Kay Winters says stories have always been magic to her. Her parents read to her every night as a child. She spent early years in schools in the Middle Atlantic states, went to high school in Swarthmore, PA, and then received a BS in Education at Arcadia University. This was later followed by a MS in Education from Wheelock College, and further graduate work at Lehigh University. After getting married to Earl Winters, the couple settled in Pennsylvania where she was a teacher, reading specialist, elementary supervisor, and college instructor. Always fascinated by authors and their books, she took every opportunity to hear them speak at conferences, always wishing that she could be a published author one day. After many manuscript submissions and an equal number of rejections, she got her first contract from HarperCollins for the Teeny Tiny Ghost. The rest is history. She stopped teaching and became a full-time writer. Currently she has 7 books in print and five under contract. She writes both fiction and non-fiction.
Voices of Ancient Egypt
Illustrated by Barry Moser
The time known as Ancient Egypt spanned a period of over 5,000 years, from 5200 B.C. (the Predynastic period) to 30 B.C. (the Roman conquest). This book successfully portrays a picture of what daily life was like from approximately 2686-1069 B.C., a period encompassing the Old Kingdom to the New Kingdom. Simply presented with full-page, earth-toned illustrations on the left-hand side and on the right-hand pages the person’s title, their story and hieroglyphics of the title. The award-winning illustrator has provided a visual feel for the voices in this book in such a way that, combined with the printed words, the reader truly obtains a sense of the peoples’ identity. Perhaps the most valuable portion of the book is found at the end–a two page “Historical Note” elaborating upon each of the professions heard from earlier in the book, with such historical clarity that it should be read a the outset, not at the finish. The author was enthralled by Egypt while working on two occasions as a language arts consultant in Cairo and Alexandria. She has written numerous children’s books and often addresses schools and conferences. She and her husband live in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. This book is recommended. 2003, National Geographic, $16.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Cindy L. Carolan (Children’s Literature).
My Teacher for President
Illustrated by Denise Brunkus
Oliver decides to write a letter to Channel 39 and his premise is an interesting one. The talents and abilities needed to govern the country are the same as those exhibited by Oliver’s teacher. So, he reasons, why should not she be elected president? After all, she is followed constantly as is the commander-in-chief. Of course, as the illustrations make clear, she is followed by a straggly line of kids while as president she would be followed by secret service agents and an eager line of reporters and photographers. As president she would sign important bills, but the papers she signs now, such as a bathroom pass for Oliver, are also important. She knows how to put people to work and finds jobs for everyone in the class, so she could campaign on a platform of “More Jobs, More Joy.” Oliver’s teacher knows how to stop fights in the schoolyard, so why could not she work for peace between nations? Yes, Oliver is sure his teacher could make a wonderful president and he has only one caveat. “Just make sure she doesn’t leave before the end of the year.” 2004, Dutton/Penguin Young Readers Group, $14.99. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford (Children’s Literature).
The Teeny Tiny Ghost and the Monster
Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
Most of the young ghosts in class think that the Spook and Spirit Club’s contest to create the scariest monster just in time for Halloween is a terrific idea; that is, everyone except the timid and teeny tiniest ghost. He and his small black cats are tremendously intimidated by the thought of it. Plus he is called a wimp by Wilma and bothered by Buster. But the teeny tiny ghost shows great creativity and ultimately triumphs, winning not only the contest (to the great surprise of both Wilma and Buster) but also a healthy dose of self-confidence. The descriptor “teeny tiny” is repeated throughout the story, reminiscent of the early English folktale of the same title. That is where the similarity ends. The story is completely recast. The lively text is rhythmic, rhyming and alliterative accompanied by lighthearted, very humorous cartoon-like illustrations. Together they sweep across each double page spread to the satisfying conclusion and will remind human children that they, too, can overcome almost anything when they put their minds to it. 2004, HarperCollins, $14.99. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Maria Salvadore (Children’s Literature).
Kay’s basic program is an interactive assembly, the “Magic of Story.” Children form a poetry troupe on the spot and perform poems. Faculty, staff members, and the entire audience also join in with chorale speaking. Then she shows a PowerPoint program which emphasizes the importance of reading, where ideas come from, the making of multiple rough drafts, the patience and persistence involved in being an author. Research strategies, involvement with illustrators, use of pertinent details, the importance of setting, development of character, point of view, and problems with plot are included.
Kay will present to groups of 75-200. She will do up to 3 presentations in a day.
Fees: $1200 per day, within 50 miles of Richlandtown, PA. Overnight presentations begin at $1500. Travel and lodging costs to be paid by sponsoring organization.
To learn more about Kay and her publications please visit www.kaywinters.com.