Ellen Senisi – Writing Steps and How a Book is Created

How is a book created? How can kids get motivated and organized for writing? These questions are answered with the help of a spunky special needs child, an iguana, and lots of photographs.

Ellen Senisi, author and photographer of 18 books for young readers and former teacher, walks students through how a book is created and steps of the writing process. She shows the book creation and production history for her title All Kinds of Friends, Even Green while using a graphic organizer of steps to good writing. The book’s development is followed from the first scratch paper draft through writing, editing, and production to final printed copy. Along the way she emphasizes the importance of the creative process and editing. Her sub-themes are drawn from the featured book (which children can have free access to ahead of time) and include special needs awareness and pets as friends and inspiration.

The theme of the book aligns with the theme of the presentation as Moses, a boy with spina bifida, struggles with how to write about a friend for a school assignment.

Jim Bruchac – Native American Storytelling Presentations

James Bruchac was raised in the Adirondack foothills town of Greenfield Center, New York. A member of the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe, and eldest son of Abenaki and Adirondack storyteller Joseph Bruchac III, James grew up immersed in the natural world, storytelling and native culture.

James has both authored and co-authored books for all ages. Children’s books include How Chipmunk Got His Stripes, Turtle’s Race with Beaver, Rabbit’s Snow Dance, Raccoon’s Last Race, When the Chenoo Howls and Native American Games and Stories. General public titles include Scats and Tracks of the Northeast, Scats and Tracks of the Southeast, and Scats and Tracks of the Mid-Atlantic. James also co-authored The Girl Who Helped Thunder, an anthology of Native American tales. James is a member and former president of the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. Upcoming releases include Kids in the Woods, James Bruchac’s Animal Tracking Adventure Guide, James Bruchac’s Woodland Survival Tips and The Stories He Tells, the Story of Joseph Bruchac.

As a professional storyteller James has shared stories at hundreds of schools and libraries across the country. Whether telling an interactive animal story or a monster tale, he keeps listeners of all ages on the edge of their seats as well as part of the action. James has performed at many festivals, museums including the Smithsonian Discovery Theater (Washington DC), the Corn Island Storytelling Festival (KY), Noble Tales Festival and the Connor Prairie Museum (IN), Indian Summer and Riverbend Festivals (WI), The Boston Children’s Museum and the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum (MA), the Hudson River Clearwater Festival, the Noteworthy Indian Museum, and The Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake (NY). James and other members of his family were featured on the PBS special Adirondack Storytellers (WMHT/PBS).

As a naturalist and outdoor educator, James has conducted tracking and wilderness survival-based research in all corners of the United States and Lower Canada. He has also traveled to places such as West Africa and Central America and continues his work with John Stokes and The Tracking Project in Corales, New Mexico. James is a graduate of the Tracking Project’s “Nurturing The Roots Community Mentor Program.” James’ tracking & wilderness programs include a variety of learning experiences: primitive and modern survival techniques, animal tracking, appreciation of the natural world, and Native uses of natural resources among other things.