David LaRochelle

author & illustrator

School Visits

David LaRochelle

I’m a for­mer ele­men­tary school teacher who loves shar­ing my pic­ture books with chil­dren. I have giv­en vis­it­ing author/illustrator res­i­den­cies at hun­dreds of schools through­out Min­neso­ta, the Upper Mid­west, and internationally.

In-Person Visits

Res­i­den­cies can last from one day to over a week. Dur­ing a typ­i­cal one-hour pre­sen­ta­tion I talk about the var­i­ous stages in writ­ing a book, from rough draft to fin­ished man­u­script, stress­ing the impor­tance of revis­ing. I also include some sto­ry­telling as well as on-the-spot draw­ing. If desired, I can work with indi­vid­ual class­rooms where I get the stu­dents start­ed on a cre­ative writing/illustrating project of their own.

I have pre­sent­ed to groups of 200 and larg­er, but I pre­fer pre­sent­ing to small­er groups of 100 or less, which bet­ter facil­i­tates inter­ac­tion with the stu­dents. I am able to per­form a max­i­mum of four to five pre­sen­ta­tions a day; each pre­sen­ta­tion can be up to 45–60 min­utes in length.

Please con­tact me for my speak­ing rates, avail­abil­i­ty, and any oth­er ques­tions you have. I’d love to vis­it your school!

Virtual Visits

While I love inter­act­ing with stu­dents in per­son, a vir­tu­al vis­it might be a bet­ter fit for your school. I’ve con­duct­ed class­room and grade-lev­el pre­sen­ta­tions using Zoom and Google Meets, and cre­at­ed indi­vid­u­al­ized YouTube videos for library sto­ry­times and writ­ing res­i­den­cies. I’d be hap­py to work with your school to cre­ate a vir­tu­al vis­it that works for your needs.

Please don’t hes­i­tate to con­tact me with any questions.

  • LaRochelle School Visits

Comments from Past Visits

“Our Vir­tu­al Vis­it with David was phe­nom­e­nal! He was able to engage the stu­dents with writ­ing and illus­trat­ing through video lessons using humor and enter­tain­ment. Through­out his lessons he made the stu­dents feel like they were in the room with him. He was able to inter­act by ask­ing a ques­tion and then paus­ing and affirm­ing their silent respons­es. Stu­dents excit­ed­ly await­ed the release of each new video. If an in per­son vis­it with David is not pos­si­ble, a Vir­tu­al Vis­it is the next best thing!” (Bren­da Dahl and Beth Gotz, first grade teach­ers, Cham­plin-Brook­lyn Park Acad­e­my, MN)

“I have seen many chil­dren’s authors work­ing with ele­men­tary school chil­dren in my twen­ty-some­thing years as a teacher and admin­is­tra­tor. David LaRochelle tops the list. His inter­ac­tions with chil­dren, charis­mat­ic per­son­al­i­ty and enthu­si­asm kept our stu­dents so focused and excit­ed dur­ing the time they spent with him. Hav­ing an author who can talk about writ­ing, edit­ing, plan­ning, think­ing and also illus­trat­ing is a spe­cial expe­ri­ence. I think every child took some­thing away from the ses­sions with David that will help them to devel­op their own writ­ing. In addi­tion I was impressed by how hard David worked each day when he was at our school. He is tire­less and was keen to spend as much time as pos­si­ble inter­act­ing with stu­dents.” (Frances Lond-Caulk, ele­men­tary school vice-prin­ci­pal, Inter­na­tion­al School of Beijing)

“After David vis­it­ed our school I could fill up pages of quotes from both teach­ers and stu­dents shar­ing how much they loved his pre­sen­ta­tion! A few things that I heard were, ‘That was the best author we have ever had by far!’ ‘Our stu­dents (preschool kids) have nev­er sat that qui­et­ly for that long! They were mes­mer­ized!’ and from a stu­dent: ‘When is David going to come back? I miss him already!’ I would agree with each of these state­ments whole­heart­ed­ly! It was a joy to have David here. The stu­dents were engaged for the whole 45-minute pre­sen­ta­tion. He includ­ed many oppor­tu­ni­ties for stu­dent par­tic­i­pa­tion, he had every­one laugh­ing, smil­ing, and even mov­ing!  As a librar­i­an, I found set­ting up every­thing with him was won­der­ful and easy. David was always quick with replies, flex­i­ble, and even made a spe­cial keep­sake book­mark for our stu­dents! It was a very spe­cial expe­ri­ence for our stu­dents and I would high­ly rec­om­mend David LaRochelle as an author vis­it to any­one!” (Katie Merul­la, teacher librar­i­an, Echo Hill Ele­men­tary, Mar­i­on, IA)

“If you are look­ing for an author who will inspire your stu­dents and staff, David LaRochelle will do just that! His pre­sen­ta­tions are fun and engag­ing and he knows how to respect­ful­ly man­age large groups of kids. I lis­tened to 4 pre­sen­ta­tions in a row and each time I was cap­ti­vat­ed by his sto­ry­telling and illus­trat­ing, and by the excite­ment of the kids in the audi­ence! We were also lucky enough to have David lead writ­ing work­shops in indi­vid­ual class­rooms. After his lessons my kids were actu­al­ly excit­ed to add details to their sto­ries. It has been a week now since his vis­it and stu­dents and staff are still talk­ing about the impact his vis­it made on them.” (Bob­bi Tra­cy, sec­ond grade teacher, Crivitz Ele­men­tary School, Crivitz, WI)

