Author/Illustrator News

James M. Deem interested in coming to Singapore

posted Sep 4, 2011, 6:03 AM by ISLNSingapore

James M. Deem's books have received many awards, including the American Library Association's 2009 Sibert Honor Award for Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past (Houghton Mifflin, 2008). Deem has enthralled thousands of students over the years with his lively and informative scientific and historical talks on prehistoric bog bodies, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the plaster casts of Pompeii, Egyptian mummification, and other glacier mummies.
As a former English teacher and college professor, Deem stresses critical thinking skills and intellectual curiosity while engaging students with fascinating stories and photos from his research. This year, he can also speak to students studying the Holocaust about his two newest books, Auschwitz and Kristallnacht.  For more detailed information about his presentations and his books, please visit his website at
If you have any questions or are interested in scheduling a visit, please contact him at
Susan Brontman
SLB Author Visits

Johnny Gillett coming through Singapore in October

posted Sep 4, 2011, 5:12 AM by ISLNSingapore

The Journey Man - international storyteller Johnny Gillett - is coming through Singapore in October and available to schools in the city. If you would like some further information on this visit or would simply like to meet him to discuss ideas, please email back on Or you can visit the website

We hope to hear from you soon,
Amelia Hughes
PA to The Journey Man

Image from

David Greenberg coming in October

posted Sep 1, 2011, 6:35 PM by ISLNSingapore


Poetry Assemblies (based on my poetry picture books)

Civil Rights Assemblies (based on my historical fiction novel)

I'm David Greenberg, author of beautifully illustrated poetry books for children:  Slugs, Bugs!, Skunks!, Snakes!, Whatever Happened to Humpty Dumpty?, The Book of Boys for Girls-The Book of Girls for Boys, Don't Forget Your Etiquette, Crocs!, Enchanted Lions, among others, all of which have received wonderful reviews.  My novel, about the 1960s civil rights movement in America, A Tugging String, has received superb reviews, (My father was Dr. Martin Luther King's primary attorney, helped argue Brown v Board of Education, and the novel describes a child's-eye view of events.) It is winner of the Oregon Spirit Award, was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award.  I'm currently writing a poetry collection for Scholastic all about life at school. I present 1/ assemblies for all grades based on my poetry picture books and 2/ assemblies for grades three through HS based on my civil rights novel.

I have, in recent years, worked at a good number of International and Department of Defense Schools, and have enjoyed the work so much, that I write you with the hope of interesting you in inviting me to your school.  I'm currently scheduling tours for next school year.  I will be visiting the Singapore American School and Mont Kiara International School (in Malaysia) in October 2011.  (International Schools that have had me visit for the past five years are listed at the bottom of this message.  I've provided e-mail addresses of my contacts, so you can get in touch to find out more about how they feel about the quality of my work.)

If you're looking for an author who is a superb, wonderful, inspirational presenter, I'm the guy. I'm regularly told that my presentations were "awesome," "amazing," " the best presentation of any sort our school has ever had," "the finest presentation I've seen in thirty years as a teacher."

And I have specific, specialized presentations for primary, upper elementary, middle school and high school.  
POETRY ASSEMBLIES: For grades K-12 I present assemblies based on my poetry picture books . These are fun, very funny, filled with interaction, and rich with wonderful illustrations from my books. 
CIVIL RIGHTS ASSEMBLIES: For grades 3 - HS, I present assemblies based on my historical novel that deals with the civil rights situation in America in the 1960s, A TUGGING STRING.  In this assembly I describe the attitudes, emotions, events, and personalities of the civil rights movement and how Dr. Martin Luther King  (helped by my father who was his lawyer) peacefully helped to move America from a time of great racial injustice to a time with an African American as president. This deeply moving assembly is very visual, filled with pictures of the time.  It thematically connects to issues of human rights worldwide.

Please check my recent references below or at and they'll tell you my programs were outstanding. I'm keenly aware that this seems terribly brash, but if you are seeking an author who will wow your students, teachers, and parents, I fit the bill. I care deeply about the quality of my work, take great pride in it.

My assemblies go beyond inspiration.  I vividly connect my presentations to the writing curriculum, emphasizing the qualities that make for high quality writing such as strong imagery, imagination, noticing, detail, word choice, voice. I make a special point of talking about the enormous number of rejections I've received in my career. For I believe that attitude makes the writer. Attitude is more important than talent. I have succeeded as a writer because I've set a goal and been tenacious in the face of rejection and difficulty. And by telling my story I inspire students to persevere in the face of their challenges. Often I'm told that children who were previously reluctant writers began to write with passionate energy following my school visit.

