Special Interest Group of the International Reading Association.

Art Against the Odds: From Slave Quilts to Prison Paintings (Crown/Random House 2004) was selected by Booklist as one of the ten best art books for Youth, 2004, and was a Junior Library Guild Selection.

Margaret Bourke-White: Her Pictures Were Her Life (Abrams 1999) was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 2000, and a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children.

"Andy Warhol: Pop Art Painter and The Cat with the Yellow Star were both chosen as 2007 ALA Notable Books."

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Rhonda Gowler Greene

Rhonda Gowler Greene is an award-winning children's author of over a dozen books, (THIS IS THE TEACHER, THE VERY FIRST THANKSIGIVING DAY, etc.). A former elementary teacher, with a M.Ed. in Educational Media, Rhonda loves visiting schools. Her goal during a visitâ - Get kids excited about reading and writing! She especially emphasizes how students can make their writing "sparkle" and learn to read/think/write like real authors do.

Rhonda is a dynamic and experienced speaker. She has presented at over 150 schools, 60 libraries, IRA, and many state reading and library conferences. Her school presentations are age-appropriate for PreK - 8th grade. She gets rave reviews from teachers and students at every school she visits. For Los Angeles area schools, Rhonda does a unique Read 'n Rock program, which includes all the information in her school visits, plus an added bonus-unforgettable, live guitar accompaniment by her son, Aaron, a professional guitarist and honor graduate of Berklee College of Music (Boston).

Acclaim Rhonda's books have received include-School Library Journal Best Book, IRA-CBC Children's Choice Book, Bank Street College Best Book, Children's Book Council Showcase Book, Junior Library Guild selection, American Booksellers "Pick of the Lists," and starred reviews. In 2004, her book BARNYARD SONG was selected for the first-ever Michigan Reads One State, One Book award for early childhood literacy. The program is co-chaired by Governor Jennifer Granholm.

Rhonda travels throughout the U.S. giving presentations. She lives in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Currently, she is at work on more picture books, a book for older children, and also a unique graphic novel handbook for students called MAKE YOUR WRITING STAND TALL.

We had Rhonda Gowler Greene from Michigan speak to our kids today (4/25/06) as part of our annual Young Author's Conference. She was AMAZING! She really held the interest of our students. Our teachers were thrilled and took away much to tie in to their writing curriculum. We highly recommend this author!

--Catherine Trinkle, Media Specialist, Hickory Elementary Avon, Indiana

Her visit was fantastic! The reflection from the teachers is that she was the best (speaker/author) they've had, and she was able to capture the attention and respect of all age groups. (K-8th grades)

--Lisa King, Literacy Coach, Vanderbilt Area School Vanderbilt, Michigan

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Liz Hockinson

Liz always knew that she would have a career in one creative field or another. For many years she was a jazz, tap, and ballet dancer. Then she was a painter and illustrator using watercolors and pen and ink. While taking graduate classes in creative writing at Florida International University she discovered that writing brought images that lived in her mind to life. “I always made up stories anyway so I figured I’d put them down on paper,” Liz said.

After writing for a newspaper and teaching English lit in a public school, Liz began writing books for children. Her first book “Marcello The Movie Mouse” was inspired by her Saturday trips to the movie theatre as a child. It is about a tiny mouse that follows his dream. This book has attained The Writer’s Digest Children’s Book of the Year Award 2006, The Hollywood Book Award, and the Eric Hoffer 2008.

Liz loves visiting schools and speaking to kids about finding their dreams. Her presentation is accompanied by an animated power point display, a skit using colorful characters heads, and a Marcello puppet which answers questions about the writing process.

Liz spoke at the SCBWI writer’s conference at Davis on giving memorable school visits and also enjoys giving writer’s workshops for adults and children.

Her next book “When The Wind Whooshed” is about friends sticking together. It will be out in 2009 by Pleasant St. Press.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Michael Katz

Storyteller Michael Katz has been touring throughout the United States for the past 20 years. He has performed at such illustrious venues as the openings of both the Getty Center and the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Michael's CD "Far Away and Close to Home" received a Silver Honor Award from the national Parents' Choice Foundation. His radio show Katz Pajamas streams live on the web from NPR station KCBX. Michael has a highly interactive and animated style of telling stories. His repertoire includes well over a hundred folktales, myths, personal narratives and original stories from all over the world. Because of his vast collection of stories, Michael can create a show perfect to your thematic or cultural focus. Not only are Michael's performances sought after, but his workshops and presentations for both students, artists, and educators are in high demand.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Susan B Katz

Susan B. Katz, author of My Mama Earth (Barefoot Books, April 2012) and ABC, BABY ME! (Random House, September 2010), is a seasoned, National Board Certified, bilingual educator with over 20 years expertise teaching children and adults. An incredibly engaging presenter and storyteller, Ms. Katz teaches students how to appreciate Mama Earth as well as their own earthly mothers while simultaneously demonstrating the process of publishing a book. The Founder of Connecting Authors, she is a also a literacy consultant and coach. Ms. Katz delights young readers by dressing up as Mother Earth and using puppets, props & realia. www.SusanKatzBooks.com

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.





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Dave Keane

Dave Keane is the author and illiustrator of the laugh-out-loud JOE SHERLOCK, KID DETECTIVE chapter book series from HarperCollins Publishers. Philomel will also be releasing his picture book titled DADDY ADVENTURE DAY. Dave uses his quick wit and wacky sense of humor in fast-moving presentations about life as a writer and illustrator. Dave's favorite subjects include a behind-the-scenes look at the process of writing a book, interactive illustration sessions, how to turn a "blah" paragraph into a "brilliant" paragraph, the process of illustrating a picture book and how to get started writing your own stories. His boundless energy and enthusiasm will delight K-6th students as well as children of all ages.

Dave is equally comfortable presenting to both class-size audiences and to larger audiences of several hundred. He has appeared on radio and TV and has spoken to both business groups and new writer workshops.

Growing up the middle child in a house with seven boys, Dave always found humor the best way to get noticed (and he wore the hard-won mantle of Class Clown with great pride). While most kids his age were dreaming of becoming firefighters or astronauts, Dave had his sights set on stand-up comedy. Today he is a husband and father of three avid readers. He spends his days writing, illustrating and driving his kids all over the place.

"We could hear the roars of laughter from down the hall, from both students and teachers. By the end of the assembly, the kids were itching to read his books, write their own and illustrate them, too" -Pouneh Lechner, Service League President, Old Orchard School, Campbell, CA
"Dave does a wonderful job engaging the students and explaining the writing process with fun and humor. All thirty Joe Sherlock books were checked out of the library and the kids were asking for more." -Beth Grimes, Author's Month Chair, Louise Van Meter Elementary School, Los Gatos, CA

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Elizabeth(LIZ) Koehler-Pentacoff

ELIZABETH (LIZ) KOEHLER-PENTACOFF has taught elementary school and directed children's plays for a Central California children's theater group. She used her drama background to write CURTAIN, a nonfiction book of drama games and activities for children. Her next book, EXPLORERS, was written for elementary and middle school teachers. But it wasn't until she started writing humorous chapter books for children that she really found her passion.

She has published: LOUISE THE ONE AND ONLY, WISH HELP! MY LIFE IS GOING TO THE DOGS and YOU'RE KIDDING--INCREDIBLE FACTS ABOUT THE PRESIDENTS.