“David weaves sto­ries in a fresh, fun­ny and enter­tain­ing way. He held the atten­tion of 150 kinder­garten and first graders, fol­lowed by 150 sec­ond and third graders, meet­ing with three groups of 75 fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. He held them in the palm of his hand. Many turned out with their par­ents for a book sign­ing at the local book­store that same night. Each book signed is a work of art. We hope to have him back again!” (Ann Reynolds, teacher librar­i­an, Crestview Ele­men­tary School, Clive, IA)

“David LaRochelle’s author vis­it could not have been bet­ter. From the extra care he took to send his intro­duc­to­ry let­ter to teach­ers and the delight­ful book­mark he cre­at­ed for our stu­dents, to the amaz­ing way he had stu­dents from kinder­garten to fifth grade enthralled, he was sim­ply out­stand­ing! Many teach­ers made a point to tell me his words were just per­fect for their stu­dents. His books are con­stant­ly checked out—a true mea­sure of his suc­cess!” (Car­la Larsen, media spe­cial­ist, Red Rock Ele­men­tary, Wood­bury, MN)

“I have been in and around inter­na­tion­al schools for over a decade (either as a teacher or as a mom or both!) and David LaRochelle’s pre­sen­ta­tion was by far the best I have ever seen. He knows exact­ly how to talk to chil­dren and how to keep them focused and inter­est­ed. Best of all for teach­ers, he touched upon the main points that we empha­size over and over again with our young writers—keeping notes, doing mul­ti­ple drafts, adding details, mak­ing revi­sions, ask­ing a peer to help—the list goes on. David has rein­forced our teach­ing in a way I have not yet seen from vis­it­ing authors.” (Ruth Faw­cett, third grade teacher, Anglo-Amer­i­can School of Rus­sia, Moscow)

“David LaRochelle’s vis­it to our school was mag­i­cal! His books pro­vid­ed a rich vehi­cle for library lessons in prepa­ra­tion for his vis­it. Meet­ing the cre­ator of those books was a dream come true for our pri­ma­ry stu­dents. His sto­ries and draw­ings cap­ti­vat­ed and delight­ed stu­dents and staff alike. His gen­tle affir­ma­tion of stu­dent answers set the tone for a pre­sen­ta­tion that both encour­aged and hon­ored cre­ativ­i­ty, all the while respect­ful­ly acknowl­edg­ing the hard work that it takes to per­se­vere through many revi­sions. Stu­dents took his advice to heart: many par­ents report­ed that David was the talk of their din­ner tables that evening, and teach­ers were impressed with how many stu­dents fol­lowed through by writ­ing and illus­trat­ing their own books. David made us believe that we all can be authors and illus­tra­tors!” (Susan Richard­son, media spe­cial­ist, Sun­ny­side School, Red Wing, MN)

“The teach­ers couldn’t say enough won­der­ful things about David! As one teacher put it, ‘He even had the kinder­garten­ers!’ When David was teach­ing, the stu­dents in grades K through sixth were mes­mer­ized.” (Christie Wal­ter, Title I read­ing teacher, Hori­zons Ele­men­tary, Apple­ton, WI)

“Lis­ten­ing to David LaRochelle, I felt like one of the stu­dents. He cap­tured the atten­tion of all of us as he turned fool­ish­ness into fan­ta­sy. He made us laugh, lis­ten, and learn as he enter­tained us with pic­tures and words. What a gift he was to all of us. When my fifth graders returned to class, we spent time writ­ing in our Writer’s Work­shop jour­nal using inspi­ra­tion gained from our time with Mr. LaRochelle. The stu­dents asked, ‘May we draw, too, and use the whole page like David said?’ I knew then that he had made a won­der­ful impact on all of us!” (Paula Zotal­is, fifth grade teacher, Farib­ault Pub­lic Schools, MN)

“David LaRochelle cap­tures the atten­tion of his audi­ence with his ‘down to earth,’ calm, gen­tle nature. His respect­ful affir­ma­tion of stu­dent ideas pro­vides an envi­ron­ment that encour­ages stu­dents to think, imag­ine, and cre­ate.” (Audrey Web­ster, sec­ond grade teacher, Lake Rip­ley Ele­men­tary, Litch­field, MN)

“Sim­ply put, David was the best Author Vis­it we have host­ed. He mes­mer­ized both stu­dents and staff with his pre­sen­ta­tion style, and we were all tak­en by his gen­uine warmth and the atten­tion he gave to stu­dents.” (Bren­dan Bog­a­rt, prin­ci­pal, Lin­coln Ele­men­tary School, Alexan­dria, MN)

“David care­ful­ly explains all aspects of writ­ing a sto­ry and get­ting it pub­lished, yet is care­ful to explain the strug­gles he him­self has encoun­tered as a writer. Par­ents and stu­dents com­ment year after year about what a mem­o­rable and inspi­ra­tional expe­ri­ence it was to have him work with our stu­dents.” (Mar­got Brooks, third grade teacher, Tur­tle Lake Ele­men­tary, Shore­view, MN)

“David brought an engag­ing edu­ca­tion­al expe­ri­ence to all of the stu­dents at our school. His for­mer expe­ri­ence teach­ing at the ele­men­tary lev­el, com­bined with his cap­ti­vat­ing sto­ry­telling tal­ents and artis­tic abil­i­ties made his vis­it worth every pen­ny! I high­ly rec­om­mend invit­ing David to your school; stu­dents and staff alike will be inspired and delight­ed by his vis­it.” (Jen­ny Hill, media spe­cial­ist, St. Michael Ele­men­tary School, St. Michael, MN)