"How did you find this amazing author?" my assistant principal asked me at the end of your first presentation to our 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. The teachers have been stopping me in the halls since your visit last week with glowing reviews. "My students are excited about writing!" Is the predominant exclamation! Your presentations were fun, yet full of solid advice for all of us.
Thank you so much, Mr. Catalanotto! Our students and staff have been inspired! We can't wait to have you back!
Erin Siwert, Librarian
Kings Glen ES, Springfield, VA
After hearing you present I felt so excited about teaching again; as though someone had just lifted the lid off a box that has been slowly closing in on me over the last few years. In a world where technology is always in the forefront, I felt so revived and ready to continue teaching because you showed us the value of “creativity!" Thank you, Peter!
Connie Reber Second Grade Teacher Akron ES, Lancaster, PA
Wow! I told you I would be basking in your reflected glory for the next several weeks. Teachers and kids have commented so enthusiastically about how great your presentations were! I have the display from the gym hanging in the library with your comments written on the speech bubbles. We have been following up on the visit by reading the questions and your answers and then allowing them to give their impressions of the visit. So many students have commented about leaving the presentation and immediately writing or drawing.
Librarian, Lampeter, PA
I feel compelled to write and explain my reaction to your visit today. I'm the teacher that brought up one of my students to meet you after your first presentation at Schuylkill this morning. The teacher that cried and could only eek out the words "thank you". His home life is jumbled and he struggles with behavior and anger. He's hard on himself and his self esteem is almost nonexistent. During your presentation, a child that normally can't sit still, a child that normally would be rolling his eyes and making sarcastic remarks, sat still ... eyes glued on you, connecting to your every word. You, I believe, may have saved a child today. You have a gift. Not just as an author but as a speaker and motivator. Thank you for sharing that gift with students and teachers.
Natalie Hrynko, Teacher
I met Peter early in his career and it has been a pleasure all these years to invite him to visit NYC schools where students have studied his work - a guaranteed successful visit with a successful author and illustrator! Peter shares insights with teachers and students with warmth, humor, patience and relevant connections. Everyone will enjoy learning more from Peter about truly using the writing process--finding ideas for inspiration, drafting a story through words and pictures, revising, revising, editing, and publishing.
Retired NYC principal and community superintendent
It's been awhile since Peter came to visit us, but he is still vivid in everybody's memory, students and staff alike. He was so friendly, helpful, and interesting that everyone still talks about his visit as being one of the best ever--and we've had many authors over the past 20 years or so. The students adored him for his ability to talk to them, not at them, he included them and they had fun. They even went back to their rooms and, on their own, started to write their own stories and create the art work with it. Thank you, Peter, for all that you brought to our school here at Groton Elementary.
As a PTO volunteer, one of my jobs was to hire a children's book author to come and speak at my daughter's school (grades K-1). We hired Peter Catalanotto and he presented at our school two years ago. Peter is the author and/or illustrator of many books including Emily's Art, Dylan's Day Out and Ivan The Terrier. His presentation was phenomenal. "He's amazing," said a first grade teacher. "He totally connected with the kids, held their attention and was so inspirational."
I could not agree more. I have seen several people speak who are supposed to be knowledgeable about kids but ended up being far from that description. Peter knew his audience well. He spoke to them on their level without being condescending. The teachers and children were rapt. If you have children ages 5 to 8, you can comprehend how charismatic he must have been to hold their attention for 45 minutes without any interruption or fidgeting.
Roxanne Dowell PTO
Mary Kay McMillin Early Childhood Center
Many presenters have the ability to relate well to children, but most of them speak in essentially the same way to all age groups. Peter has the rare gift of being able to talk with five and six year olds on their level, rejoicing in the things that interest them, and then in the next session meet with a group of ten and eleven year olds and move to their level of interest and sophistication. He is funny, he is engaging, and most of all he radiates the joy of both writing and drawing. In the days following his visit, many of our children wrote and drew with great seriousness. One parent said to me, “That man you invited? I can’t pronounce the guy’s name, but, whoever he is; he really got my child writing and drawing!”
Melissa Yates/Retired Librarian
Central Buck School District
Bucks County, PA
It is my pleasure to recommend Peter Catalanotto as a speaker for any group. I have watched him talk to groups of adults, middle grade children, and younger children. He is easy and comfortable with all ages. Audiences in turn respond to his lively presentations and outgoing personality. Perhaps as important, his art and writing in an ever growing list of books, speak to a wide variety of ages.
Retired Head of Children's Services
Carnegie Library System, Pittsburgh, PA
Peter Catalanotto has visited schools and libraries in my area annually since 1999. His presentations are always age appropriate, informational, inspirational, innovative, and fun--from preschools to middle schools. Every time he has been in a school, a request for a return visit arrives.
One parent of a kindergartner told me his son constantly wants to share Peter’s books because “Mr. Catalanotto taught me I can be an artist when I grow up.”
After Peter visited an elementary school, the principal emailed that, ”Our Lower Elementary children are "on fire" with creative writing and story boards/dummy copies/illustrations.”
We are opening a new elementary school this fall and a parent, whose children will be attending that school, came into my office to be sure that Peter Catalanotto would be visiting that school.
As a public librarian who hosts 3-5 authors a year in the local schools, I consistently get the most enthusiastic comments and thank yous from teachers, students, and parents for bringing Peter Catalanotto to their schools.
Retired Youth Services Director
Williamsburg, VA Regional Library
Peter Catalanotto presented three different age appropriate assemblies and all the kids LOVED him--they couldn't get enough.
My 5th and 6th graders sent me personal emails thanking me, stating that it was the best assembly they had experienced!
They learned how to write a story, how to believe in their abilities and let their minds flow and create. Peter is a true artist and teacher.
I would highly recommend him for your school or organization--what a talent!
With an author or illustrator program, books take on new meaning for students. When that author and illustrator is Peter Catalanotto, you get the best of both worlds. He engages the students with his presentation and inspires them to explore both their literary and artistic talent. Teachers and students give Mr. Catalanotto an A+ and continue to refer to his artistic style and writing ability as they make connections across the curriculum."
Library Media Specialist
An author visit is one of the most exciting experiences that a child can have during elementary school. My experience in bringing authors to several school districts in York County, PA has been highlighted by the visits from author/illustrator Peter Catalanotto. His down-to-earth style and his ease with the children give his programs a comfortable feel. The real benefit from Peter's visits, however, involve his candor about his own stuggles in school and how art helped him to be successful. He gives students a very positive focus about trying new things and not being afraid to reach out for new experiences. He engages all age levels and even though he has a core program, he tailors them to his audience. Sixth graders are just as excited as kindergartners. He is very easy to work with and a very charming individual! I would highly recommend a visit with Peter for your school district."
Director of Youth Services