For her book THE ABC'S OF WRITING FOR CHILDREN, Liz interviewed 114 children's authors and illustrators about the writing process, techniques, and humorous anecdotes about the writing life. JOHN MUIR AND STICKEEN: AN ALASKAN ADVENTURE (her latest book)is an adventure story about explorer John Muir and a courageous dog who are stranded on an iceberg in Alaska. Liz presented at IRA this year.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Libropalooza

Libropalooza: Latino/a Writers in Performance? Motivating students to turn off the TV and pick up a book can be challenging. In a world of instant gratification, educators must become creative to inspire, motivate and support their students’ developing imaginations and love for literature. As more Latino authors are being published by major publishing houses, four Latino authors are rising above and beyond the norm to provide empowering school presentations geared for inspiring youth to read, dream, and tell their stories.

After reading and performing together at the 2007 Border Book Festival to great acclaim, award-winning Latino/a authors Malin Alegria, Monica Brown, Rene Colato-Lainez, and Reyna Grande have decided to come together at CABE to share their work with the members of CABE through lively readings and discussion. As authors and educators, they’ve learned how to engage young people through entertaining, multi-sensory and interactive storytelling. Between them, they have over four decades of teaching experience. They will model the use of performance, dance, and innovative pedagody in conjunction with children’s and young adult literature in the bilingual classroom.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Kim Norman

Kim has been visiting schools for more than a decade. She has traveled to more than a hundred schools in 15 states, spreading the “gospel” of bedtime reading. Kim maintains the website Author School Visits by State, a popular resource among educators in the U.S. seeking to hire authors and illustrators to visit their schools.

Kim Norman is the author of more than a dozen children’s books published by Sterling, Scholastic and two Penguin imprints. Ten On The Sled, (Sterling, illustrated by Liza Woodruff) spent weeks on Barnes and Noble’s Top Ten bestseller list and has been released in Korean and German editions as well as appearing in Scholastic Book Fairs in schools around North America.

Among her books is I Know a Wee Piggy (2012, Dial Books for Young Readers, illustrated by Henry Cole), which was reviewed in the New York Times, and is listed on the Texas “2×2 Reading List,” as well being offered on the lineup of books carried by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Kim is represented by the Andrea Brown Literary Agency in San Diego.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Laura Numeroff

LAURA NUMEROFF is the highly acclaimed author of IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE, IF YOU GIVE A PIG A PANCAKE, IF YOU GIVE A MOOSE A MUFFIN series, which is published in more than a dozen languages and has been featured on Oprah. IF YOU GIVE A PIG A PANCAKE was on the Publisher's Weekly bestsellers list for over a year! At one point, IF YOU TAKE A MOUSE TO THE MOVIES was second (after Harry Potter) on the Publisher's Weekly bestsellers list. IF YOU GIVE A CAT A CUPCAKE will be out fall 2008. As a child, she was inspired by E.B. White's Stuart Little and Dr. Suess's The Cat in the Hat, among others. She has visited over one hundred elementary schools and spoken at numerous teacher conferences around the country. Laura enjoys speaking to children, teachers and librarians.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Stacy Nyikos

Stacy A. Nyikos is the author of three aquatic picture books, Squirt, Shelby & Dizzy (Stonehorse), as well as a middle grade novel, Dragon Wishes (Blooming Tree Press, 2008). She conducts school visits at both elementary and middle schools across the U.S., using dummy books, selected (somewhat embarrassing) early drafts and power point presentations to teach children about story-making and sea life. In 2008, she will – finally! – be able to add Chinese dragons to her presentations.

“Stacy is a wonderful author to have visit from a librarian’s stand point. Easy-going and friendly, she immediately put all of us at ease” – Polly Walton, Swift Elementary in Arlington, Texas.

Her aquatic picture books have also taken her to zoos and aquariums nationwide to present and teach about sharks, squid and dolphins. “Stacy visited the Shedd Aquarium to do a book reading and signing. This was a wonderful opportunity to develop a program that integrated literature, aquatic science, and art in a fun engaging way… Reactions from guests were nothing short of ‘Great idea!’” – Robert Romanowski, Shedd Aquarium.

Stacy’s books have garnered a number of awards. Squirt was a selected reading in 2005 – 2006 for the International TV Turnoff Week hosted each year in April by the NPO, Center for Screentime Awareness. Her second book, Shelby, was a winner in the Arizona Authors Literary Contest 2006 and a finalist in ForeWord magazine’s Book of the Year Award in 2007.

Stacy lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she enjoys running, visiting zoos and aquariums with her daughters, and experimenting in the kitchen – which her family only sometimes enjoys. She received her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in German Literature and Political Science, her M.A. from the Christian Albrecht University in Kiel, Germany, and her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Virginia.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Linda Oatman High

LINDA OATMAN HIGH is the author of several picture books, middle grade novels, YA and poetry collections including: GIRL ON THE HIGH DIVING HORSE, MAIZIE, HOUND HEAVEN and SISTER SLAM AND THE POETIC MOTORMOUTH ROADTRIP. Her newest book out is: THE GREAT BLIZZARD OF 1888. Linda lives outside of Philadelphia and, as such, would welcome visits on the East Coast, but is also very interested in traveling to the West Coast or even overseas. Linda writes everything from board books to picture books to young adult novels. As such she presents K-12.

Her young adult novel - "Planet Pregnancy" was just named to YALSA's Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Amada Irma Perez

Amada Irma Pérez is an award-winning author, speaker and a leading advocate of programs that encourage multicultural understanding.

Born in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, and raised mostly in California, Amada Irma was a bilingual teacher for kindergarten through university for over 25 years. The big sister to five brothers, her books are inspired by her own life experiences—from creating a room to call her own with the help of her family, to crossing the border to find a new life in California—they are beloved for their humorous details and themes of family support, love, friendship, sharing and working to make dreams come true.

Amada Irma’s first two books, My Very Own Room/ Mi propio cuartito and My Diary from Here to There/Mi diario de aquí hasta allá are critically acclaimed and have been honored by several major Latino awards in children’s literature, including the American Library Association’s Pura Belpré Honor Award, the Tómas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award and the Américas Award.

In her new book, Nana’s Big Surprise/Nana Que Sorpresa!, Amada recalls the time her family opened their home and arms to their grandmother, who was recently widowed. This story, which had remained in Amada Irma’s heart and memory since her childhood, explores themes of love, loss, remembrance, and healing. “Our elders are a treasure,” says Amada Irma, “the amazing stories they share of their experiences enrich our lives like nothing else.”

Amada Irma finds joy in sharing her books with children, educators, writers, and parents. She often presents at workshops, readings, and conferences across the country and internationally and visits many schools and libraries. She has inspired thousands of children in many states. Currently, she lives with her husband, children, and dogs in Ventura, California.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Kathy Z. Price

Kathy Z. Price is a musican/storyteller and the award-winning poet/ author of The Bourbon Street Musicians. The Bourbon Street Musicians,a poetic and blues-y re-telling of The Bremen Town Musicians,received a New York Times Book Review, a starred review from American Library Association Booklist and is a 2003 Notable Book from the National Council of Teachers of English. The Bourbon Street Musicians is listed on California's Early Literacy Recommended Reading List for Third Grade; Chicago’s Recommended Reading for Third Grade and is included in The Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2003 by Bank Street College. Kathy Z Price has won several awards for her poetry and is the recipient of a 2005 New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Sam X. Renick

SAM X RENICK is the founder of IT'S A HABIT, SAMMY RABBIT--Changing Children's Lives, One Dime at a Time! His socially conscious company is dedicated to helping children and families develop good financial habits. He is the author of two children’s books It’s a Habit, Sammy Rabbit! and Will Sammy Ride the World’s First Space Coaster?; the producer of two music CDs: Get in the Habit! and Mission 1: Celebrate Saving!; has written numerous articles on the importance of teaching children about the wise use of money; is a periodic contributor to the KNX 1070 radio show – Money 101; and tours the country conducting school assemblies and Family Read Nights with his main character – Sammy the “Get in the Habit!” Rabbit as well as speaking to audiences of all ages about financial literacy, the economics of love, entrepreneurship and the “Brain to Book” process.