I also present Writing Workshops (I have written books on writing instruction), Teacher Inservices (again, I'm told by many that they're the best they've ever attended in their careers; check my references, you'll see) and Family Evening Sessions (in which children and parents write together in family teams).

I charge $1000 a day plus expenses.  For this fee I am willing to present up to four presentations a day with students and, if you wish, an after-school Teacher Inservice, and a Family Evening Presentation.

Typically, with a school's permission, I bring my books along for autographing, sparing the school any of the trouble of ordering books and sending back remainders.

If you'd like to contact me you can do so at or you can call me at 360-560-7766. I'd be happy to send you a preview video of my assemblies for primary and/or for upper elementary.

It may also be relevant to your considerations that I am founder of, director of, and instructor at the Oregon Coast Children's Book Writers Workshop,

It would be a pleasure and an honor to visit your school!

David Greenberg

Following are endorsements of my work from educators that should give you a good sense of the regard in which my programs are held. There are both international school and stateside schools listed.

References from International Schools 2010-2011

Ramstein Intermediate School, Lacy Ullman,
Bamberg Elementary School, Kristin Taylor,
Robinson Barracks EMS, Sharon Gilbert,

References from schools in the United States

"David Greenberg came to our school back in 2001 for our first Author Visit.  Ten years later we brought him back for an encore performance and WOW!  The Poetry assembly was just as ridiculously funny the second time around, but the Civil Rights assembly was truly spectacular.  Teachers, parents, and students were talking about this “event” for weeks and weeks after the assembly.  If you do anything this year, find the time and money to bring David Greenberg to your school.  You owe it to your students!
Debra Brahmi, Media Specialist, Ventnor Educational Community Complex, Ventnor, NJ

"I had a teacher who has been here for 19 years tell me that you were the best speaker we have had here at Chandler."
Ashley Payne Laird, Seventh Grade English, English Department Head, Chandler School, CA,
"I would like to express my admiration regarding David Greenberg’s presentations, both Poetry and Civil Rights.  I was the host school and gathered 4 other schools into a week of David Greenberg’s presentations.  We were fortunate to have him spend a day in each district. I have heard nothing but wonderful feedback on the content and presentation of David. He involved the students and staff, all grades, alike.  Several schools have asked about the possibility of a return visit.  School board members were very impressed by the content and audiences’ attentiveness to David.  Staff members have gone out of their way to thank me for bringing David into our district, even several weeks after the fact.. I, personally, was able to attend both presentations and was wildly impressed.  As a host, you always wonder if this will be a presenter that will just take up time, or it this the one that could get even those students who grudgingly attend interested.  It is always a gamble. I was told that not ONE student had to be spoken to during the hour of David Greenberg and “that says a lot about the quality of the presenter”."
I would wholeheartedly recommend David for any school.  Renita L. McCabe-Irvin, Media Specialist, Stewartville Public Schools, Stewartville, MN 55976

"Words simply do not exist to adequately praise David Greenberg’s civil rights assembly. His presentation had our middle school students and teachers mesmerized as we listened to his personal insights, excerpts from his book A Tugging String, and viewing historical photos in a wonderful PowerPoint. Each year our teachers “talk” about civil rights in conjunction with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. Never have our students taken to heart the message as they did after meeting Mr. Greenberg whose father was the lead attorney for Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil rights books are flying off the library shelves. This civil rights assembly is a must for any middle school!"   Cindy Glenn, Cathedral School, Librarian, Portland, OR 97209

"Several months ago, one of our members shared her experience with author David Greenberg. As a result, I booked David for a visit to our school, and he was, in a word, INCREDIBLE. He mesmerized our students and teachers alike with his abundant humor, energy and enthusiasm. The halls were buzzing as our students moved back to their classrooms, comparing their favorite lines from his poems. My students were so eager to borrow his books that I literally had to raffle them off to those who were lucky enough to have library class after the assemblies. Their far and away favorite was his Book of Boys (for Girls) and Book of Girls (for Boys). I had used this book to prepare for his visit, and despite the fact that my book fair starts tomorrow; I still had the most orders for that book than for any other book I have ever offered! My teachers kept stopping me to compliment me on my wise choice for the author visit (Yeah!!). I highly recommend his writing workshop as well; I’ve NEVER seen our students so motivated. One teacher even suggested that David’s techniques be used for our PSSA (state tests) prompts if the state really wanted to see what our students are capable of.
Ok, so clearly I’m gushing, but when I can bring this type of experience to my students, I feel that I have impacted their lives-hopefully forever. I encourage you to look to his website ( ), and give serious thought to inviting David to your school. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of further assistance.
"  Maria Sweet, Media Specialist, West Rockhill Elementary, Sellersville, PA

