I’m baa-ack!

After some 20 months, I am finally back to doing school author visits—well, at recent two schools anyway! It feels so good to be doing what I love again following this loooooong Covid-19 shutdown that resulted in the cancellation of my in-person school visits—as well as those of all my author friends. But last week I was invited to speak at Westwood Elementary in Friendswood, Texas … and I also traveled 240 miles to Shreveport, Louisiana (my hometown) for a presentation at Southfield School.

Art car driver Elizabeth Smiley accompanied me both times with her purple furry creation named Penelope. Thank you, Elizabeth, for tagging along and always bringing “miles of smiles” to the children. It’s such a great way for them to see the full circle of creating a book, from inspiration to writing to publication. We even got featured in The Shreveport Times!

Below are a few highlights from these recent school visits. I think the photos speak for themselves, so I’ll leave you with this: THANK YOU FOR HOSTING US! I believe it’s so important for children to meet authors in person. It makes the writing/publication process and the authors themselves accessible and real to the students. And when—after hearing my presentation—they get to see and touch a real art car, it’s magical to see their eyes light up.

If you are a teacher or librarian and would like to invite me to your school, please reach out through social media and/or the “Contact” tab on my website. You can also email me: catheynickell AT gmail DOT com. Please follow me on Instagram or Twitter @catheynickell (I always try to follow back!) and find me on Facebook too. I’d love to meet you and come to your school whenever you feel it’s safe & timely. XO Be Amazing!

#ifoundpenelope at Southfield School in Shreveport, Louisiana. I attended Southfield myself from grades 2nd-5th.
Thank you, Librarian Amy Boyer of Westwood Elementary (in Friendswood), for the warm welcome!
Amazing art car designs from the students at Westwood! Thanks to the art teacher, McKenna Giamfortone.
Getting to “pet” Penelope at Southfield School. PHOTO CREDIT: Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times.

by Cathey Nickell

Houston-based author and elementary school speaker.

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© 2021 Cathey Graham Nickell
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