It’s a Habit! and Sam have been featured on KTLA, FOX, KMEX Univision, TV Azteca, the KNX Business Hour, NPR, in several newspapers throughout the country and the International Herald. The company has also been recognized by the state of California, the cities of Los Angeles, Monterey Park, Baldwin Park as well as Los Angeles and Baldwin Park Unified School District.

"It's a Habit, Sammy Rabit!," the children's financial literacy book authored by Los Angeles author Sam X Renick, has been awarded an Excellence in Financial Literacy Education AwardTM (EIFLETM) as the Institutional Book of the Year for Children in the Money Management Category by the Institute for Financial Literacy®.

Sam is a native of Los Angeles and a graduate of Loyola Marymount University. He spent 12 years in Aerospace and 10 years in Financial Services prior to become an author and publisher.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Jan Reynolds

Jan Reynolds is the author of the award winning children’s series, Vanishing Cultures, (Parents Choice, Pick of the List, NCSS notable Books for Social Studies etc.), CELEBRATE! Connections Among Cultures, (top 10 books Chicago Library) Everest Grand Circle (New York Times Book Review), and Mother and Child (AP wire story). Not only did Jan set world records climbing and skiing around the world, make the Olympic Biathlon Team, but she also lived with indigenous tribes on each continent to capture their lives in photographs and text for her unique nonfiction books.

Bring Jan to your school for a program full of adventure and exploration. With a multimedia show/lecture fit for the whole school (followed by smaller discussion groups) Jan will take you along for big thrills from soaring over Everest in her record breaking hot air balloon flight, to setting another world record for high altitude skiing in China. Then she will take you circumnavigating the globe, through the world’s most extreme environments to visit the people who live there, deep in the Amazon rainforest, into the heart of the Sahara Desert, and far north into the Arctic Circle, and more. Jan’s show/ lecture will dovetail nicely with curriculum involved in the study of these environments, and will match standards for earth science, english, geography and social studies.

The excitement of Jan’s wild adventures captures the student’s imagination, and helps them to realize that anything is possible; if Jan can do it, so can you! Once the audience is hooked, Jan has them ready to learn about the culture of the Tibetans in the Himalaya, the Tuareg in the Sahara, the Inuit and Samiis of the Arctic, the Aboriginals in Australia, the Yanomama in the Amazon, the Mongolians, and the regions they live in. Jan’s complementary program to this Vanishing Cultures show/lecture is: Cultural Adventure. In this show students live with the Indonesian rice farmers and learn about environmental sustainability. Then students experience celebrations around the world, focusing on their many similarities which exposes commonalities among cultures, and an awareness that we are ONE human family, celebrating life on earth.

Travel with Jan, meet educational standards, support your curriculum, and have a blast while doing it. Students will be inspired to follow their dreams, learn about cultural tolerance, investigate environmental sustainability, and just plain have fun. There is no limit to the number of students to participate in Jan’s program, making Jan’s visit very cost effective. Jan’s programs have satisfied many already:
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: “Jan did a marvelous job of combining the spirit of adventure behind her expeditions with personal observations about the people and places she visited.” THAYER ACADEMY: “Jan’s combination of candor, storytelling, and breathtaking slides wove a web that even a hot auditorium and raging hormones couldn’t defeat.”

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Rachel Rodríguez

...always wanted to be a writer. In Georgia O'Keeffe, a daring woman artist, she found inspiration. Her newest book, THROUGH GEORGIA’S EYES, was shaped by the way Georgia viewed her life and her art. Stunning collage-style illustrations were done by New York Times “Best Illustrated Book Award” winner Julie Paschis.

A Kirkus’ Starred Review proclaims, “It is not often that author, illustrator and subject come together so seamlessly” and calls the book “breathtaking.” Vanity Fair and San Francisco magazines have spotlighted the book, ideal for grades K-6. Rachel was invited as an author-panelist to the prestigious Los Angeles Times “2006 Festival of Books” and has spoken to adults at the National Art Education Association and the Society for Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators’ national conventions.

A presentation skills coach/workshop leader who helps business professionals nationally to give more engaging talks, Rachel practically guarantees a dynamic presentation that is unforgettable. As a Berkeley graduate and former educator, she’s taught Creative Writing at Phillips Academy (Andover, MA) and English at la Universidad de Buenos Aires. Rachel has also published in The Los Angeles Times and read her essays on public radio in Northern California. Rachel lives in San Francisco, where she is busy writing more picture books and a middle grade fantasy novel.

“Rachel is an awesome speaker. Everybody loved her book and presentation. Parents and teachers were still talking about it for a few days after.” Virginia G., PTA President & Parent, Corrales Elementary School Albuquerque, NM

"What a wonderful event for our children! Rachel has a real gift for captivating young children and exciting their interest in Georgia O'Keeffe and the process of creating art. And not just the art of O'Keeffe, but also in the art of creating a beautiful children's book. It was truly an enjoyable and inspirational event. Her visit was much talked about --we all felt so fortunate to have Rachel here.”

Josephine DeYoung, Head Librarian
Corrales Elementary School
Albuquerque, NM

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Lisa Rojany Buccieri

LISA ROJANY BUCCIERI is a publishing executive with 16 years’ experience in the industry. Lisa has also written over 100 children’s books. She was lead author on WRITING CHILDREN'S BOOKS FOR DUMMIES (Wiley, 2005), and co-wrote the New York Times bestseller, FUND YOUR FUTURE (Berkeley, 2002) with Julie Stav.

Her books have received various accolades, such as reaching #1 on the Publishers Weekly Bestseller List two years in a row (MAKE YOUR OWN VALENTINES, PSS/Putnam), and winning the American Bookseller’s Pick of the List (GIANT ANIMAL FOLD OUTS: Kangaroo & Company, PSS/Putnam).

She is the V.P. & Publisher of Americhip Books, a children’s book packaging company she founded with Tim Clegg, and has been Editorial/Publishing Director for Golden Books, PSS/Penguin Group, Intervisual Books, Gateway Learning Corp (Hooked on Phonics), and others. Lisa is devoted to helping writers make their work the best it can be.

She also runs workshops for writers of both children’s books and grown-up books, from beginners to published writers with works in progress.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Chris Rumble

As young, quirky child plagued with a speech impediment, Chris Rumble dreamed of growing up to be a cartoonist or a singer.

Through a series of mind-boggling events that converged during his mid-twenties, Chris was enabled to overcome the stuttering that had for so long held him back. Since then, he has spent his days seeking to encourage young people, to convince them of their immense value, beauty and potential.

Today, as a school-visiting author-illustrator, his childhood dreams of cartooning and singing and the deeper dream of speaking fluently have all materialized to open doors for him to inspire hundreds of thousands of young people across the nation on a scale that he never could have imagined.

Chris’s most popular program is his one-of-a-kind READING PEP RALLY. With guitar in hand, he uses live music, live cartooning, character education, audience participation and loads of laughter to get students FIRED UP about reading and their own potential! Chris performs sing-alongs, the tunes of which your students will recognize. I'm a Believer becomes I'm a Big Reader. Twist and Shout becomes Read and Shout!, etc. They will join right in! Download music samples at chrisrumble.com!