"In April of 2009 our faculty and students here at the QSI International School of Chongqing (China) hosted a visit by David Greenberg. We are a new school and David's visit was important for two reasons. First, simply because he was our first visiting author, and second it was very important that this initial visit be one that would set the standard for what our students could expect from future author visits. I can tell you that he met our expectations and set high standards for those that will follow. If you are looking for an author who is authentic, personable, funny, engages students and holds their attention then bring David to your school. His interaction with and the learning experience for students from 5 to 15 years old was consistently excellent. He knows students, their interests regardless of age. Certainly ours benefited greatly from his visit."   Roy Douthitt, Director, QSI International School of Chongqing

"David Greenberg's engaging assembly reflecting his newest book  A Tugging String left our students in wide-eyed awe..."  Sam Allegro and Hope Willy, teachers @ Washington/Hoyt Elementary,Tacoma ,WA

"I can't express how important your visit has been to our students.  Many, many parents approached me, following your Civil Rights talk,  to discuss their family dinner conversations since hearing you.  It was the first realization for some children and most found it very difficult to understand how and why things were the way they were.  Their awareness is 'priceless" as the commercials say.   Thank you so much for your time and effort in visiting our school, but more than that, for sharing your family story and opening our young minds." Jane O'Malley, Phillippi Shores I B World School, Sarasota, FL Jane_O'

John Danalis available in October 2011

posted Jul 27, 2011, 7:53 PM by Linda Twitchett

Australian author John Danalis will be back in our region during October, researching his new book, and is available for some school visits. John undertook a hugely successful tour of Singapore and Malaysia in March, visiting TTS and AIS in Singapore, as well as schools in KL.
Please contact John direct if you would like to arrange a visit to your school:

Jan Latta

posted May 28, 2011, 5:46 AM by Kim Klein

Here is an open letter from Jan Latta - author, wildlife photographer and publisher.

In 1994 I came face-to-face with a mountain gorilla. The experience changed my life. When my guide said there were only 600 mountain gorillas left in the world, I decided to publish books for children on endangered animals.

The True to Life Book series are non fiction, with a simple text and photographs I've taken in the wild. To create the books, I have travelled to Africa eight times, Borneo and China twice and India. 

In 2007 the ABC asked me to write Diary of a Wildlife Photographer, a journal of 14 years creating the series of books and my adventures in the wild. 

I have  been guest speaker at festivals in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, New Zealand and throughout Australia.  TV appearances on the Today Show and Totally Wild.

I would like the opportunity to be guest speaker at your school. 

Best regards,

Jan Latta
author • photographer • publisher

T (612) 9880 8382  F (612) 9880 8317

Here are the presentations that she could do.  For more information, also check out her flyer.

Come on a great adventure with Jan Latta, author and wildlife photographer. She has travelled to Africa eight times, China and Borneo twice, and also to India. She has played with chimps in Uganda and pandas in China. She has walked with lions in Zambia and been charged by elephants in Amboseli. A cheetah came up to her in Nanyuki and she has held the horn of a rhino. Taking photographs and writing about endangered animals in their natural habitat gives children a unique look into the animals’ lives.

K – Y3 duration 45 minutes   
Y4 –Y6 duration 60 minutes
Jan starts by showing exciting videos of Africa and in the jungles of Borneo. She tells a short story about creating each book. Then a power point presentation with 100 photographs of animals she has taken in the wild. It starts with the Big Five of Africa, then some entertaining animals, finishing with endangered animals. There is question time after the show.

Y7 – Y12 duration 60 minutes
Jan talks about coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla in Rwanda and how this changed her life. She explains how the first True to Life book was created and the eleven books that followed. Then writing the Diary of a Wildlife Photographer book, commissioned by the ABC. Next the power point presentation and videos of animals in the wild and some of her heart-stopping adventures. Endangered animals are discussed at question time. For older students Jan talks about writing, design, production of the books and how to take photographs in the wild.  

The library or hall needs to be darkened to show the power point presentation and videos. Jan needs to borrow the school’s projector, computer and microphone.

