Iza's Blog



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Click here  |  school visit information

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Click here for downloadable activities

Click here to contact me | I look forward to hearing from you!

Click here for a list of titles

Click here for my biography



School Visits

Dear Teachers,

I live in the mid Hudson Valley of New York State, and will travel within a 2 hour drive for a one day visit.  I will be happy to travel further, however I will need a minimum of three day’s consecutive visits to schools within close proximity. Please contact me if you would like more information.

Below is a description of my presentation, along with a list of books and a biography:

Since my picture books are geared toward the four to eight year old age group, my program is best suited for the earlier grades—kindergarten and first.  However, I can modify my program to an older audience. Preferably I like working with small groups, i.e. not more than two classes combined, thus keeping the sessions more interactive and manageable. In some of the larger schools this may be difficult, in which case I can address larger groups. In the course of a normal school day I can do up to 4 forty five minute to 1 hour presentations and my fee for a full day is $1,000.00 plus travel expenses if applicable. If that is not within the school’s budget I can reduce sessions and price accordingly.  Whenever possible I like to set up in one room and have the classes meet there, which makes it more efficient time wise. The only supplies I need are an easel and a large table. If I will be presenting to a large assembly then I will also need a slide projector or powerpoint set up, a screen and a microphone.

Here is a description of my typical program: 

The children and I start off by singing one of my books. (They join me in singing the first verse or chorus). I then give them a brief overview of the book making process, going into more detail with older kids, less with younger ones.  I show them original artwork, from the rough pencil sketches of the dummy to the final watercolor paintings, including also some of my rejected art to show that even professionals make mistakes. In addition I include proofs and press sheets to explain the printing process. After a question and answer period I go on to doing a drawing demonstration. Usually I select a character from one of my books and ask the children for ideas as to what the character could be doing. I then draw it for them and keep asking for more ideas to illustrate a whole scene. If there is time left over, I will answer more questions and/or read or sing another book.
    
If there are books for me to sign I can do that during lunch or at the end of the school day. If time does not allow for that due to a large volume of books, I may take them home to sign and return them to the school as soon as possible. Conversely, books may be shipped directly to me with a list of names for autographing and I can bring them to the school on the day of my visit. My publisher is Charlesbridge Publishing and they offer a school discount:

Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
85 Main Street
Watertown, Ma 024722
800-225-3214 customer service
617-926-0329—tell them it's a school book order

 

The publisher of my new book, The Bear Went Over the Mountain is:

Sky Pony Press
307 W. 36th St. 
NY, NY 10018

212-643-6816  |  Audrey Schaefeaschaefer@skyhorsepublishing.com 


I have presented at many schools, both locally and in outlying counties and different states. For more information and references please contact me.

 

Skype visits are now available.
A 45 minute presentation that includes singing, reading, description of book making process,
a drawing demonstration and Q+A is $150.00

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Books I have written and Illustrated:

What Am? An Animal Guessing Game (1992)

The Itsy Bitsy Spider (1993)

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (1994)

Oh Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone? (1995)

I’m A Little Teapot (1996)

How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? (1997)

Mary Had A Little Lamb (1998)

Row Row Row Your Boat (1999)

My Jack (1999)

Shoo Fly (2000)

Baa Baa Black Sheep (2001)

Froggie Went A-Courtin’ (2002)

Jingle Bells (2005)

Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush
(2006)

Rufus and  Friends- Rhyme Time
Traditional Poems extended and illustrated by Iza Trapani (2008)   

Haunted Party (2009)

Rufus and Friends/School Days (2010)

The Bear Went Over the Mountain (2012) Sky Pony Press




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Books I have illustrated:

I Am Three/I Am Four by Alice Steed (1993)

Tomorrow Is Mom’s Birthday by Carolyn Dorflinger (1994)

Tracy’s Mess by Elise Petersen (1996)

The Wedding by Eve Bunting (2003)


 

Other Editions:

Book and Cd packages  |  Sing Along with Iza and Friends:

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Row Row Row Your Boat
(2004)



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Biography:

In 1961, when I was seven years old, my mother and I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Poland to America. My father, sister, brother and paternal grandmother all stayed behind in the tiny apartment in Warsaw where the six of us had resided. Under Communist rule entire families were prohibited from traveling abroad so my mother took me, the youngest, hoping to bring the rest of the family over at a later time. Tragically, she died before fulfilling her dream. My father died shortly thereafter. Due to extenuating circumstances I was unable to return to Poland and twenty-five years passed before I was re-united with my siblings. I spent three and a half years in a Catholic Children’s Home and then, after completing High School, moved to the Hudson River Valley in upstate New York.
    
In the ensuing years I worked as a nanny, short-order cook and waitress while studying Art at the State University in New Paltz. After graduation I worked in various capacities- as a rock climbing guide, real estate broker, caterer and free-lance illustrator. But all along I had one dream, a dream that I held onto since I was a little girl, and that was to make picture books. My portfolio was filled with art for children and I just hoped for that lucky break. For many years when blowing out the candles on my birthday cakes it was my wish to make children’s books. Often I recall an incident while taking a real estate motivational course: When asked by the teacher to state my primary goal, without blinking an eye, I had replied, “to someday illustrate a children’s book ”.  It wasn’t the answer she was looking for, but to me it was a personal affirmation of my real dream.
    
When my first book was published I jumped for joy. Now, with over 20 published books I continue to be ecstatic. I have always loved children’s literature- from the wacky brilliance of Dr. Seuss to the timeless, love-filled classics of Margaret Wise Brown and a slew of others in between. The combination of simple but elegant text and enchanting illustrations has always been an irresistible package and has fascinated me all my life. As a child I spent hours immersed in the magical world of books. These days I try to re-create some of that magic for others to enjoy.
    
Everyday I give thanks for the life I have with my loving husband and stepson and our dogs and cats in our new dream home and studios on a beautiful farm, and a career that keeps me smiling. Looking back on my childhood in Poland, I feel that I owe my family gratitude for fostering a creative environment in our home and for instilling in me a love for books, language, art and music. For the brief time that I knew my parents their encouragement and support left a lasting impression and contributed greatly to the realization of my lifelong dream.

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