Dianne White is a picture book author, poetry lover, and teacher. Her award-winning debut, BLUE on BLUE, illustrated by Caldecott artist, Beth Krommes, has received multiple starred reviews, and was included on the Boston Globe’s “Best Picture Books of 2014”, the Washington Post’s “Best Books for Young Readers”, Amazon’s “Best Books of the Year 2014 (Ages 3-5)”, and Booklist’s Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2014. Two new picture books are forthcoming in 2018: GOODBYE BRINGS HELLO (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), illustrated by Daniel Wiseman, and WHO EATS ORANGE? (Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster), illustrated by Robin Page.
A Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, 2015, BLUE on BLUE was also selected as a Kentucky Bluegrass Award 2015-2016 (Preschool Books) winner, a 2016 North Carolina Children’s (Picture Book) Award Nominee, and a Kansas State Reading Circle Primary Title.
Dianne holds an elementary bilingual teaching credential and two master’s degrees, one in Language and Literacy and the other in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. After 25 years in the classroom, Dianne now writes full time but still enjoys visiting schools to share her love of books and poetry with students and teachers.
Dianne offers a variety of assembly and workshop presentations; school visits are tailored to meet the ages of participating students, as well as address school site and district curricular goals. She especially enjoys presenting at professional conferences and book festivals, where she gets to meet more of her favorite people – classroom teachers and librarians.
Praise for BLUE ON BLUE:
“Succinct rhymes, measured and musical, trace the arc of the day, from morning to moontime, with astonishing restraint, grace and fluidity. Words land on readers’ ears with the pleasing, plodding patter of raindrops. Unexpected word choices endow simple poetry with remarkable inflections…” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
- Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, 2015 (National Council for the Social Studies/Children’s Book Council)
- Kentucky Bluegrass Award 2015-2016 (Preschool Books)
- 2016 North Carolina Children’s (Picture Book) Award Nominee
- Kansas State Reading Circle Primary Title
- Best Picture Books of 2014– Boston Globe
- Best Books of the Year 2014 (Ages 3-5)– Amazon
- December’s Best Books for Young Readers– Washington Post
- Republic Recommends: December 2014 Book Pick – Arizona Republic
- Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2014 – Booklist
- The Original Art 2014 Exhibition of the Society of Illustrators
- Autumn 2014 Kids’ Indie Next List
Presentations and Descriptions:
Working with large groups of students, Dianne talks about her life as a writer. Younger audiences usually have a stronger interest in her picture book, BLUE on BLUE. Older audiences are often curious about the collaboration of author, illustrator, editor, art director and the process of creating a book from story idea to draft, revision to publication. While this program varies depending on the age of the participating students, its ultimate goal remains the same: each one of us has a story to share in a voice uniquely our own. Sharing these stories is a privilege and as much a gift to oneself as to those who read or hear them.
Workshops are appropriate for class-sized or small groups of creative writers, and are adjusted according to the grade level of students. Below is a sampling of the types of workshops Dianne has done in the past:
- Poem-Making: In this hands-on workshop, Dianne will talk about some of the specific features of poetry and look at a collection of poems about a single subject. You’ll collect words and compose out-loud. After a group poetry-writing session, students will begin to write (and share) their own poems. (Grades K-6)
- The Extraordinary Ordinary: In this hands-on workshop, Dianne will talk about the importance of observation as a “way in” to writing a poem. You’ll consider a handful of poems, noticing how the poet describes each subject in a fresh way. Then, you’ll study a photo of a familiar creature (a bee or dragonfly, for example) and collect words, looking with a poet’s eye to see how the extraordinary often hides within the familiar. You’ll begin a class poem together and lead students to write their own. (Grades K-6)
- Behind-the-Scenes: In this class or multi-class presentation, Dianne will talk about her life as a writer and give a candid look inside the creative process from story spark to draft, revision to publication. She’ll share an editor’s revision notes, an illustrator’s preliminary sketch “dummy,” initial color proofs, and you’ll have a look at the artistic collaboration of author, illustrator, editor, and art director.
- Piecing a Story Puzzle: In this hands-on workshop, students will learn about the elements of a good story: character and setting, problem and solution, story arc, and the use of appropriate, specific details. You’ll share a mentor text and identify the story elements. Students will then innovate on the example to create their own story. Kindergarten and 1st grade students will write a group story. 2nd and 3rd graders will write their own. (Grades K-3)
Availability and Honorariums
- $400 – $600 Half-Day School Visit (2 to 3 presentations) within the local Phoenix metro area
- $800 – $1000 Full-Day School Visit (4 to 5 presentations) within the local Phoenix metro area
- $150 Skype Visit 40 minutes
- Inquire about fees for presentations outside the Phoenix metro area