Kids love his highly-illustrated Adventures of Uncle Stinky series (especially designed for reluctant readers!).

Chris has taken his “ALL-IN-ONE” author event to over 500 schools and libraries coast to coast in the last six years. Other programs include Interactive and Fun Writing and Illustrating Workshops, Family Nights, Teacher In-Services and Conferences, Live Web-Cam Author Chats and an extended Author/Illustrator-in-Residence Program. Abundant references are readily available on his web site.

Let’s explore the possibilities! We could have a BLAST…and inspire your students at the same time!

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Dan San Souci

Daniel San Souci was born in San Francisco. The family moved across the Bay to Berkeley, where his father was working for the University of California. In the tree-lined Thousand Oaks district, Daniel spent all his waking hours running around the neighborhood with his two brothers and and many friends.

It was at this time that Daniel discovered the magic of books. "There was real excitement about literature in my family," says Daniel. "When I wasn't outside playing, I could be found on the rug in my room, surrounded by my books." When Daniel started reading on his own, he went right for the "Scribners Adventure Classics." His favorite books were, "Last of the Mohicans," "Treasure Island," Kidnapped," and "The Boys King Arthur." It was at this time that he discovered the great illustrators, Howard Pyle and N. C. Wyeth. Daniel started drawing and painting constantly and was soon dreaming of becoming a book illustrator.

His father, who once worked as an artist in New York, was excited that Daniel had such an interest in art. "In the evenings after dinner, we would clear the kitchen table and draw together. My father felt it was important for me to have a good foundation in drawing at an early age," says Daniel. On weekends, he was driven across town to the art college, where he attended classes for young art students.

In high school Daniel signed up for every available art class. He was also attending the Berkeley Adult school in the evenings. "All the other art students were much older than me," he says. "But they were serious students, very talented and very helpful."

Upon graduation from high school, he enrolled at the California College of the Arts in Oakland, California. There he had the opportunity to study with many outstanding teachers.

Since 1978 when he published his first book, "The Lengend of Scarface: A Blackfeet Indian Legend," he has gone on to write and illustrate close to seventy more books. He has won many awards including a New York Times Best Illustrated Book, State Awards and the prestigious Marcus Foster Award presented by the California Reading Association.

Daniel enjoys visiting schools and libraries throughout the country.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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J. Otto Seibold

J. Otto Seibold, a first generation United States citizen, grew up in the orchards of John Muir, and played in the sands of the US 680 Freeway expansion. His is the author and illustrator of many near-famous children’s book potential classics. Among them, the 1997’s OLIVE THE OTHER REINDEER , and 2006’s QUINCY THE HOBBY PHOTOGRAPHER.

His newest book, Seymore the Forgetful Porpoise has received rave reviews such as:

Kirkus (circ. 5,000) – Review – "Take a sweet and innocent story, twist it with a little surrealism, unleash Seibold's Never-Never-Land artwork upon it and—say presto!—you will have a celebration of the passing strange that refuses to grow old…”

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Lisa Shulman

Lisa Shulman enjoys talking about writing almost as much as she likes to write! Her presentations have been called inspiring and motivational, as she encourages writers of all ages to mine their own lives for stories. Lisa uses slides, props, and personal anecdotes to show how stories evolve from real life. Students get a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a working author, as Lisa discusses the writing process, perseverance, and the roles that reading, research, and imagination play in her work. Lisa shares samples of her own childhood writing in hopes of inspiring young authors to believe in themselves and to see that we all have something important to say.

“Ms. Shulman was an inspiration to the students and the teachers.” Marigny Dupuy, 3rd–4th grade teacher, Metairie Park Country Day School, New Orleans, LA

“Lisa Shulman was wonderful with the kids! Her presentations were outstanding.” Lynn Scheibach, Librarian, McKinley School, Petaluma, CA

“She made me want to write and be a teacher.” Fifth grade student, McKinley School, Petaluma, CA

“Lisa is not only a talented writer, she is a gifted teacher.” Pamela Kerr, 2nd grade teacher, Apple Blossom School, Sebastopol, CA

Lisa is the author of OLD MACDONALD HAD A WOODSHOP, THE MATZO BALL BOY, THE MOON MIGHT BE MILK, and OVER IN THE MEADOW AT THE BIG BALLET, as well as dozens of books for the educational market. Among the honors her books have received are IRA Notable Book, AJL Notable Children’s Book of Jewish Content, and Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio Gold Award.

Lisa grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she began writing stories and poems at the age of six. In fourth grade, she sent one of her books to a publishing house, and received her first rejection letter.

A former preschool and elementary school teacher, Lisa now writes full-time, and teaches writing to children and teens. She lives in Northern California with her husband, twin daughters, and assorted animals.

Gail Small

Gail Small champions joy! Her books and presentations provide insight on the power of choice to guide joyful living. Gail Small is an innovative and highly respected educator. She is a Fulbright Memorial Scholar, author of five books, People to People Ambassador, and a very dynamic speaker. Ms. Small's sincerity, energy, and fun stimulate her audiences and readers. Her lecture venues include international festivals, national organizations, universities, teacher-training programs and cruise ships, and she has been featured at national and international conferences on subjects including communication, creativity, self-esteem, and writing.

Ms. Small was named to Who's Who Among American Teachers in 2005 and 2006. She holds a Master's Degree in Education and Certification with the William Glasser Institute. During her thirty-five year teaching career, she mentored gifted and talented, troubled, high-risk, learning disabled, bilingual, mainstreamed and multi-aged students. This experience led Ms. Small to write JOYFUL LEARNING: No One Ever Wants to Go to Recess!

"I have visited with Ms. Small and her students, where I have seen everyone totally engaged in the joy of learning. They are all working together and bringing out the best in each other. I can see why no one wants to go to recess. This book is a guide that will encourage and inspire all teachers to look forward to the next day with their students. This is learning at its best." Dr. William Glasser, William Glasser Institute

JOYFUL PARENTING: Before You Blink, They'll Be Grown is her new book for parents and grandparents to encourage children to look at the world with creativity and opportunity.

Ms. Small's book The SPELLING BEE and ME: A Real Life Adventure in Learning is co-authored with young Kendra Yoshinaga who tied for 14th out of 11 million students in the Washington DC Scripps National Spelling Bee 2006. The story delights young children and the guide in the back gives tips and secrets for teaching spelling and champions. This is a popular and educational assembly concluding with a spelling bee just for fun.

Ms. Small is available for talks, presentations, and workshops on:

  • Joyful Parenting
  • Communication
  • Joyful Learning and Teaching
  • Self-Esteem and Motivation
  • Choice Theory
  • Joyful Writing and Spelling
  • Creativity
  • Finding and Developing Your Child's Talents

Preferred venues include: Children's Assemblies and Classroom/Grade-level Workshops (Grades K-8)
Teacher, Parent, or Child Workshops
Clubs, Service Organizations, Seminars, Luncheons, and Book Talks

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Irene Smalls

Irene Smalls, BA, MBA, AWARD Winning Author/Storyteller/Historian educates. Her presentations includes core components of literacy instruction for students K-5 using a variety of instructional approaches: reading aloud, word study, shared reading and movement. For older students she discusses the publishing business, the writing process, the job of being a writer and risk taking.

She is the author of 15 children's books and 3 interactive storytelling CDs. With Irene, you'll get the rhythm of the feet" as you play a street game from 1950s Harlem, Talk a walk with JONATHAN AND HIS MOMMY, sing a song with Dawn, Dust the Dog with KEVIN AND HIS DAD.

