I think I must have the best job in the world. Each year I visit
fifty to sixty schools encouraging children to write. In my presentations
I show my latest book from its early stages (post-its with wrong
turns and a lot of crossing out) to the final product. Clearly
the children can see that writing is a process, not always easy,
and, as I like to put it, "Authors don't know what they're doing
either". The important thing is to TRY. I also suggest some story
starters and rely on my first grade level ukelele playing.
I'm happy with any grade Pre-K - 6 and tailor each program accordingly.
As a former elementary school teacher I love being around schools
and salute the dedicated librarians and teachers, as well as
the earnest youngsters who are so far ahead of where I was at
For out of town visits (my town being an hour north of New York
City) I like to spend 3 to 5 days. I can do four 45 minute presentations
a day; one to two schools. For further information my helpful
contact person at Houghton Mifflin
Harcourt is Meredith Wilson and her email is Meredith.Wilson@hmhpub.com.
The following comments are from Metairie Park Country Day School in New Orleans, LA.
"We had children's author Helen Lester visit us on Thursday...The
kids were amazed that her challenges were the same as theirs."
"The children loved her presentation, which included all of her
wonderful information about writing, playing the ukelele, and clog
dolls dancing to the tunes she played on the kazoo. We thank Mrs
Lester for sharing her wisdom, talents, and sense of fun with us.
We also thank our wonderful librarians for bringing us this special
"When we returned to our classroom, we just had to change our plans
for the day. First and second graders got into pairs and they are
now writing their own animal stories akin to Helen Lester."
"As one child put it... "She was HILARIOUS!"