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Author-Illustrator School Visits

welcome wall at alma elementary school
welcome sign with wall of student art at Alma Elementary School

"We are still talking about you this week!!! The kids loved you. One kid quoted, 'That day Brooke was here was the happiest day of my life.' Awww..."
—Silvia Cortez, school librarian

I believe in the power of literacy! My mission is to get your kids excited about reading and writing, and to help them explore their creative spirits and find ways to positively impact the world around them. My books are practical classroom tools. You can even download pages of easy-to-use curriculum to enhance their educational impact.

I offer general programs, writing workshops (all grades), literacy nights & an author-in-residence program. An event is tailored to fit the needs of your population. We’ll discuss goals and interests in advance to ensure the experience is beneficial for everyone.

thank you letter from Suzette Hofman, teacher
thank you letter from teacher

“You were so fantastic! Everyone raved after your visit.
Can’t wait for your other books!”

— Chris Meister, school librarian

My only request is that students & staff be well prepared for my visit. Before I come, please have my books available in your school library. Students and teachers should peruse my website, discuss my creative background and read my books, so they are ready and able to get the most of our time together. I am really emphasizing prep these days because I’ve learned: the more students know about my work beforehand, the more successful the visit!

An author-illustrator visit includes three general programs or workshops, plus one optional 15-minute session for kinders. When pronouncing my last name, the accent is on the first syllable (like Danielsen), so it's.. BES-se-sen.

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author-illustrator visit
author-illustrator visit

My 45-minute interactive, multi-media presentations are suitable for grades 1 and up, and encompass several subjects. I always share aspects of my writing and illustrating processes, as well as fascinating tidbits of wildlife science. Each presentation may have two consecutive grade levels combined. I need to set up in a single location (a library or reading center is best if space allows) and ask you to provide an LCD projector with screen, one table, and a set of computer speakers if you have them available. When planning the day, please allow 10-15 minutes between programs, plus a lunch break.

"I’ve never before seen my students so into a presentation. Wonderful! Excellent! Superb!"

— Dawn Corblin, primary grade teacher


Many schools also opt for one or more writing workshops to follow their general programs. These 1-hour hands-on programs are designed for varying grade levels. And now I even offer my Wordplay writing workshop in a live online format, so you can schedule a "virtual visit".

Is it Tall or Short? Word Choice for Beginning Writers (grades k-1)
Using my web map of images, kids offer words to describe several desert or ocean animals. Then each student draws a favorite and writes one adjective to complete a sentence.

A Journey Though the Senses: Experiential Storytelling (grades 1 and up)
Using props that tickle the five senses, we explore descriptive adjectives and verbs, and then we write and edit a group story that takes readers on a wacky, memorable ride.

Find Your “Voice”: Writing Words to Affect the World (grades 3 and up)
On this adventure we discover the influential power of writing! While focusing on formal letter format, we turn knowledge and passion into inspiring language to save endangered species.

Wordplay: How to Solve the Writing Puzzle (grade 3 to adult)
Like puzzle pieces, we connect words to make mental pictures. Using the tools in a writer’s backpack, this poetry party turns rhyme and alliteration into a literary game.

writing workshop
writing workshop

“You’re the best I’ve seen! You touched on so many important concepts and your enthusiasm is contagious. I think you’ve sparked some ideas in my kids.”

— Lynn Darris, primary grade teacher

A maximum of 20 students per workshop allows personal attention for each. Students from the same grade level are best but two grades may be combined when necessary. Students should arrive with paper, pencils and erasers and I need a large writing board.

These workshops are wonderful for rewarding or encouraging special individuals! And you may ask the children who attend to share their new-found knowledge by mentoring other students or giving class presentations on what they learned.


Schools may choose to coordinate a Literacy Night event in conjunction with a school visit. During a 30-45 minute family presentation, I will discuss how I became an author-illustrator and the importance of following your dreams. A book signing follows. I ask that you provide a signing table, an LCD projector with screen and a microphone for larger audiences.


An intensive 5 day workshop (grades 3 and up) escorts students through the process of making a creative non-fiction book—each child chooses an animal, researches, writes, edits and illustrates a two-page spread. Both expository writing and poetry are emphasized. By project’s end, the class will have a cumulative hand-made book in the multi-elemental format of Look Who Lives in the Ocean! and Look Who Lives in the Desert!.

This program includes 1 hour workshops in four classrooms each day for 5 days. The classroom may have up to 35 students. (Most schools select one grade level.) Library visits and homework are required.

“You are not only a gifted author but a gifted communicator as well. I can only imagine what seeds
you planted and nurtured today!”
— Jacque Radke, primary grade teacher


As part of any visit, students and teachers may order discounted books. I will provide a pre-order form to send home with students. Based on orders, I will bring books with me and all purchased books will be personalized and signed on the day of my visit. And don’t forget copies for your school library!


brooke visits Conley desert garden
Brooke visits Conley desert garden

To schedule, please email me your name, the name & address of your school and your proposed month. I am happy to answer any questions and help you coordinate a festive and memorable author-illustrator visit. Once we have the day(s) confirmed, I will send you a packet of materials to assist your preparations. Download a PDF Press Kit for hi-rez photos to promote your school visit event.

I look forward to working with you and your students. Together we’ll celebrate the purpose, power and playfulness of words and the living beauty of the natural world!