School Visit Overview


School Visit Chesapeake Academy me - CopyWho is Mary Jo Beswick? I am an award winning children’s book author and illustrator who was once a teacher and for many years worked as a artist creating whimsical paintings and prints. My debut picture book, Lonely Lola Ladybug, won the 2016 Vinnie Ream’s Award for Arts and Letters ( illustration & writing) from The National League of American Pen Women. It also gets five star reviews from educators, parents, and grandparents on Amazon. I am presently working on my next picture book, Messy Magic Birthday. Born and raised in Huntington, Long Island, I have lived in seven different states and in the south of France, where I began painting and writing. Today I live on the Northern Neck of Virginia near the Chesapeake Bay with my husband Barry and our Golden Doodle, Ozzie.

FullSizeRender (1)What happens when Mary Jo visits? When I visit your school, students get excited about reading, writing and the creative process. I connect to your kids in a powerful way by sharing my book and the story of how it went from just an idea in my head to an actual book. Interacting with the students, I include either a drama, art, or  writing component that sparks student’s imaginations and the desire to create their own picture books. I stimulate critical and creative thinking that teachers can build on long after my visit.  

School Visit Halifax 2 - Copy

I offer three different presentations-

  • PK-Kindergarten (30 minutes) Focus on the Beginning, Middle and End of a story-
    • 1- A talk about how I made my picture book showing  real illustration examples  2- A Power Point version Reading of my book  3- A Dramatization: volunteers, with my help, act out scenes from the Middle of the book wearing character hats.
  • Grades 1-2 (45 minutes) focus on Creating Picture Books-
    • 1-A Power Point Illustrated talk: “How a Children’s Picture Book Gets Made” 2- PP Reading of my book 3- Dramatization: volunteers, with my help, act out scenes from the book wearing character hats. OR Brainstorming: Characters and Plot 4- Making Your Own Picture Book with a four page Story Board.
  • Grades 3-4 (60 minutes) focus on Writing and Illustrating Their Own Picture Book-
    • 1-Power Point illustrated talk: “How a Children’s Picture Book Gets Made” 2- PP Reading of my book 3-Brainstorming: Characters and Plot 4- Making  a four page Story Board for your own picture book.

*Presentations are limited to 4-5 classes each so that students have a chance to get involved.

*After the presentations I will sign copies of my books, that can be pre-ordered by parents, via fliers sent home 4 weeks before my visit.

What is the School Visit Pricing?

single presentation- $350   2 presentations- $600   3 presentations- $900     SmARTs 1

*Travel fees apply for schools beyond a 2 hour drive

For schools requiring overnight stays or distant travel, please contact me

I am always happy to discuss possibilities and tailor my presentation to your needs.