In 2020 so far, we’ve “visited” over 70 schools over Skype or Zoom, and spoken to thousands of children, from India to Indiana! We love visiting classrooms, scout troops, book clubs, and libraries, and working with young readers and writers.

Both INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED and PERKIN’S PERFECT PURPLE are curriculum aligned with free activities guides. And don’t forget to check out our book pages for the awards and accolades these books have accumulated, including best STEM and Social Studies lists!

Free Zoom or Skype with your class, troop or group

All Ages – (FREE! 20 minute visit with Debbie or Tami)

Bring STEM to your troop or classroom with Tami or Debbie, PERKIN’S PURPLE and INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED! We’ll introduce William Perkin, Betty, Jean and Kay’s true stories, our inspiration and some brief science and coding games your kids will love to do at home or in the classroom.

Longer Visits

The Thrill Of The Chase

Grades 2-5 (45 min.) 

Research isn’t just educational. It’s a thrill uncovering clues and learning the true story.

Debbie or Tami will share our journey researching the lives of Betty, Jean and Kay and William Perkin- from the Smithsonian archives to snail beds in Ancient Tyre- as we create our picture book biographies!

This presentation can be expanded to a wonderful full day biography/women’s history/STEM project. Students examine primary sources, conduct mock interviews, prepare an outline, learn simple computer coding, practice the scientific method and/or write a short biography.

I am a Scientist, Mathematician, Engineer, Artist… I can be EVERYTHING!

For Grades K-8 (45 minutes)

Young William Perkin “dreamed of being an artist, a musician, a photographer, a botanist… William was interested in everything!” Even though William’s father was skeptical, William was most passionate about science and became a groundbreaking chemist. Betty, Jean and Kay defied their own skeptics to become the world’s first real computer programmers and made permanent innovations in computer scientists, never taking “No! Girls can’t do that!” for an answer. We’ll role play with Readers’ Theater to model the skills these heroes used to follow their STEM dreams. Then we’ll play fast and fun coding games to prove we can be STEM heroes, too!

I can do it! You can, too! We can be everything we want to be!

Convince The Queen

For Grades 3-8 and up
(1 presentation session 45 minutes or  2 interactive sessions 1 1/2 hours)

Queen Victoria commanded “Make me a coronation crown, of gold and silver and purple velvet!” but purple was tricky until a boy named William Perkin invented a new way to make a new purple, using SCIENCE!

When William came up with Perkin’s Perfect Purple he didn’t keep his new invention to himself. He persuaded Queen Victoria to wear a dress made of Perkin’s Purple velvet to the most important event of the decade- her oldest daughter, Princess Vicky’s wedding. Perkin’s Purple became a PASSION!

Persuasive essays state facts and make arguments to convince the reader. Using a five paragraph structure we’ll construct a persuasive essay William could have written to convince the Queen. (If your school uses another specific formula for persuasive essays this presentation can be adapted to your own format.)

Be prepared to be persuaded!

If you would like me to conduct this presentation as a generative workshop with students writing their own essays it can be presented in two sessions with a break in between. Session two includes brainstorming, guided writing, editing and revising techniques and sharing.

(Persuasive Essays, Writing)

Chase Your Dreams

For Teens and Adults (45 minutes)

You’ve always dreamed of writing for children but how do you get started? There are free resources and insider advantages to jumpstart your career as a children’s writer. Debbie or Tami will lead you on a lively tour of what’s available on line, where to find a critique group, how to submit a manuscript to agents and editors, and how to cope with rejection- and success!

How Do You Know When It’s Ready To Go?

For Teens and Adults (45 Minutes)

Nearly everyone has a great idea for a children’s book but that doesn’t mean everyone can produce a polished manuscript and make a sale. Avoid novice mistakes and put your best foot forward by following our tips for developing manuscripts that are too good to be ignored.

Design Your Own Program

Is there a topic you’d like us to speak about? Just ask and we can design a program to suit your audience.

Contact us now to schedule your slot.


Free! 20 minutes Skype visits

We charge $150 for 45 minute Skype and Zoom visits. However we offer a handful of probono visits to schools with under-served populations, so don’t be afraid to ask!

In 2020 all visits will be virtual- so no matter where you are you can schedule a Zoom, Skype or other virtual visit with either Debbie or Tami.

Every student who participates in Zoom, Skype (or we hope very soon live visits!) will receive a free bookmark.

Even though we won’t be able to be physically present in your school, book club or troop meeting this year you don’t have to miss out on signed books. We can arrange book orders for signed books and send them to you by priority mail. We can even set book sales up as a school or group fundraiser, if you’d like. It’s easy. Contact us and we’ll explain how. Or we can send free customized signed bookplates you can place inside books you purchase anywhere.



October 14

VCFA Book Birthday for PERKIN’S PERFECT PURPLE on ZOOM! click to register

BookPeople Launch for PERKIN’S PERFECT PURPLE! click to register

December 16

VCFA Book Birthday for ART IS LIFE on Zoom! Click to Register

Past Events


May 2, 2020


Visiting Author
December 6, 2019


October 26th-27th, 2019   


October 9, 2019  WEDNESDAY at 7:00pm


October 9, 2019  WEDNESDAY at 4:00pm


October 8, 2019  TUESDAY at 6:30pm