Irene Smalls Illustrates the imagination. Introduce young children to history in the touch of the scary jack Much Lantern of Halloween, Shuck corn a little while at the Thanksgiving Cornshucking Harvest celebration, dance in rags and tatters celebrating a 200 year old American holiday from, Africa, The Johnkankus.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Scott Stabile

Nice to meet you.

About fifteen years ago, a friend asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I told him I wanted to spread as much love as possible. He rolled his eyes, until he realized I was serious. Then he really rolled his eyes. My answer’s still the same.

I’ve spent way too many hours contemplating my destiny and have come up with the following realization: destiny schmestiny (I can’t pronounce it either). Bottom line: just love.

I want this place to feel more communal than me-nal. Sure I’m a love wizard, but you probably are too. Share what you’ve got. I’m all ears (not literally of course, cuz that would be super strange).

I am in awe of the potential in each of us to transform ourselves and our world through compassion, and forgiveness, and authenticity, and openness, and yes, above all, through love. It blows me away every time.

Thank you for being here.
Big time.


Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Dashka Slater

Journalist, novelist, and children’s book author Dashka Slater has been telling stories since she could talk. Her four picture books have garnered rave reviews for their inventive language and vivid imagery. Her book THE SEA SERPENT AND ME was a Junior Library Guild selection as well as a finalist for both the Chickadee and Cybil Awards, while her book BABY SHOES was named a best book of the year by both BOOKLIST and NICK JR. magazines, as well as being named to the Texas 2 x 2 list of best books for children age two to grade two. Her newest book, DANGEROUSLY EVER AFTER, is the story of a daredevil princess with an unusual garden and has been called "a sophisticated romp" by PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.

Dashka dictated her first story when she was four and published her first poem when she was ten, so she feels a special affinity for children’s writing. She loves helping both children and adults develop their storytelling skills and conquer their fears of the blank page. Her programs are always lively, funny, and interactive, and they can be tailored to audiences ranging from preschool through high school and beyond. Younger children get to meet Escargot, the shoe-obsessed snail, as well as Felix the Firefighter and his firefighting fish. Middle graders encounter the story serpent and the box of dangerous things. Visit www.dashkaslater.com to see a slide show and video about her presentations.

FIREFIGHTERS IN THE DARK: “Slater and Ceccoli are ideally paired, with the incantatory rhythms of the prose mirroring the velvety surfaces and Zen-like vibe of the acrylic and pastel paintings. The result is a book that's both engrossing and lulling-a wonderfully offbeat choice for bedtime.” —Publishers Weekly “Slater captures a young child’s view of the world and a very different role for firefighters than usually seen by this audience.”—Kirkus Reviews “A perfect choice for bedtime reading.”—School Library Journal

BABY SHOES: “With a buoyant tone in both verse and illustrations, this book will be a fine addition to story hours and, given young children's affinity for shoes, a great conversation starter.” —Booklist (starred review) “A grand choice for one-on-one sharing, as well as for storytime.” —School Library Journal “All the makings of a family favorite. . . its pacing has that combination of quick and unhurried that is key for reading aloud (over and over again).” —San Francisco Magazine

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Greg Trine

Greg Trine’s first book, Melvin Beederman Superhero, The Curse of the Bologna Sandwich, was named a Top Ten Summer Read by US News and World Report and was nominated for the Pennsylvania State Young Readers Medal. Other books in the Melvin Beederman chapter book series include The Revenge of the McNasty Brothers, The Grateful Fred, Terror in Tights, and The Fake Cape Caper.

Greg has presented at numerous schools around the country, as well as at The International Reading Association in Toronto, The California Reading Association, The Texas Reading Association and the SCBWI.

Young audiences are interested to learn of Greg’s reluctant reading past (growing up as one of five nonreading boys) and how he stumbled upon books quite by accident while cleaning windows at a children’s book store. His presentations are funny, visual, and highly interactive—the highlight of the day being the Evil Laugh Contest.

“Greg Trine is a truly inspirational writer and speaker. When he visited my class, he captivated my students with stories of his challenges and successes as a writer, inspiring them with lessons of perseverance and encouragement. The activities he worked on with them showed how they could embody traits of character just as noble and just as funny as Melvin Beederman’s. He was very entertaining, and the evil laugh contest was a hoot!”
Kristin Frye
Rancho Vista Elementary School – Palmdale, California

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Padma Venkatraman

Padma Venkatraman was born in Chennai, India. From an early age, she was interested both in the world of mathematical sciences and the world of literature. The two interests competed for many years of her life. Finally, she decided to concentrate on writing and cut back on science. She now works part-time at the University of Rhode Island, and devotes a few days each week entirely to writing.

Padma Venkatraman completed her early education at The School, K.F.I., in Chennai; and went on to St. Michael's Academy to study science and mathematics. She spent a few weeks at Women's Christian College, a few years at St. Joseph's college, and many years at the College of William and Mary where she completed a PhD in oceanography, with a concentration in physical chemistry. She then worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Environmental Engineering department of Johns Hopkins University's Whiting School of Engineering.

Science opened many doors and allowed Padma to have many wonderful job experiences, most notably as chief scientist of several scientific cruises at the Institut of Meereskunde in Kiel (Germany), as a researcher on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and as director of a school in England. It was not without regret that she gave up research, although she realized that writing was undoubtedly her first love.

Padma Venkatraman now has over a hundred popular science articles and poems to her credit, and over 20 published books. Her first novel, Climbing the Stairs, was recently accepted by Penguin-Putnam. Other forthcoming books include The Albertosaurus Mystery: Philip Currie's Hunt in the Badlands; a young adult biography about the first female professional astronomer, Caroline Herschel; and a collection of mathematical folktales.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Mark Williams

"The Danger Boy books aren't just about history," says Mark London Williams about his time-travel novels, an action-filled series dubbed "pulse quickening" by FAMILYFUN magazine. "Hopefully, the way the books are told speaks to a history of storytelling, too. With the reader's blessing, the stories also get unstuck from those histories, roam back and forth in time, make a little trouble." "The Danger Boy books are about kids, and maybe dinosaurs, coming to grips with 'history' - the world left to them by adults, which, for the past two thousand years or more, has been something of a mess," the author says. Writing the books has provided Mark with a unique perspective. "Each book allows me to become briefly unstuck in time myself," he explains. "I can visit a time or place or people I am alternatively curious above, terrified of, or maybe - like San Francisco in the 1940's - a little wistful that I missed."

In addition to the author's interest in the past, the Danger Boy books draw on other influences, including comics, sci-fi television, plays, movies, and "news bulletins" from the writer's 1960s childhood. Most immediately, however, the idea for the series sprang from Mark London Williams's son. "My then toddler-size oldest child --currently a high schooler -- ran down the hallway yelling, 'I'm a Danger Boy!' Then he started talking about dinosaurs. And that was that."

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Ashley Wolff

ASHLEY WOLFF is the illustrator of the famous MISS BINDERGARTEN series, about a border collie who teaches kindergarten. She knew since she was a little girl that she wanted to be an artist. Ashley studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design. She works in an illustration technique called linoleum blockprinting.

Ms. Wolff teaches Advanced Children's Book Illustration at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives and works in Northern California, but is interested in expanding her visits to other states.

