Thursday, November 7, 2013

3 for Thursday: Author Visits

In my 9 years as a librarian I have had some amazing authors come to visit.  Way more than 3 so consider this Part 1 with more to follow another time.  I am not a "programming" librarian.  I hate dressing up.  I don't do puppets.  I have trouble keeping track of reading promotion and rewards(although I am getting better at this).  Programming is such an important part of being a librarian, but it is not my strength.  So needless to say, I STRESS out about author visits.  I mean REALLY STRESS OUT about them.  I am in awe of those librarians that host 2 or 3 or 4 authors in a year.  Hosting 1 just about puts me over the edge.  I think the anticipation of the visit is always the worst; once they are actually on my campus, most are as nice as can be and the day goes fine.  The following 3 authors I have hosted recently (or am about to host) and they have been AMAZING.  If you have the opportunity to host them - DO IT!  You will not regret it.

PHIL BILDNER was SO awesome!  He is a giant kid at heart and really connects with the students.  I had him the year Hallelujah Flight was on our Texas Bluebonnet list so he presented to my 3rd, 4th and 5th graders.  He was a middle school teacher prior to doing author visits so he knows how to keep the kids engaged in his presentations.  He has a great writing workshop where he talks to the students about making your words come alive and actually has them do some writing while they are with him.  He was very easy going and just an amazing presenter.
 Phil Bildner

Matt McElligott was also fabulous!  He is an author and an illustrator and has a variety of different programs to offer.  If you choose one of his illustrator presentations, he projects his computer to the screen and shows the kids how he makes a monster or alien from shapes or how he takes different patterns from clothes to "color" his Backbeard books.  The kids were fascinated by that and were astonished to find out that you didn't have to be a good "draw-er" to be an illustrator because technology can help you out.  
 Matt McElligott

Aaron Reynolds is visiting my campus in January and I can not wait!  He has visited my district already this year and the librarians that hosted him could not stop RAVING about his presentations. (Apparently his theatrical background is on full display) :).  I am most excited about his mystery presentation where he teaches the kids about writing a mystery and they solve one right there during the presentation.  I'll let you know how it actually goes in February!
 Aaron Reynolds

Do you have any author or illustrators that you recommend for a visit?  If so, please leave them in the comments.


  1. I am a librarian in Cy-Fair ISD, and am so fortunate to have an outstanding visiting author program. Phil has visited my library several times. I agree with you...definitely one of the most dynamic authors ever! I don't know where his energy comes from! Besides Phil, my other top author presentations include: Jarrett Krozoscka (don't be afraid to have him present to older kids-still fabulous), Peter Catalanotto , and Lauren Tarshis.

  2. Gina- I know Phil loves to come to Texas. Have you had him in consecutive years or do you spread his visits out? I know some of the schools in Round Rock have home every year for his writing workshop with 4th grade. Wish I could do that. Thanks for the tip about the other authors,too. I missed out on Jarrett Krozoscka when he visited my district. Sara