Judith Natelli McLaughlin, is a must-have, when scheduling author visits. Her high energy presentation gets kids excited about words, poetry & writing. Pictured here with students at Pleasantdale School in West Orange, NJ.
Who is she?
While far from famous, (“Are you famous?” being an all-time favorite question asked by an adorable 2nd grader during a Q&A) Judy is the author/illustrator of Poems on Fruits and Odes to Veggies, an engaging book that plays with words and uses vibrant water color pictures to get kids excited about their fruits and veggies. Published in 2008, Poems and Odes is certain to be a staple on children’s book shelves for years to come. Judy has also had laugh-out-loud poems published in three separate Bruce Lanksy anthologies, including Rolling in the Aisles, Peter Peter Pizza Eater and I Hope I Don’t Strike Out. But even more important than her poetic successes, Judy understands her audiences. She reads kids faces and listens to their comments. She knows when they want to hear more poetry or if they would rather recite it themselves. In other words, she knows how to reach and teach! And nothing, NOTHING throws her.
So, what does she do?
As a public speaker, Judy’s program takes several approaches. For grades K – 2 she concentrates on the recitation of poems from Poems and Odes, weaving through the concept of where creative ideas come from, all the while using live fruits and veggies and her own illustrations as props. She then segues into her published poetry. For grades 3 – 6 she starts with Poems and Odes but then puts emphasis on the number of rejection letters she received before getting one poem published in one book. In other words, NEVER GIVE UP! The message is powerful and well received. In addition she weaves her own creative process through the entire presentation. Judy ends all programs with Q&A. Programs run about one hour and make sure you put Judy in a sound-proof room (lol) because she asks the kids to raise the roof while shouting the word zucchini. And when she asks 5th & 6th graders if they’re too old for shouting, she has yet to hear them say yes.
Will she teach kids how to write poetry?
Yes! Judy runs Poet in Residence Workshops and can spend ½ hour with younger grades helping them write a group poem (K-2) and one hour in older classrooms (3 – 6) helping each student write their own poem. Scheduling and poetry parties can be discussed.
A day with Judy runs $600. That includes 2 to 3 presentations, depending how you decide to break the audience. Poet in Residence Workshops run $800/day. She will spend up to one hour in each class (1/2 hour in younger grades) and can fit between 5 – 8 in one day. Scheduling can be discussed.
How many kids can she address at one time?
The sky is the limit!!! Or better yet, the school is the limit. Judy works easily with your numbers.
How far will she travel?
The answer is anywhere! But if the location is more than two hours away, and you are including a Poet in Residence Workshop, she will need to be reimbursed for travel expenses.
For more information, or to schedule your visit contact Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org.