Now booking school author visits for Spring 2023!
I love talking to students about making picture books, and have lots of experience talking to young students. My 30-45 minute presentation for students K-3, includes a book reading of Little Squiggle's Lake Adventure, the real-life story behind the book and how I wrote it together with my elementary school age son, and a discussion about the book making process. I also give students a peek at the first Little Squiggle book I wrote when I was 10, and show students the steps they can take to create their own books.
My visit concludes with a fun, interactive directed draw along where students learn how to draw Little Squiggle, followed by a Q&A. Students leave feeling confident and inspired to create their own books!
Interested in scheduling an author visit at your school? Contact me for more details!
Here's what librarians & teachers are saying:
"Laura Smetana is a fantastic author and illustrator with an easily relatable first book. She shows students the power of believing you can write at any age. She is organized, quick to respond and clearly has a passion for writing and illustrating."
—Joy, Elementary School Librarian,
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
"Laura came to Gower West Elementary School and presented to our Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade classes. All of them loved reading Little Squiggle's Lake Adventure and learning how to draw with her! I love how she discussed the concept of finding inspiration for stories in our everyday lives. I highly recommend having Laura for a school visit!"
—Clare Lund, K-8 District Librarian, Willowbrook, IL
"Hosting Laura Smetana for an in-person author and illustrator visit was a pleasure! Her enthusiasm and passion for writing stories was contagious. By sharing her own experiences and including an interactive draw-along activity, Laura showed students that they can write stories from their own experiences and illustrate them as well!"
—Jamie K., Teacher Librarian,
Downers Grove, Illinois
"K-3 teachers and/or librarians - if you are looking to host an amazing author visit, Laura Smetana will not disappoint. As she explained her process in writing and publishing Little Squiggle's Lake Adventure, students were enthralled by her presentation. Laura's kind, warm demeanor provided students an opportunity to see an author in themselves. I received so many compliments from staff after Laura presented but my favorite compliments came from the students who raved about how nice she was. I can't thank her enough!"
—-Gina H., K-2 Librarian, Darien, Illinois
"Laura Smetana visited Briar Glen Elementary School and spoke with our first graders and kindergartners about how her real life adventure with her son inspired her story Little Squiggle's Lake Adventure. Students got to listen to a fun and relatable story, learn about the writing process, and even create their own drawing of Little Squiggle guided by Laura's patient instruction. I've already had several students ask to check out Laura's books, and teachers have reported that students have been doodling Little Squiggle on their papers in their free time! Laura definitely made a big impact for our first graders and kindergarteners this week and we loved hosting her!"
—Kelly Baumgartner, Briar Glen Library Media Center Director, Wheaton, IL
"My class thoroughly enjoyed our read aloud with Laura. The students were highly engaged with the story and hearing all about Laura's writing process. I highly recommend it!"
—Carla Hodge, Second Grade Teacher, Escondido, California
"Ms. Smetana's presentation was educational, inspirational, and entertaining. The drawing activity was a great conclusion for my Kindergarten and First Grade students. The books are welcome additions to our collection."
—Joan M., Teacher Librarian,
Downers Grove, IL