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School Visit Program: The Story Behind The Story

Meet Author-Illustrator Maryann Cocca-Leffler. She would be thrilled to visit your entire school or homeschooling group. She'll share her picture books and her process of writing and illustrating, from idea, to sketches to finished art, while encouraging students to write and illustrate their own stories. Entire school- No limit on classrooms.

Maryann Cocca-Leffler

45 Minute Program



Maryannʼs school visits are engaging and inspiring with topics based on her recent books. Themes include; kindness, change, friendship, inclusion, self-confidence, nature and narrative writing. She shares her creative process; from idea, to writing, to the development of sketches and artwork. She'll read a book of your choice*, all while getting students excited about writing and illustrating their own stories. All programs end with her creating a drawing for the school to keep (additional postage fee) and a Q&A period.

*Choose from these programs:

The Power of Yet & The Belonging Tree-
Maryann’s latest books are perfect for our currents times.
The Power of Yet teaches patience and persistence.The Belonging Tree is a universal story about respect, inclusion and acceptance. The children will fall in love with these great characters who leave messages about accepting others to finding inner strength.
Themes: inclusion, community, patience, courage, grit, acceptance
Review: An encouraging reminder for those learning how to focus themselves on the present instead of agonizing over the future- Publishers Weekly

Mr. Tanen's Tie Trouble -
Mr. Tanen, the Principal of the school, is known and loved for his unusual ties. When the school needs funds for a new playground, he considers auctioning off his beloved tie collection ...will he? This heartwarming story will captivate your students. Join in the fun and learn the behind-the-scene details of the inspiration, the REAL Mr.Tanen. Maryann will introduce you to and the first book, Mr Tanen's Ties, as well the process of developing the books, from sketch to finish.
NEWS: This popular book will be featured on PBS's new kids show CampTV in the summer of 2021. This book is also included in the Journey's Reading Anthology used by 2nd grade classrooms throughout the USA & Canada.
Themes: community, kindness, emotions, giving.
Review: "Fans of Mr. Tanen's first tale will not be disappointed at this welcome return." Kirkus Reviews

Bus Route To Boston & Clams All Year
Bus Route To Boston & Clams all Year, are two books Maryann wrote and illustrated about her own childhood. Maryann will encourage students of any age to create their own stories (in words and/or pictures) from personal memories and inspire them reach deep and ask themselves…”what did I see, hear, smell, feel, and taste? “ By using all their senses they will learn to capture a great story.
Themes: Narrative writing, travel, family, cities, traditions.
Kirkus: Bus Route: . . . " Warm, winning, and as satisfying as licking cannoli cream off your fingers."

Janine & Janine and The Field Day Finish-- Janine has spirit, optimism and her own style. She focuses on what she CAN do, not what she CAN'T do . She loves who she is and encourages others to be their spectacular selves! (Based on events from Maryann's daughter's childhood as a child with disabilities) THEMES: kindness, inclusion, self love, standing up for others, disability, anti-bullying.
Review: "Little ones needing some extra encouragement to feel comfortable just the way they are should take a lesson from Janine."

Growing Season A story about growing...plants, patience & friendships. El and Jo are the shortest kids in class, and they're inseparable until Jo starts to grow. This sweet picture book explores the joys and challenges of friendship and growing up with a clever comparison to late blooming plants. Themes: Kindness, growing flowers from seed, science, plant cycles. Perfect for spring and teaching kids to plant and nurture plant life and friendships.
Kirkus review: "A sweet story with emotional depth."

“Maryann Cocca-Leffler provided a thoughtful, inspiring message to our school. Through these stories, she shared the development of her beautiful illustrations and the writing process. Children from five to twelve were captivated and engaged with the realness of her stories.”
— Kristen Garland, Dean-Well School, Peterborough NH

Maryann will supply PDF activity sheets for all above programs via email.

Maximum: School wide- One School, unlimited classrooms, including remote learners.
Great for Elementary K-4
50 mins.<>

About the Author

Maryann Cocca-Leffler is an award-winning author and illustrator of over 60 books for children. A Kirkus reviewer said of Maryann; “Cocca-Leffler knows children inside and out.”

Visit profile and see all programs

Other Programs from Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Mr. Tanen's Ties! Picture books. Meet the AUTHOR

Maryann Cocca-Leffler

30 Minute Program

The Path to Publishing a Children's Book

Maryann Cocca-Leffler

45 Minute Program

You have the power...The Power of Yet!

Maryann Cocca-Leffler

30 Minute Program

Writing: What’s Your Story? The Route to writing “Personal Narrative”

Maryann Cocca-Leffler

30 Minute Program

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