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Sample Presentations

Barbara can lead discussion on the following topics, and much more!

Illustrating a Story

How do you tell a story through pictures? This program shows how colors, shapes, and page placement affect one another by looking at well-known stories through simplified shapes. Kids are challenged to tell a story visually using only basic shapes and colors so that they learn the basic tenets of illustration. It is a wonderful lesson in abstract art, and it’s harder than it looks!! Very fun!

Drawing Features and Gestures

This hands-on program demonstrates how to draw facial features, emotions, and gestures to create lively pictures. Kids will learn the basic structure of the face and how it changes with different emotions. You will see some of Barbara’s artwork and then kids will make their own illustrations to take home. This is a great program for grades K-5.

How Books Are Made

Ever wonder what it takes to make a book? This lively and informative talk walks you through the process of creating a book, from brainstorming to writing, illustrating, layout, printing, binding, to the finished product! You will see drafts of the book, concept art, drawings that never made it to the final version, and much more. This is a great presentation for large assemblies and family events. A great look at what it really takes to publish.

Painting With Words

How do you write a poem? This is an excellent workshop for small groups and is easily adjusted to cover elementary through high-school grades. Depending on the age level, students learn not only the kinds of rhyme and the kinds of poetic devices they can utilize in their writing, but also how to maximize each word and illicit the fullest possible emotion from the reader or listener (this latter information is best for high-school students).

How the Book Changed the World

Did you know novels were once thought dangerous? That once upon a time, nobody read silently? That writing at all was detrimental to society? A fascinating, entertaining look at the history of the written word and how it changed the way we think. 6-12

Where Do Story Ideas Come From?

This presentation gets the creative juices flowing and talks about how to see the world in unique ways and find things to write about. This covers a lot of the personal inspirations for the poems in “Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain,” including the favorite story of Barbara having worms for pets. K-12

What Makes a Good Story?

We will look at character, setting, conflict, plot, beginnings and endings. This can be either a larger presentation or a smaller workshop and is catered from beginning to advanced levels. K-12

Create Your Own!

Multiple column layouts, two different thumbnail styles, masonry grid, tons of post and gallery options.

Visit FAQ’s

All About Author's Visits

What size audience is best?

The size of the audience depends on your needs.  While I present to variety of group sizes, I prefer groups of around 150 or less.  Smaller groups are best for interaction and workshops.

How can we buy books?

Book sales are an important part of the program and are made very easy for schools.  I will send you book order forms that may be distributed prior to my visit.  Orders and payment should  be collected one week before the program (more lead time may be needed for schools outside of the DFW area).  The school then writes one check to me for the total amount, less a rebate of $2 per book for your assistance.  Easy! Many students who do not order books prior to the sale often want one afterward, so there is a post-visit book sale for one week after the visit.  I will autograph them and mail them to you.

Can our books be autographed?

All books will be autographed either prior to or after the talk, depending on your needs (on average, it takes about an hour to sign 100 books). I am happy to personalize a book to a specific individual when autographing, but do not sign slips of paper.

Are there any extras?

I will supply you with two styles of Suzie bookmarks in pdf form that you are welcome to print and pass out to the kids so that everyone has something.

Can you visit via Skype?

I am also able to visit with students via Skype!  Special rates apply for this.

Skype FAQ’s

How to Visit Via Skype

What is Skype?

Skype is a free software you can easily download to hold free videoconferences over the web.

How can I get Skype?

You can download it at:

What equipment do I need?

A computer connected to the Internet Web camera with microphone Skype software* *If you are using a Mac computer, we do not need Skype – iChat will work just fine.

How do I know this will work?

We will run a test the day before the visit to make sure everything is working as it should. On the day of the visit, I will call a bit early to make sure we have a working connection.

How many students may participate in a Skype session?

As many as you want! The important thing is for them to be able to see the screen. Generally, though, it is best to limit groups to a size of not more than 150.

Will the students be able to talk with you in the same personal way they could in a face-to-face visit?

Absolutely! Skype is a very personalized way of communicating.  Students will see me, and I will see them. Often times, the kids are excited to think they are peeking into the author’s actual office. It’s sort of like inviting them into my home.

May we still hold a book sale with the Skype visit?

Definitely! In fact, I recommend it. Students often want a copy of the author’s book. All books sold will be personally autographed and are shipped promptly.

How can I arrange a Skype visit?

E-mail or call 469-286-7413