She also has several videos about her books.  Check them out here:

Possible Author Visits: thanks to the AFCC

posted May 3, 2011, 11:25 PM by Katie Day

There are quite a few authors and illustrators coming to town for the AFCC (Asian Festival of Children's Content) at the end of May.  Feel free to contact any of them.

E.g., Christopher Cheng from Australia

Chris's blog:

Chris's website:  

Possible Author Visit: Marc Levitt

posted May 3, 2011, 11:20 PM by Katie Day   [ updated May 3, 2011, 11:31 PM ]

See below how an author that Lorena Ferreira had at UWCSEA Dover is interested in returning to Singapore.

I'm Marc Levitt and I was working with Lorena and with the elementary school there a few weeks ago. I really liked Singapore and would like to return next year, if possible... I can work with all ages; K-12 and conduct workshops and perform for students, teachers and parents on writing, violence prevention/diversity celebration, storytelling and on issues associated with Third Culture Kids. I also do project and inquiry based work and would be interested in creating a project to honor the opening of the new Campus. I have a book on teaching writing with Corwin Press and a web site, where I collect stores from children and adults on these issues.

Please let me know if you need any information from me about pricing. I'm sure that Lorea would give me a good recommendation and I have many others as well.

Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from oyu.



Marc Levitt
20 Pinehurst St
02879 Wakefield, RI

Possible Author Visit: Nina Sabnani

posted May 3, 2011, 11:11 PM by Katie Day   [ updated May 3, 2011, 11:18 PM by ISLNSingapore ]

Nina Sabnani, the author of Home, will be here during the AFCC in May 2011 (26-29 May) and it would be a great opportunity to get her to interpret her amazing book to young children. 
More details are in the attachment [BELOW].

Please let me know if you would have any interest in exploring this.

Best regards
Jyoti Ramesh
Jyoti Ramesh & Deepika Gopalan
Tel: 65- 8201 4757/ 9069 9070

Google Docs Viewer

May visit to Singapore: Rukhsana Khan

posted Apr 8, 2011, 7:36 PM by Katie Day   [ updated May 3, 2011, 11:24 PM ]

UPDATE:  Unfortunately, Rukshana is not able to come to Singapore this year.  Maybe next...

Rukhsana Khan, author of "Wanting Mor" / "Jameela", one of our Middle category Red Dot Book Award shortlist titles, is coming to Singapore at the end of May for the AFCC (Asian Festival of Children's Content).

Anyone interested in having her come visit their school should contact her very soon.  Email: 

Update from Rukhsana:

I’d suggest the teacher librarians interested in me take a good look at the curriculum applications at the end of my presentation teacher guides. Your curriculum might differ but it basically outlines the connections that kids will take away after seeing my presentations.


They can look at the end of the teachers’ guides and see the curriculum connections there. I’ve found that many teachers find these helpful in terms of getting funding for the presentations.


The presentations I would suggest the most are: Picture the Story for primary grades (which includes my book Big Red Lollipop—the one that was chosen by the New York Times as one of the ten best pic. books of the year as well as winning both American awards for picture book text).


For junior and intermediate grades I’d recommend: The Roses in My Carpets It’s one of my most popular presentations because it includes a visual tour of the Afghan refugee camp I visited that the story is based on.


For intermediate and secondary students I’d recommend: Wanting Mor  and ESL to Author. For the Wanting Mor presentation I include a brief overview of my Roses in My Carpets presentation because the books are related. ESL to Author deals with teen bullying and suicide and my journey from being an ESL (English as a second language) student to an author in English. 


I’ve had a number of librarians who’ve been in the business for years, and who’ve seen many many author presenters tell me that mine were the best they’d ever seen. It definitely helps that I’m also a storyteller.

Wes Magee: October visit to Singapore?

posted Apr 8, 2011, 1:08 AM by Katie Day

Siobhan Roulston in KL has written asking if any of us are interested in getting Wes Magee to come down to Singapore in October.

We've just had a fabulous couple of days with performance poet, Chris White. He was brilliant. 

Anyway, we are looking to bring Wes Magee out in October from the same company, Authors Abroad, who have sent us a few authors now and I've been pretty pleased. 

The manager, Trevor Wilson, asked me to make contact with librarians in Singapore to see if any of you would be interested in having Wes. He's pretty well known in the UK. The rate is GBP550 per day.

If you are interested, please contact Trevor at

Take care,

Siobhan Roulston
Teacher Librarian
Garden International School
Kuala Lumpur

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