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©2010 Copyright Valiska Gregory. All rights reserved. Please ask permission before using material on this site.

About Valiska’s School Visits

Dear Teachers,

I love talking to kids about reading and writing.  What they think I’m doing is telling them funny stories and showing them pictures.  What I’m really doing is trying to get them to see that reading and writing go together like peanut butter and jelly, that they need to pay attention to everything they experience, and that one of the best ways to find interesting things to think or write about is to read.

Along the way, I talk about the creative process (Where do you get your ideas?), book production (How does an idea inside someone’s head end up as a book in the library?), and the importance of stories.  I like to spend the first part of the time just talking to the kids, and then I have a powerpoint presentation about book production.

Translating all of that into language a kindergartner can understand is tricky—but not impossible.  I have the unusual distinction of having taught every grade there is, from kindergarten to seniors in college, and I love a challenge.  In case I haven’t anticipated all the unasked questions in their heads, I like to end with five or ten minutes of questions and answers.

I always think that if I can just get one child totally hooked on books, the writing time I give up to speak to kids will be worth it.  I know that reading can change lives.

Best wishes,


P.S.  I’ve autographed everywhere from an art museum with a string quartet playing in the background to a super saver grocery store next to the fish market. Click on the Publishers Weekly Article that I was commissioned to write to read about how meeting one’s readers can sometimes seem a lot like being in a wonderful, screwball comedy.

For printable copy, download:

Letter for Teachers


Illustration ©Leslie Baker