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Touring In: New Brunswick

Craft: Author & Illustrator

Genre: Picture Books

Ideal Audience Size: 15-20

Maximum Audience Size: 40

Grades: Kindergarten-Grade 2

Special Equipment:  Digital projector for larger audiences so children can see all parts of the book.

Website: www.lorijoysmith.com

Presentation Information

I love doing school visits! The most important thing for me is that the children feel comfortable and happy. What I hope the children to take away from my visit is that art and play are always important, and books can bring magic into all of our lives.

I start by introducing myself and asking if anyone knows what an illustrator and author are. I talk a little about what I do and the books I have illustrated and those I have written myself.

The first book I like to read is “Count Your Chickens”. This is always a fun book because the children love to get involved and count those quirky chickens! There are many details that I love to point out, so many funny things I’ve included. There is a skipping girl on every page throughout the book, and I encourage the kids to call out when they find her.

I also like to explain a bit about my creative process and working with editors. For example, “Count Your Chickens’ has a tiny mistake on one page, It’s an interesting story because the author fought for what she thought was right. Her issue was with a map and the direction of the town.
She argued that children were smart enough to notice the chickens were heading the wrong way, where the editor wanted the chickens walking with the flow of the book. We flipped the page (resulting in an overlooked mistake) to have the chickens walking in the correct direction.

I also like to show pages from “My Canada”, an illustrated atlas, particularly the different provinces. This book is geared for a younger audience and we talk about all the little things I tried to make the book cute and approachable, like putting happy faces of icebergs and
mountains. The children also enjoy seeing how I put my own daughters in the map for PEI.

For younger students I read “The Goodnight Book”. This is a sweet yet funny little book that most classes request I read twice. I joke that I hope they have had their coffee, because it’s a nighttime book and I’m sure it will make them all sleepy!

Aside from book readings, I also have brought activities to classes. I’ve designed my own coloring pages and activity books and brought those along (you can some examples here). I once brought a giant drawing with all the kooky characters from “the
Goodnight Book”. I encouraged students to colour it and add their own drawings.

I feel so lucky to be to invited to each class and I hope I add a little fun and happiness to their day.

 

Book List

I Love Like You…
(Owlkids Books, 2018)

First Times
Written by Charles Ghigna
Illustrated by Lori Joy Smith
(Orca Book Publishers, 2017)

Me, Me, Me
Written by Annika Dunklee
Illustrated by Lori Joy Smith
(Kids Can Press, 2017)

The Good Morning Book
(Simply Read Books, 2017)

My Canada
Written by Katherine Dearlove
Illustrated by Lori Joy Smith
(Owlkids Books, 2017)

Count Your Chickens
Written by Jo Ellen Bogart
Illustrated by Lori Joy Smith
(Tundra Books, 2017)

Me, Too
Written by Annika Dunklee
Illustrated by Lori Joy Smith
(Kids Can Press, 2015)

Run Salmon Run
Written by Bobs and Lolo
Illustrated by Lori Joy Smith
(Bobs and Lolo Publication, 2014)

The Goodnight Book
(Simply Read Books, 2014)

Noisy Poems for a Busy Day
Written by Robert Heidbreder
Illustrated by Lori Joy Smith
(Kids Can Press, 2012)

 

Biography

As a young girl, my weekly trips to the children’s library with my father sparked my love for reading and children’s books. As a teenager I lived in Italy and visited some of the most beautiful museums in Europe, which left me wanting nothing more than to make art. Now I get to put these two loves together everyday, working as an artist and illustrator.

I live in Charlottetown with my husband, 2 girls, 2 cats,1  bunny, 2 chickens and 1 dog. I love making art, walking in the forest, watching the stars, drinking coffee, growing flowers and most of all reading to my own girls every night before they go to sleep.

 

Awards

My Canada

  • Canadian Children’s Fiction Bestsellers List (July 2017)

 

Praise

“Lori Joy Smith, a PEI illustrator whose name most definitely will be added to an update of youngCanLit Who’s Who of illustrators, adds the vivacity of youth to Me, Me, Me, making it like a literary cupcake in colour and tone. Like Annika Dunklee’s text which is never heavy-handed with embedding diversity, Lori Joy Smith makes sure to highlight the differences in the girls’ hair, skin and dress while still blending their similarities through expression and friendship.”

—Helen K (CanLit for Little Canadians)

Praise for “My Canada”:

“Sure to send adventure-bound readers digging to find out more about the features labelled in this atlas.” (Quill & Quire)

“One of the simplest yet most clear and complete picture  book atlases I have ever seen…a wonderful resource for classroom and public libraries. Highly Recommended.” (Canadian Review of Materials)

“This informative trip across Canada celebrates its people, places, and landscapes–and invites further exploration. A fine addition to geography collections.” (School Library Journal)

“Lori Joy is active in the local arts and library scene in PEI. I was thrilled to have her come to our school and visit our kindergarten and grade one students. She charmed the children with her stories and captured their hearts with her kindness and patience. Her eager listeners asked many, many questions, and Lori Joy answered every one of them. Lori Joy is flexible, able to be responsive to student needs and interests. Because she shared her own story with the children, they could relate to her on a more intimate level. The kids were especially intrigued to hear that the author’s daughter was hidden somewhere in her book! Lori Joy’s presentation was also a learning time for my students, as she talked to them about the use of technology to help her draw pictures for books.”

—Kerry Dickieson, Immanuel Christian School, Charlottetown

“Lori is a children’s author and illustrator from Prince Edward Island who has a gift for presenting and engaging children of all ages into the beautiful work that she creates. My own personal experiences have witnessed children  mesmerized by her creativity in her drawings and her  relaxed and whimsical way of presenting to children. Her story telling truly demonstrates her meaningful purpose in her books and the way she expresses her feelings in her work. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity for Lori to share her enthusiasm with the children in my classroom.”

—Beth Neuffer, teacher