I love exciting kids about science and writing! As a former corporate trainer, I know the importance of bringing energy to a presentation, especially to an elementary school audience.

For the 2021-2022 school year, I’m currently offering Virtual Visits only. I will update this page with information on in-person visits when conditions change.

My current picture books are:

FREAKY, FUNKY FISH: ODD FACTS ABOUT FASCINATING FISH: From zapping, stinging, even singing, to playing dead or a see-through head, fish do some freaky, funky things to survive in the waters they live in. (Running Press Kids, May 2021)

TELL SOMEONE (available October 1st, 2021): A picture book that affirms the power of talking about your feelings with others, even when it’s scary to do so—from sadness over a missing pet to feeling brave to take that big step. (Albert Whitman, October 1, 2021.)


Virtual Visit Programs:

For Grades K-1

Simple Story Time:

  • Interactive read-aloud of FREAKY, FUNKY FISH or TELL SOMEONE
  • Q&A from teachers
  • About 20 minutes, $75
Animal Adaptations:
  • Brief intro on common features of fish that help them live in water (paper and pencil encouraged.)
  • Specific adaptation: compare the fins
  • no Q&A from students, but I welcome teachers to ask a few questions
  • About 30 minutes, $100

For  Grades 2-3 and 4-5  (Programs are similar but go a bit deeper for grades 4-5)

Animal Adaptations:

  • Brief intro on common features of fish that help them live in water (paper and pencil encouraged)
  • Reading of FREAKY, FUNKY FISH: ODD FACTS ABOUT FASCINATING FISH with freaky, funky facts woven into reading
  • Specific adaptation: compare the fins
  • High-level discussion of research and revision process in writing
  • Q&A
  • 45 – 60 minutes, $175

The Writing Process: From Idea to Book—Building a Story:

  • Brainstorming and recording ideas
  • Research for nonfiction, historical, or informational fiction
  • Drafting
  • Revising and making your words sing (with examples from my books)
  • Getting published
  • Q&A
  • 45 – 60 minutes, $175

Book Signings:

For all virtual visits, we can do book signings, if desired. There are several ways this can be done. We can:

  • Order books through my local bookstore. I will sign them and have them shipped to your school.
  • Your class/school can order through a local bookstore near your school and I can mail you signed book plates.
  • We can use www.authorvisitcentral.com.

Email me at dkshumaker(at)gmail(dot)com for any questions or to book a virtual visit. I look forward to hearing from you!



“I love how Debra talked about the science and research behind making her book and the writing that goes with it. I am looking forward to referencing her visit throughout my teaching.” 

Beth Kraemer, Kindergarten teacher, Van Hise Elementary, Madison, WI.


“My second grade students were engaged in learning odd facts the entire time. . . on the last day of virtual school! Thank you for making learning interactive and fun. But most of all, thank you for inspiring my students to keep learning, and to work hard at whatever they are passionate about.”

Connie Rabe, 2nd Grade Teacher, Rod Kelley School, Gilroy, CA.



Follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I review picture books every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on Instagram.