Thank you for
to visit your school
Here is a taste of
what you can
expect from me and
what you can do
to prepare your
for my visit.
A short biography of Ashley Wolff
I grew up in the small, country
town of Middlebury, Vermont at
the foot of the Green
Mountains. I skied and skated
in the winter, and bicycled and
swam in the summer. The rest of
the time I read and drew
pictures of horses and
princesses. My family had lots
of animals like dogs and guinea
pigs, white mice and a foot long
alligator named Lurch.
I went to high school in Vermont and then went to Art School in Rhode Island. In college I
drew all the time and studied printmaking and illustration. My favorite course was called “Picture
and Word.” When I moved to California more than 25 years ago, my ﬁrst job was as an artist at a
small newspaper. In 1983 I began painting murals and illustrating books for a living. and I’ve been
doing that ever since. I’ve published nearly 50 books for children. I live in San Francisco with my
husband, two teenage sons and a border collie named Lucy.
I live in this old, blue house in the Bernal Heights
neighborhood of San Francisco, CA.
T Important Questions:
When Can I Come?
How much will it cost?
The earlier you schedule a visit the
better. A year ahead is not too soon, but
don’t hesitate to inquire anytime.
My honorarium is:
Other expenses a school or library may
be responsible for include:
* Car travel expenses
at federal mileage rate
illustration from Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten
* Rental car, if necessary
When I come to visit I will
bring lots of gear:
A Digital projector
a portable sound system with wireless mic
Books for display
Your school will need to
supply the rest:
A darkened room in which to show slides
A large screen or white wall
A compact projector cart
An extension cord
a 3’x6’ table for displaying books
A large, sturdy easel
equipped with plenty of white, unlined
if I am ﬂying to you, I will NOT bring the
sound system. I will NEED a lapel mic. A
hand held does not work when I am
illustration from Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten
Since I bring a lot of equipment, I like to remain in one
location like the cafeteria, library or auditorium for my
assemblies and to have the students come to me.
I will present THREE assemblies per day. I will
also make ONE additional classroom visit. For
instance, to an afternoon kindergarten or a
group of serious, upper-grade writers and
I enjoy having lunch with the teachers and, of
course, will spend time autographing any books
that are purchased.
I have done hundreds of Author Day visits and I
know what works well for me:
1. I strongly prefer that students be seated on the
ﬂoor, youngest ones in front, as close to me as
2. I like the front row to be short and for each row
behind that to widen, so the easel, screen and I are
the pivot of a fan-shaped audience.
If the screen is portable this works best if I am
centered on the shorter wall of a room or in a
3. I like teachers to sit on chairs on the edges of the
fan, close to their class.
You can make me feel welcome by making
a banner like this...
I have found that the more involved your students are with reading and studying my books
and artwork before I arrive, the better time we have on Author Day.
The many faces
of Miss Bindergarten!
One school made this adorable centerpiece inspired
by an illustration in Stella & Roy.
In return, I want to
personalize my visit to
your school as much as
Before I arrive, I will send you a
bookmark similar to the ones
here. On it will be your school’s
name and location and the date
of my visit.
Please print enough of these so
that each child can have one.
That way, even if they cannot
buy a book, they will have a
souvenir of the day.
When I arrive I will draw your
school mascot and leave it for
I am currently best known as the
illustrator of the beloved
Miss Bindergarten series.
I chose to portray this
teacher as a Border Collie for 3
Like all teachers, she is highly
she is skilled at herding,
and, most important, she is willing
to work like a dog!
These are Spanish bilingual I have illustrated, and These also come in a Spanish bilingual edition
written, nearly 50
books for children. I
will weave references
to many of them into
my talks. The ones on
this and the previous
page are currently in
print and available.
Many of my favorite books are
Out of Print. However, you may
already own them in your school
library. Please look around for
these and share them with your
students as well.
I mention many of them in my
Since I am a visual learner and teacher, the
core of my assembly is a slide presentation. I
begin by explaining how I have always loved to
read and draw.
I will show examples of the art I made as a
child and how books have always been
important to me for many different reasons.
A Year of Beasts
Miss Bindergarten Stays Home from
by Joseph Slate
I tell students that I always wanted to be
an artist, but I’m not sure my teachers
thought I’d succeed!
I show them many examples of
my childhood art
and compare them with the
way I have learned to draw now.
I emphasize the importance of
I love My Mommy Because
by Laurel Porter Gaylord
My family and friends have always
been the stars in my books.
I show and tell stories about how I
disguise and transform them. I want
students to understand that they can use
their own loved ones as inspiration for
characters and stories.
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Next, I ask each child to think to themselves about an animal whose name begins with the same 1st letter as their
name. I call on students and we begin to create a story from their ideas. I teach them basic techniques of illustration
like forward momentum, changing scale and point of view and the importance of letting the text and picture each
carry their own weight.
You will keep
I will autograph
each one. They will
drawings I be done in oil pastel
make, so and can be
laminated on the
supply me low heat setting.
with the best
you can ﬁnd.
I encourage all schools to
arrange to sell books both
before I arrive and on the
day of my visit.
Students treasure a memento
of an author’s visit. I frequently meet
teens who bring me books I signed for
them when they were in grade school.
During Author Day, time must be
scheduled for me to personalize and
autograph each one. You may contact
me for information on how to order
directly from the publishers or
distributors, or arrange with a local
bookstore to handle sales.
illustration from Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the Last day of Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
We can have a fun and successful Author Day if we hold hands and work together!
For more information visit me on the web at: www.ashleywolff.com,
email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
call me at: 415 826 7345,
or write me at: 98 Cortland Avenue, SF CA 94110
Brochure illustrations copyright 2006 Ashley Wolff