During author studies, my goal is to connect the children to the author. By teaching children to read like a writer, their world of mentors multiplies immensely. When studying an author, I will often state that I noticed how they are writing like a particular author. My smile spreads when I hear a child say, “Hey, I’m writing like (this author)” to a fellow classmate.
Videos and interviews of the author brings them to life. Children can see how the author is an ordinary person like themselves. As authors share how they get their ideas to write, it inspires our students.
Below you will find links to authors websites, interviews, or videos. Inspire your students today.
Nic Bishop: his website; my Author Tidbit post; He has written over 60 nonfiction books. His specialty is his close up photographs. Your students will enjoy his angle on each featured creature. View the YouTube videos to meet the author.
Eve Bunting: Seven 1 to 3 min. short video clips about her parents’ influence on her story-telling, writing, and reading; she also shares how she came to the US and books that will connect children to the needs around them.
Jim Arnosky: his website; He shares about some of his visits in the wild. He has several videos you can view of the natural habits, but there is a slight cost. The photographs are great for sharing with students and building their background knowledge of the books and biology.
Robert Burleigh: his website; he is an artist as well and explains his pseudo name; I love his comments about his books: “I like the book to convey the feeling of immediacy, of being there – whether there is flying an airplane, hitting a baseball, or painting a picture.”
Nancy Carlson: her website; my Author Tidbit post; a video clip about her blog and ideas for her doodles and the books that are created from the daily practice. After visiting a school, Nancy is interviewed and shares how she connects with a few of her characters. To inspire creativity and encourage illustrating, Nancy posts a daily doodle on her blog: blog.nancycarlson.com. She is an uplifting and affirming author/illustrator who will inspire you and your students.
David Catrow: illustrator; his website; he has some teacher helps and kid activities; several videos feature David and how he draws his illustrations
Henry Cole: illustrator/author: his website; my Author Tidbit Post; he shows the process of illustrating, including a minute video clip of Henry drawing one of his characters, Celeste. Henry has illustrated several books and author some as well, including a chapter book called A Nest for Celeste.
Susan Stevens Crummel: her website; my post; She has several teacher tip activities linked to her books. For example, her book, My Big Dog, has lesson ideas on perspective and differences. She has pictures of family photos, including her sister, Janet Stevens.
Julia Donaldson: her website; She is the Children’s Laureate from June 2011- 2013. Lives in London; writes poetry; songwriter
Pamela Duncan Edwards: her website; my post; Four short 2 minute video clips about how she began writing and her ideas behind the alliteration
Denise Fleming: her website;
Debra Frasier: her website; She has vocabulary lessons to build on from her book, Miss Alaineus A Vocabulary Disaster. Debra has seven short video clips about the making of Miss Alaineus. She has recently written a book about a fair and has a video clip with slide show as well of the Minnesota State Fair. Fun!
Nikki Giovanni: her website; A powerful orator and writer. She captures emotions that will tug at your heart. View a 4 minute video clip about her book Rosa and the importance of feelings within a text.
Rhonda Gowler Greene: her website; She has several teacher resource ideas for her books such as The Very First Thanksgiving and Jamboree Day. Rhonda advocates for using picture books as mentor texts in reading and in writing. Her poetry site gives ideas for mini-lessons.
Kevin Henkes: his website is kevinhenkes.com (On October 19, 2011, I received a warning when I went to Kevin Henkes’s website, so I unlinked it on my computer. I have since checked the website and have not received the warning, but I wanted to make sure I did not have a virus.) ; my Author Tidbit post; One video features an interview with Kevin Henkes. Your students can see how he illustrates. He has a section devoted to his mouse books on his website. If you click on each character, each shares about him/herself. I found several short video clips featuring Kevin Henkes speaking about his books. Fantastic!
Leigh Hodgkinson: her website is on wonkybutton. My post about Smile. She’s a director of animation as well as an illustrator of children’s books. She also has a blog with some quick notes about being a writer, illustrator, and animator. Fun.
Bill Hurley: his website; He has great information and resources for teachers on his website. Four videos are linked on his website, but I found several others on YouTube, such as The Ballad of Dirty Joe (7 minutes in length).
Daniel Kirk: his website; He has a section of activities that go with his book. I love the We Love To Read poster you can have your kids color.
Kathleen Krull: her website; the Author Tidbits post; my post about Phil Farnsworth who created TV; She has a section for using biographies in the classroom and other resource links for history. Seven 1 to 2 min. video clips highlight the author and her thinking behind the books. She states that she likes to be a detective and help kids to remember people in history.
Wendell Minor: his website; author and illustrator. He has 5 YouTube video links of his books. On his “Let’s Explore!” section, he has several interactive flip books and animated stories to notice. I love it.
Margie Palatini: her website; my Author Tidbit post with a YouTube video of her book Hogg, Hogg, & Hog. For teachers, Margie has included several study guides and reader’s theaters. On her website, Margie shares an equation on how she gets her ideas for writing. A fun author to read and study!
Jerry Pallotta: his website; He has a fun Hangman game based on his books’ images and research. Jerry shares his hidden illustrations for several of his books on the Hidden Secrets tab.
Marissa Moss: her website; she has journaling tips
Janet Stevens: her website; my Author Tidbit’s post; In her “stuff” section, Janet has a link titled “Blue Jay Reading Group”. She writes a letter to 3rd graders, sharing her story becoming a reader. I love her line “Jump into a book like a cool swimming pool on a hot summer day, and feel it all around you.” What a great way to encourage your students to read. Her books: My Big Dog, The Little Red Pen.
Mark Teague: his website; 3 short video clips on being an author, his early writing as a kid, and where he gets his ideas
Audrey Vernick: View a 2 min. video clip about her book, She Loved Baseball: the Effa Manley Story. The jazz music sets the tone for the time period of the book. She has an awesome discussion guide for the book as well.
Rosemary Wells: her website; On my Author Tidbit post, you will view one interview video and another video on how her dogs play into her writing. She has three videos in the Parents & Educators section explaining her two young adult novels. You will find some teacher guides for several of her picture books.
David Wiesner: his website; 2 minute video about his books featuring Art & Max
Jane Yolen: her website has many tips for teachers, children, and writers; short video of her supporting creativity in our students; Another video with her in Scotland
Alan Zweibel: his website; he has several videos, two being on David Letterman;
Wow! What a resource you have here. Another place I like to go is TeachingBooks.net. All NYS districts subscribe to it, and it’s a wealth of author information, from interviews to videos to name pronunciations and book guides! I’m excited to explore here too! Thank you… a.