Anna Dewdney is the creator of the beloved Llama Llama Red Pajama and the New York Times Bestseller and Book Sense Honor Book Llama Llama Mad at Mama. In her newest book, Llama Llama Misses Mama, Llama Llama goes to school for the first time. She lives in a very old house in Vermont, and is the mama of two away-at-school daughters and two stay-at-home dogs.
For more information, please visit her website at www.annadewdney.com.
If you are interested in having Anna make an appearance at your school, library, or conference, please use the online request form or email the Author Appearance Coordinator at authorvisits[at]us.penguingroup.com with possible dates, your school name, location, details about the day, and your contact information.
Author Appearance Q&A with Anna Dewdney:
What is a typical appearance like with you? What do you do differently with audiences of varying sizes, ages, and interests?
I vary my appearance depending on the group I'm visiting, but one thing I always do is draw for the audience; everyone likes to see pictures created. When I'm visiting younger children, I read my stories and talk about how they are made. Sometimes I show slides. One of my favorite things to do is to create stories with the audience. I discuss how to write verse, then we choose an animal, write a short story about that animal in verse, and lastly I illustrate the story. The school gets to keep the verse and illustration for their library.
What makes your author appearances unique?
I'd like to think I'm an engaging speaker! I was a teacher of middle-school students for fifteen years, and I particularly love working with that population...I love to engage them and inspire them, despite their natural reticence. I'm also so excited to introduce children to my latest character, Roly Poly Pangolin! I'll be showing slide and videos from my trip to Vietnam to study pangolins. Pangolins are endangered, and the story of the pangolin is the story of disappearing forests and the shrinking planet. Plus, pangolins are incredibly interesting creatures!
Do you enjoy making appearances for adult audiences? What do you do when presenting to adults?
I do enjoy speaking to adults. What I do during the presentation depends on what they're looking for. I particularly enjoy talking about literacy and the relationship of emotional intelligence, picture books, and early childhood education. I'm also happy to discuss the writing process, and I often find that people what to hear about the children's book world and how it operates.
What can schools and libraries do to ensure a successful appearance?
Making sure that children have read my books is the single most important thing that teachers can do to ensure the maximum benefit from a visit. Also, preparing questions is a great way to get children engaged with the speaker. They always think of more questions during my presentation, of course!
Do you enjoy traveling to other parts of the country for appearances?
I love to travel to see new places! Vietnam was as far afield as I've ever been, but it's so much fun to experience the expanse of The United States...I've been out west and down south quite a bit, but there are a few states I've never visited. Each region has a different character, and it's fun to discuss my home state of Vermont with children from other regions.
Do you ever make appearances at more than one school in an area? Could schools and libraries from one area join together to bring you to their institution?
I think that a "combined" visit is often the best way for me to visit schools and libraries, because then it becomes a more affordable option for all concerned. I'm happy to go from one location to another if it means I can meet with more people.
What do you hope your audience will come away with from your presentation?
I hope that both children and adults will leave my presentations inspired and excited to start writing and making art. I really do believe that everyone is full of creative potential, and I enjoy encouraging that. I also hope that my audience will learn something new about the animals I draw, and I can't wait to introduce the endangered pangolin to my school audiences!
What was your favorite appearance experience?
One of my favorite moments was when I kissed a llama at a school visit. His nose was very fuzzy! However, I have to mention that hearing Dolly Parton (in person) sing a song about Llama Llama was a highlight at another personal appearance.
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