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School Visits!

Mike Wohnoutka at a school visit


Even though I was a troublemaker when I was in grade school, and thus I do get a little nervous around principals, I still love visiting schools and talking with students about creating books. During my school visits I talk about the various stages in writing and illustrating a book, from the initial idea for the story to the finished manuscript and artwork. I emphasis the importance of making revisions to my rough drafts and how those changes make the book stronger. I also share stories about my earliest inspirations and how I became an author and illustrator. And, of course, I will do some drawing demonstrations. This is a fun, interactive session with the students. I will sign and donate the drawings to the school.

Grade levels: K through 5th grade

Presentation length:
30 minutes for K and 1st Grade
50 minutes for 2nd – 5th Grade (includes Q&A) 
Please allow at least 10 minutes between sessions.
I can give up to 4 presentations a day. Groups can vary from 20 to 300 students.

Equipment needed:

  • Projector or SMART board for my PowerPoint.  * I will bring my laptop and adapters.
  • If using a projector, I will need a screen or white wall in a room that can get fairly dark.
  • Please designate one room for all sessions.
  • Microphone (preferably hands-free) and speaker if the session size is larger than 70 students.
  •  * I will bring everything else I need including an easel, drawing pad, and markers.

Book Sales

See Dog Reading

Book sales are a great addition to a school visit. I’m happy to sign and personalize books!
Often schools will go through a local bookseller.
I highly recommend the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, MN.
e-mail: authorvisits@redballoonbookshop.com or 651-224-8320


I’ve had many wonderful school visits. Here are a few things that I think helped make them successful:

  • Familiarize the students with some of my books before my visit.
  • Let teachers know about my website and activity sheets (see below).
  • Designate one room for all sessions. Libraries are my favorite – It’s always nice to be surrounded by books!
  • Try not to have different grade levels in a session. Of course, 2nd and 3rd grade together is fine, but maybe not 1st and 4th. I gear each presentation to the specific grade level.
  • For the Q&A time, consider having students write down questions in advance. 

    Note: Photographs are fine, but sessions may not be recorded.
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Please contact me with any questions.