"Ashley Wolff has appeared as a visiting author in all 21 of our schools, working with students in the Kindergarten through sixth grade. Her presentations are visual, delightful and done with enthusiasm. Students are charmed when she lets them create a story as she illustrates it on an easel..."-Margery Findlay, District Librarian, Rio Linda Union School District.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Authors for Upper Elementary/Middle/High School

Malín Alegria (Libropalooza)

Malín Alegria was raised in San Francisco’s Mission District. She’s a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and received her MA in Education. She is a teacher, permaculture consultant, eco-warrior, Aztec dancer, and actress. She’s preformed and wrote with Teatro Nopal & the WILL Collective. Malin’s is a member of SCBWI, TNAFA, and the ultra fabulous Nopalitas. “Estrella’s Quinceñera” was published by Simon & Schuster in 2006. Her second teen novel “Sofi Mendoza’s Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico” was released May 2007. Her short stories have appeared online and in the anthologies “Once Upon a Cuento,” and “15 Candles: 15 Tales of Taffeta, Hairspray, Drunk Uncles, and other Quinceañera Stories. Malin currently lives in California and New Mexico where she teaches, writes, and is hard at work on growing the perfect nopal.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Brad Barkley

Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler are the co-authors of SCRAMBLED EGGS AT MIDNIGHT. BRAD is a native of North Carolina, is the author of the novel, Money, Love (Norton), a Barnes and Noble "Discover Great New Writers" selection and a "BookSense 76" choice. Money, Love was named one of the best books of 2000 by the Washington Post and the Library Journal. Brad was named one of the “Breakthrough Writers You Need To Know” by Book Magazine. His novel Alison's Automotive Repair Manual (St. Martin’s) was also a "BookSense 76" selection and was optioned for film by Fancywilder Entertainment. He has published two collections of short stories, Circle View (SMU Press) and Another Perfect Catastrophe (St. Martin’s). His short fiction has appeared in nearly thirty magazines, including Southern Review, Georgia Review, the Oxford American, Glimmer Train, Book Magazine, and the Virginia Quarterly Review, which twice awarded him the Emily Balch Prize for Best Fiction. His work was anthologized in New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 2002.

His first YA novel, Scrambled Eggs At Midnight, co-authored with Heather Hepler, was published in May 2006 by Dutton, and is a summer 2006 “Booksense 76” choice. Brad and Heather’s second YA novel, Dream Factory, will be published in spring 2007, also by Dutton. Brad has taught creative writing and literature at the university level for over ten years, and currently teaches at Frostburg State University in western Maryland and as part of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Program. He has taught workshops all over the country, and for four years was involved as a teacher and administrator in a Writers in the Schools program in Arkansas. He has won four Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council and a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Judith Bernhard

Dr. Bernhard is well-known for her distinguished work as Director of the MA in Early Childhood Studies Program at Ryerson University (Canada). With degrees in education and psychology, Dr. Bernhard’s exemplary career features publication of her three books and more than 20 refereed articles. Dr. Bernhard has been the primary investigator on more than a dozen research projects including the Early Authors Program where over 1000 children and 800 families authored books for and about the children. Her well-earned honors include being a Fulbright Scholar, winning the Sarwan Sahota Distinguished Scholar Award and an Advisor to the UNESCO Commission on Education.

Publications include: “Parent involvement reconsidered: A Latin American parents' group participates in their children's schooling”; “Struggling to preserve home language: The experiences of Latino students and families in Canadian school systems”; "Read my story: Promoting early literacy among diverse, urban, preschool children in poverty with the Early Authors Program"; and "Identity texts and literacy development among preschool English language learners: Enhancing learning opportunities for children at risk of learning disabilities."

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Nancy Castaldo

Nancy Castaldo is an award-winning author of several non-fiction books, including OCEANS, RAINFORESTS, DESERTS, and RIVER WILD. Her book, PIZZA FOR THE QUEEN, a Junior Library Guild selection, is a historical fiction picture book for young readers. She is also the author of SUNNY DAYS AND STARRY NIGHTS, WINTER DAY PLAY! and RAINY DAY PLAY!, activity books for younger children.

A native of New York’s Hudson Valley, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Marymount College, completing majors in biology and chemistry, and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in children’s literature from the State University of New York . She is a Girl Scout leader and member of the Board of Directors for her local Girl Scout council.

As an author, environmental educator, and Girl Scout volunteer, she has led numerous children’s workshops. Her school programs include workshops on ocean creatures, creative writing, pizza making/Italy, and other nature activities. She has conducted programs at the Boston Children’s Museum, Atlanta Zoo, Tennessee Aquarium, among others and has spoken at the Science Teachers Association of New York State and New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Nancy’s activities are also featured in Castaldo’s Corner.

Latest Books: Leap Into Space (released Spring 2008) WilliamsonBooks Keeping Our Earth Green (to be released Fall 2008) WilliamsonBooks

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Cynthia Chin-Lee

Cynthia Chin-Lee was born and raised in Washington, D.C. A third-generation, Asian American, Cynthia picked up a pen and began writing for fun when she was in the sixth grade. "I liked writing poetry and scribbling in my journal because I found it comforting and therapeutic. I still write for that reason and because I like playing with words."

Cynthia speaks to elementary to high school audiences from 30 to 200 in size. She gives an interactive, multisensory presentation that often includes puppets, music, and rap.

Cynthia attended Harvard University where she studied East Asian Languages. She spent her junior year abroad at the Mandarin Training Center of National Taiwan Normal University. After graduating from Harvard magna cum laude, Cynthia accepted a graduate fellowship at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, and studied at the University of Hawaii.

Cynthia's first children's book, Almond Cookies & Dragon Well Tea (Polychrome Publishing, 1993), is an autobiographical tale of friendship. She is also the author of A Is for Asia (Orchard Books/Scholastic, 1997), which Ruminator Review called one of the "Best 100 American Children's Books of the Century," and A Is for the Americas, co-authored with Terri de la Pena (Orchard Books/Scholastic, 1999), which was an NCSS/CBC Notable Children's Book in Social Studies in 2000.

Cynthia's fourth children's book, Amelia to Zora: Twenty-six Women Who Changed the World (2005), was published by Charlesbridge Publishing, and is illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy. This book was an NCSS/CBC Notable Children's Book in Social Studies, a National Parenting Publications Association Gold Award winner (NAPPA), and Texas Association for Talented and Gifted Legacy Award winner. Her companion book to Amelia to Zora, Akira to Zoltan: Twenty-six Men Who Changed the World (2006) is an NCSS/CBC Notable Children's Book in Social Studies.

She lives in Palo Alto, CA with her family.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Mary Anna Evans

Mary Anna Evans is the author of the Faye Longchamp archaeological mysteries. Her books have received recognitions including the Benjamin Franklin Award, the Florida Book Awards bronze medal, and two SIBA Book Award nominations. VOYA Magazine named her first book, Artifacts, to its annual list of adult mysteries with young adult appeal. School Library Journal said of her second book, “Relics will engage the imagination of readers.”

Ms. Evans’ classroom presentations include lectures, question-and-answer sessions, and hands-on exercises in creative writing or on reading fiction. Because she has degrees in physics and engineering, she can also offer schools who are interested in integrating reading with math, science and social studies student sessions that include hands-on activities in those subjects. She believes that math, science, and social science can be found in books that kids enjoy reading…and in real life, too. What is more, she thinks math, science, and social science are fun.

