School Visits

What might I expect if you visit my school?

An educational, interactive and fun presentation.

I will read Faith, the Ugly Dog and then take the audience through the steps involved in making a book. We will explore where ideas come from, how to write a book and I’ll share initial sketches to final art. Presentations are geared toward the age and comprehension level of the audience. For pre-school and kindergarten the maximum presentation is 30 minutes, depending on how much they wiggle.


My program usually runs from 50 minutes to an hour (shortened to about 30-40 minutes for Kindergartners). Though my presentation might vary a bit each time, I will spend about 20 minutes doing a Powerpoint presentation about my book and about Faith and her journey as a rescue dog.

We do some interactive things from my book that will focus on the messages: be kind, be forgiving, don’t bully, consider adopting a rescue dog, etc.

At the end we spend about 10 minutes doing Q&A.


  • Tables (one or two) to display books and program props
  • Computer/projector to show my Powerpoint presentation
  • An easel and paper and a couple colored markers (nothing fancy)
  • A microphone (unless I’m in a library talking to a small group)
  • And last but not least, please have the students bring paper/pencil and a hard surface (book, clipboard, etc) to use as a “table”


I’m most comfortable speaking to elementary kids since my books are geared for that age group.

If possible, I prefer to present in a library or similar setting rather than an auditorium or gymnasium. This way I have more interaction with the students because they’re not as spread out and the room isn’t so echo-y. BUT if an auditorium or gym is the only option that’s fine. If you’re scheduling more than one grade per presentation please keep age-groups similar (i.e., K/1st, 2nd/3rd, 4th/5th).

Please be prepared to turn off the lights in the room– or at least most of them. (As crazy as that sounds, some schools have systems that are not as simple as just flicking off a light switch.)

Please remind your teachers not to grade papers or work on their laptops during the presentation.

Please set the temperature of the room/gym/auditorium at 71 degrees or higher.


Let me know how many students will be at each presentation. Here is a sample schedule to help you plan yours:

9:30-10:25 4th grade presentation, 152 students
10:30-11:25 3rd grade presentation, 144 students
11:30-1:00 sign books, meet ‘n’ greet lunch with teachers
1:10-2:05 1st and 2nd grade presentation, 286 students
2:10-3:05 5th grade presentation, 137 students

Many schools like to extend an invitation to the parents in advance– which is great.


The more the teachers and/or librarians can do to familiarize the students with my book before my visit, THE BETTER!!!! If the kids have read the book before my visit they get much more engaged in my presentation, they always have more specific/insightful questions and it’s just more fun for all of us! The very best visits are those in which the students have not only read my book, but have been encouraged to do projects, bulletin boards, writing projects, art work, etc. in conjunction with the book. In this way the visit sparks much more creativity and the students are far richer for it.


  • Tell the students the author is coming. It sounds obvious, but I have walked into auditoriums and found that students didn’t know who I was or why I was there. Nobody bothered telling them! You don’t have to roll out a red carpet or anything, but DO make the kids aware of the upcoming author appearance starting at least a month in advance. Put the author’s books on display in the school library. Put a display of book covers up in the hallway.
  • Have classes read the books and write book reports or think up questions to ask the author.
  • Have children participate in a contest and have the winners receive autographed books.
  • Have an art class make posters, banners, and bookmarks welcoming the author.
  • Call the local newspapers. Maybe they’ll send a photographer to cover the event. If they don’t, take pictures yourself and submit them.
  • Make Buzzardillopossum a theme day at school. Allow the kids to wear their own “superhero” costume on the day I visit.
  • Talk it up. The more excited you are, the more excited the kids will be. And when the kids are excited, the messages that I share with them will really hit home.


If you’d like to sell books I’d be happy to sign them. You can order them from your favorite local bookstore (which is always nice), via or you can order them through my website here.

If the school puts a slip in each book spelling out the name of the child for whom it is intended, I can sign books whenever time permits during the course of my visit.

Ideally, teachers and students will have looked at some of my books BEFORE they are asked whether they wish to purchase any. That way, students know whether or not they are interested; it will be too late if they wait til they see me to decide!

It is best to pre-sell books (unless we are at a bookfair), using the form provided here (or make your own). This form should be sent home to parents for them to send back with payment before the day of the author’s visit. It is a good idea to get a few extra books to sell on presentation day and after.

Make sure you allow plenty of time to order books – a month or more is best!

For more information about school visits, email me.


Children are encouraged to write to me after the presentation to let me know what they liked best about the book and/or the presentation. Their responses will be posted on the blog page of my website.

Tell other principals, librarians and teachers about a successful visit.

Keep the kids informed when any of my future books are published.


For FEES and SCHEDULE please e-mail me at
Schools pay for travel and lodging.