There are many things about being a children's book illustrator that I enjoy. One of those things is doing the art for children's books. I also enjoy visiting schools and getting to meet the children and teachers that are familiar with my books.

In my school visits, I do a presentation called,
"How I Illustrate a Children's Book."
I begin by introducing several of the book
that I have illustrated. I will then show the class
a manuscript with changes made by the editor.
Then I'll read a portion of the story. I'll asks
the children to listen carefully and to try to
visualize what I read to them.
Then I'll show the class what I visualized
from the story by doing a quick (thumbnail)
sketch, roughly indicating where the type
is going to be within the picture. I'll show
a pencil version of the book with the type
included, which is the dummy book.

I will then show a photo copy of the finished
drawing which is much more detailed than the
thumbnail sketch and is the actual drawing in
which I paint with watercolor.

I may ask a teacher to assist me by reading the
featured book out loud while I show them
the original art work from the book. At times
I'll pause and explaining other things involved in a particular illustration.
The children will get to compare the
original art to the finished book.
A Q and A session will follow. If time permits I
will do a quick drawing. Sometimes I'll bring a
book in progress to show the class.

For larger groups I incorporate a brief powerpoint or slide presentation.
By the end of the presentation, the
children and adults/teachers will have
a basic understanding of how I approach the
challenge of illustrating a children's book
from the manuscript to the thumbnail
sketches to the dummy book and then the
final product.

Book Sales
I don't require that a school have a book sale during my visit, but do encourage it. Hosting a book signing on the day of an author/illustrator visit reinforces the message that books are important, and leaves a child with a lasting memory of the day.
For book ordering contact information please call or e-mail me.

Suggested School Visit Curriculum

Grades K-3
* Reading the story
*basic "How I Illustrate a Book"
*Q and A session
*Book signing
(Books must be pre-ordered)

Grades 3-6
* Reading the story
*In depth "How I Illustrate a Book"
*Q and A session
*Book signing
(Books must be pre-ordered)

Multi-day Workshops
* Reading the story
*In depth "How I Illustrate a Book"
*Q and A session
*Next day: Children have a story written
*Work with them on dividing text and
doing thumbnail sketches
*Children do artwork in class and at home
*Text typed to fit book ready for class
*Putting book together

If you're interested in having Robert Casilla
visit your school, contact him by phone or e-mail
for honorarium and other information.

E-mail Address:
Phone: (203) 312-0635


School Visit Information

First Day in Grapes Classroom Guide

Info about School Visits and to Purchase Books