In addition to presentations to groups of students, she is also available for in-service teacher training sessions or for speeches to teachers’ organizations on reading across the curriculum or integrating reading into other content areas. Because she remembers studying engineering back when engineering buildings were designed without ladies’ rooms, she speaks to educational associations on the importance of science education to all students.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Susan Goldman Rubin

The Cat with the Yellow Star: Coming of Age in Terezin, co-authored with Ela Weissberger, a survivor of Terein and the Holocaust (Holiday House 2006), received a starred review in the June 2006 issue of School Library Journal. The reviewer wrote, "Rich in detail, yet not overwhelmingly dire, this is a book about remembering, and the importance of sharing one's stories with the next generation, and the next."

Fireflies in the Dark: The Story of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and the Children of Terezin (Holiday House 2000) won numerous awards including a Sydney Taylor Honor Book, a Finalist in the National Jewish Book Awards, and a 2001 Notable Book for a Global Society by the Children's Literature and Special Interest Group of the International Reading Association.

Art Against the Odds: From Slave Quilts to Prison Paintings (Crown/Random House 2004) was selected by Booklist as one of the ten best art books for Youth, 2004, and was a Junior Library Guild Selection.

Margaret Bourke-White: Her Pictures Were Her Life (Abrams 1999) was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 2000, and a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children.

"Andy Warhol: Pop Art Painter and The Cat with the Yellow Star were both chosen as 2007 ALA Notable Books."

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Reyna Grande(Libropalooza)

Reyna Grande, born in Guerrero, Mexico, entered the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant in 1985 at nine years old to join her parents. Her experience of growing up in Mexico without her parents was the inspiration for her award winning novel, Across a Hundred Mountains (Atria, 2006), a novel that depicts the harsh reality of the children who are left behind. Across a Hundred Mountain was the winner of the 2006 El Premio Aztlan Literary Award, given by renowned author Rudolfo Anaya, and the University of New Mexico. Her novel is required reading in several universities and colleges. Grande attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she obtained a B.A. in creative writing. She is currently working on her M.F.A. while finishing her second novel. She is a teacher at Cal State University, Los Angeles, and a teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Heather Hepler

HEATHER HEPLER and BRAD BARKLEY are the co-authors of SCRAMBLED EGGS AT MIDNIGHT. HEATHER HEPLER has worked as a book reviewer and contributor for VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates), Kirkus Reviews, Linworth Publishing, Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, and The New York Times. Her writing has been published in Southwest Review and The Cincinnati Review. She has co-authored two young adult novels with Brad Barkley which are under contract with Dutton Children’s Books. The first, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight (May 2006) is one of the Penguin Young Readers lead titles for Summer 2006. It is also a Booksense ’76 selection for Summer 2006. The second, Dream Factory is scheduled for a Spring 2007 release. She is currently working on another young adult novel and several free-lance projects.

Heather holds a Masters in Library Science and has worked as a children’s and young adult librarian. In this position, she organized and presented many special programs, including summer reading, literacy events, and story times. She also organized a teen book club and a teen writing group.

Heather lives in Texas, but is happy to travel for presentations.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Stacy Nyikos

Stacy A. Nyikos is the author of three aquatic picture books, Squirt, Shelby & Dizzy (Stonehorse), as well as a middle grade novel, Dragon Wishes (Blooming Tree Press, 2008). She conducts school visits at both elementary and middle schools across the U.S., using dummy books, selected (somewhat embarrassing) early drafts and power point presentations to teach children about story-making and sea life. In 2008, she will – finally! – be able to add Chinese dragons to her presentations.

“Stacy is a wonderful author to have visit from a librarian’s stand point. Easy-going and friendly, she immediately put all of us at ease” – Polly Walton, Swift Elementary in Arlington, Texas.

Her aquatic picture books have also taken her to zoos and aquariums nationwide to present and teach about sharks, squid and dolphins. “Stacy visited the Shedd Aquarium to do a book reading and signing. This was a wonderful opportunity to develop a program that integrated literature, aquatic science, and art in a fun engaging way… Reactions from guests were nothing short of ‘Great idea!’” – Robert Romanowski, Shedd Aquarium.

Stacy’s books have garnered a number of awards. Squirt was a selected reading in 2005 – 2006 for the International TV Turnoff Week hosted each year in April by the NPO, Center for Screentime Awareness. Her second book, Shelby, was a winner in the Arizona Authors Literary Contest 2006 and a finalist in ForeWord magazine’s Book of the Year Award in 2007.

Stacy lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she enjoys running, visiting zoos and aquariums with her daughters, and experimenting in the kitchen – which her family only sometimes enjoys. She received her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in German Literature and Political Science, her M.A. from the Christian Albrecht University in Kiel, Germany, and her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Virginia.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Linda Oatman High

LINDA OATMAN HIGH is the author of several picture books, middle grade novels, YA and poetry collections including: GIRL ON THE HIGH DIVING HORSE, MAIZIE, HOUND HEAVEN and SISTER SLAM AND THE POETIC MOTORMOUTH ROADTRIP. Her newest book out is: THE GREAT BLIZZARD OF 1888. Linda lives outside of Philadelphia and, as such, would welcome visits on the East Coast, but is also very interested in traveling to the West Coast or even overseas. Linda writes everything from board books to picture books to young adult novels. As such she presents K-12.

Her young adult novel - "Planet Pregnancy" was just named to YALSA's Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Sam X. Renick

SAM X RENICK is the founder of IT'S A HABIT, SAMMY RABBIT--Changing Children's Lives, One Dime at a Time! His socially conscious company is dedicated to helping children and families develop good financial habits. He is the author of two children’s books It’s a Habit, Sammy Rabbit! and Will Sammy Ride the World’s First Space Coaster?; the producer of two music CDs: Get in the Habit! and Mission 1: Celebrate Saving!; has written numerous articles on the importance of teaching children about the wise use of money; is a periodic contributor to the KNX 1070 radio show – Money 101; and tours the country conducting school assemblies and Family Read Nights with his main character – Sammy the “Get in the Habit!” Rabbit as well as speaking to audiences of all ages about financial literacy, the economics of love, entrepreneurship and the “Brain to Book” process.

It’s a Habit! and Sam have been featured on KTLA, FOX, KMEX Univision, TV Azteca, the KNX Business Hour, NPR, in several newspapers throughout the country and the International Herald. The company has also been recognized by the state of California, the cities of Los Angeles, Monterey Park, Baldwin Park as well as Los Angeles and Baldwin Park Unified School District.

"It's a Habit, Sammy Rabit!," the children's financial literacy book authored by Los Angeles author Sam X Renick, has been awarded an Excellence in Financial Literacy Education AwardTM (EIFLETM) as the Institutional Book of the Year for Children in the Money Management Category by the Institute for Financial Literacy®.

Sam is a native of Los Angeles and a graduate of Loyola Marymount University. He spent 12 years in Aerospace and 10 years in Financial Services prior to become an author and publisher.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Jan Reynolds

Jan Reynolds is the author of the award winning children’s series, Vanishing Cultures, (Parents Choice, Pick of the List, NCSS notable Books for Social Studies etc.), CELEBRATE! Connections Among Cultures, (top 10 books Chicago Library) Everest Grand Circle (New York Times Book Review), and Mother and Child (AP wire story). Not only did Jan set world records climbing and skiing around the world, make the Olympic Biathlon Team, but she also lived with indigenous tribes on each continent to capture their lives in photographs and text for her unique nonfiction books.

Bring Jan to your school for a program full of adventure and exploration. With a multimedia show/lecture fit for the whole school (followed by smaller discussion groups) Jan will take you along for big thrills from soaring over Everest in her record breaking hot air balloon flight, to setting another world record for high altitude skiing in China. Then she will take you circumnavigating the globe, through the world’s most extreme environments to visit the people who live there, deep in the Amazon rainforest, into the heart of the Sahara Desert, and far north into the Arctic Circle, and more. Jan’s show/ lecture will dovetail nicely with curriculum involved in the study of these environments, and will match standards for earth science, english, geography and social studies.

The excitement of Jan’s wild adventures captures the student’s imagination, and helps them to realize that anything is possible; if Jan can do it, so can you! Once the audience is hooked, Jan has them ready to learn about the culture of the Tibetans in the Himalaya, the Tuareg in the Sahara, the Inuit and Samiis of the Arctic, the Aboriginals in Australia, the Yanomama in the Amazon, the Mongolians, and the regions they live in. Jan’s complementary program to this Vanishing Cultures show/lecture is: Cultural Adventure. In this show students live with the Indonesian rice farmers and learn about environmental sustainability. Then students experience celebrations around the world, focusing on their many similarities which exposes commonalities among cultures, and an awareness that we are ONE human family, celebrating life on earth.

Travel with Jan, meet educational standards, support your curriculum, and have a blast while doing it. Students will be inspired to follow their dreams, learn about cultural tolerance, investigate environmental sustainability, and just plain have fun. There is no limit to the number of students to participate in Jan’s program, making Jan’s visit very cost effective. Jan’s programs have satisfied many already:
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: “Jan did a marvelous job of combining the spirit of adventure behind her expeditions with personal observations about the people and places she visited.” THAYER ACADEMY: “Jan’s combination of candor, storytelling, and breathtaking slides wove a web that even a hot auditorium and raging hormones couldn’t defeat.”

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Irene Smalls

Irene Smalls, BA, MBA, AWARD Winning Author/Storyteller/Historian educates. Her presentations includes core components of literacy instruction for students K-5 using a variety of instructional approaches: reading aloud, word study, shared reading and movement. For older students she discusses the publishing business, the writing process, the job of being a writer and risk taking.

She is the author of 15 children's books and 3 interactive storytelling CDs. With Irene, you'll get the rhythm of the feet" as you play a street game from 1950s Harlem, Talk a walk with JONATHAN AND HIS MOMMY, sing a song with Dawn, Dust the Dog with KEVIN AND HIS DAD.

Irene Smalls Illustrates the imagination. Introduce young children to history in the touch of the scary jack Much Lantern of Halloween, Shuck corn a little while at the Thanksgiving Cornshucking Harvest celebration, dance in rags and tatters celebrating a 200 year old American holiday from, Africa, The Johnkankus.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Mark Williams

"The Danger Boy books aren't just about history," says Mark London Williams about his time-travel novels, an action-filled series dubbed "pulse quickening" by FAMILYFUN magazine. "Hopefully, the way the books are told speaks to a history of storytelling, too. With the reader's blessing, the stories also get unstuck from those histories, roam back and forth in time, make a little trouble." "The Danger Boy books are about kids, and maybe dinosaurs, coming to grips with 'history' - the world left to them by adults, which, for the past two thousand years or more, has been something of a mess," the author says. Writing the books has provided Mark with a unique perspective. "Each book allows me to become briefly unstuck in time myself," he explains. "I can visit a time or place or people I am alternatively curious above, terrified of, or maybe - like San Francisco in the 1940's - a little wistful that I missed."

In addition to the author's interest in the past, the Danger Boy books draw on other influences, including comics, sci-fi television, plays, movies, and "news bulletins" from the writer's 1960s childhood. Most immediately, however, the idea for the series sprang from Mark London Williams's son. "My then toddler-size oldest child --currently a high schooler -- ran down the hallway yelling, 'I'm a Danger Boy!' Then he started talking about dinosaurs. And that was that."

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Ashley Wolff

ASHLEY WOLFF is the illustrator of the famous MISS BINDERGARTEN series, about a border collie who teaches kindergarten. She knew since she was a little girl that she wanted to be an artist. Ashley studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design. She works in an illustration technique called linoleum blockprinting.

Ms. Wolff teaches Advanced Children's Book Illustration at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives and works in Northern California, but is interested in expanding her visits to other states.

"Ashley Wolff has appeared as a visiting author in all 21 of our schools, working with students in the Kindergarten through sixth grade. Her presentations are visual, delightful and done with enthusiasm. Students are charmed when she lets them create a story as she illustrates it on an easel..."-Margery Findlay, District Librarian, Rio Linda Union School District.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Jill Wolfson

Along with a 20-plus year career as a journalist, Jill Wolfson is an award-winning author of middle-reader and YA novels that mesh timely social issues with laugh out loud humor.

Her first two novels bring the reader into the world of foster care. What I Call Life (Holt 2005 and Full Cast Audio) was a Booklist starred review and Top 10 First Novel for Youth 2005. VOYA gave it a “perfect 10,” calling it “a grand-slam homerun” and it was a selection of the Junior Library Guild.

Home, and Other Big, Fat Lies (Holt 2006) is currently on the Texas Lone Star Reading List. Set in California redwood country, it won the Green Earth Book Award Honor and the Santa Monica Library Green Award for promoting environmental awareness.

Her upcoming novel, Cold Hands, Warm Heart, (Holt, spring 2009), is a poignant tale about a girl awaiting a heart transplant.

Jill’s engaging presentations can be tailored to the student age, size of group and curriculum, ranging from assemblies to small hands-on workshops. She loves sharing the process of writing-- where stories come from, the role of imagination, how she draws on her childhood and journalism career to create fiction. Her goal is to inspire young authors to believe in themselves, to find their own voice and to see the wealth of stories in their own seemingly ordinary experiences.

Students are always interested in the social issues behind her novels: foster care, adoption, logging, environmentalism, journalism and organ donation.

A native of Philadelphia, Jill has lived in the Bay Area for nearly three decades, raising her two children and writing fiction and non-fiction for local and national publications. She is currently the editor of Bay Area Parent magazine and a longtime facilitator of writing workshops for youth incarcerated in juvenile hall.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Belle Yang

Belle Yang is the author and illustrator of children's picture books and illustrated adult non-fiction books on old China. She has been honored with solo museum show, and is the subject of a PBS documentary BELLE IS MY NAME, currently in production.

Born in 1960 in Taiwan, Belle Yang spent part of her childhood in Japan. At age seven she immigrated to the United States with her family. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. She attended Stirling University in Scotland, graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in biology but went on to study art at Pasadena Art Center College of Design and the Beijing Institute of Traditional Chinese Painting.

She returned from China to the United States late in 1989 after the Tiananmen Massacre.

"I returned with gratitude in my heart for the freedom of expression given me in America. I returned convinced that I would firmly grasp this gift with both hands."-- from the introduction to Baba.

The Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award Committee has chosen Always Come Home to Me by Belle Yang as the Best Children's Book in 2008 from the Chinese American Librarians Association.

  • HANNAH IS MY NAME (Candlewick Press, 2004)
  • ALWAYS COME HOME TO ME, (Candlewick Press, fall 2007)
  • CHILI-CHILI-CHIN-CHIN (Harcourt Brace, 1999)
  • BABA: A RETURN TO CHINA UPON HER FATHER'S SHOULDERS (Harcourt Brace, 1994)
  • THE ODDYSSEY OF A MANCHURIAN (Harcourt Brace, 1996)

Belle Yang's current projects are:

  • FOO THE FLYING FROG (Candlewick Press)
  • FORGET SORROW: A CHINA ELEGY

Her fine art paintings hang at Hauk Fine Arts in Pacific Grove, California.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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