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Author Visits
Check out some of the authors who have visited Altamont!

We have been very fortunate at Altamont to have had many wonderful author visits over the years.  Here we have listed some of those authors, along with photos and information on their visits.  Thanks again to the Altamont PTA for allowing us to host all these wonderful authors! 


Click on an author's name to read more about that visit:



Jon Chad


Author and cartoonist Jon Chad visited our school on Thursday, January 18, 2018.

 Chad1     Chad2


Jon is the author of the Leo Geo Series, as well as Volcanos: Fire and Life.



Jeff Mack


Guest author Jeff Mack visited Altamont on Thursday, May 25, 2017.


His website:

Order forms for his books are available at school!



Jeff is the author of such books as the Clueless McGee series; picture books like Good News, Bad News; and early readers like Hippo and Rabbit.  We are so excited to have him come visit our school!


Ah Ha  Duck Bath  Good News


Frog Fly  Look  Things Hippo Rabbit



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Peter Lourie



On May 25, 2016, author/photographer Peter Lourie visited Altamont elementary school.  Peter is quite the adventurer, having canoed the entire Hudson River, the Erie Canal - he has even explored parts of the Yukon and Amazon rivers!  Peter has searched for treasure in the cloud forest of Ecuador, studied polar bears in the Arctic, and tracked manatees through the warm waters of Florida.  His books reflect his diverse interest.


As part of his visit, students studied five different environmental groups: Virunga National Park, Defenders of Wildlife, The Ocean Conservancy, The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, and The Global Coral Reef Alliance.  After learning about the organizations, students voted during Peter's visit to choose which group they thought was most worthy of a donation.  After the vote, the organization that received the most votes, Defenders of Wildlife, received a donation off $1,000 from the author, made in the name of Altamont Elementary School!  Thank you to everyone who helped with this amazing "Authors for Earth Day" project.


PL 1








Jarrett J. Krosoczka




On November 19, 2014, author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka visited Altamont elementary school.  Jarrett has written picture books, including Ollie the Purple Elephant, Monkey Boy, Annie Was Warned and Punk Farm!  He is the genius behind the Lunch Lady graphic novels, and he has a chapter book series called Platypus Police Squad.  He does it all!


In addition to presenting to all students at assemblies, Jarrett conducted a graphic novel workshop for fourth graders, and a writers workshop for fifth graders.  Thanks to the PTA for sponsoring this great visit!


See Jarrett's website at for more information.





Seymour Simon


Seymour Simon


The Dean of Children's Nonfiction Books enchanted his audience with nonfiction narratives.  Seymour Simon shared a selection of his almost 300 book titles with Altamont Elementary School's students and staff.  Using comparisons with grains of sand, he helped intermediate grade students understand the magnitude of the universe.  With younger children, he described the mammoth size of a blue whale by comparing its tongue to the weight of an elephant. 

In his autobiography, he reports that children ask him if he will ever run out of ideas for his books, and he replies, "I can't imagine that ever happening."

Seymour Simon knows how to write exciting nonfiction and shared his insights with teachers at an afterschool workshop.

Go to his website to see the summary of his visit to Altamont and to discover the winners of the writing contest he created for Altamont Elementary School. 

Be sure to check out some of his books at our school or public library. 

Seymour Simon Universe


Snakes            Paper Planes


Heather E. Schwartz visits Grades Two and Three

     author presentation   author classroom visit

2012-13 Heather Schwartz has published over thirty nonfiction books for young people. She presented her writing process to students in our second and third grades in the library.  She followed up the presentation with visits to classrooms where children were able to ask deeper questions about her writing.  Ms. Schwartz drew many parallels between her work and the writing students are asked to produce in school.



Elizabeth Zunon presented to Kindergarten and First Grade

          Zunon illustration         author presentation


Elizabeth Zunon, a Guilderland High School graduate, has already illustrated five picture books since she began her career in children's literature three years ago.  Images from her slide presentation show her passion for color that illuminates the content of each book.  She took photos of herself throughout her research process to show how she arrived at authentic images.   Pictured in the background are windmills students drew to show their understanding of one of her titles, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.




Rob Buyea vists with Fourth and Fifth Graders


Fourth and Fifth Grade students prepared for award-winning author Rob Buyea's visit to Altamont by studying his novel Because of Mr. Terupt,  Our students examined the characters and motivations in this powerful story of diverse young people learning about life through their year with a remarkable teacher.

author visit postits  author welcome

 Author Rob Buyea speaks about his writing to fourth and fifth grade students in our library 

library visit  library visit


Afterwards, the author visited the fourth and fifth grade classrooms for individualized Q & A.

author visit  classroom visit





Matthew McElligott


We were lucky to host local children’s author/illustrator Matthew McElligott. He visited grades K-5 on May 10, 2012. Altamont students learned all about the author and his works like Backbeard the Pirate, Even Monsters Need Haircuts, and Benjamin Franklinstein Meets the Fright Brothers. Thanks to AES PTA for supporting our author visits.


Parents are encouraged to visit to learn more about the author.

Image of author display





Bulletin Board based on the work of Matt McElligot











Image of author Image of author
Self-portraits of McElligott from the Backbeard books and Even Monsters Need Haircuts



Sylvie Wickstrom (Kantorovitz) 


In spring of 2011, Ms. Wickstrom spent her day talking with K-2 students about her books, art, and what it's like to be an illustrator and author. She showed us the "potato game" and inspired AES students to give drawing a try. Both students and the author enjoyed the day!



Image of Sylvie and students
Students learned how to create characters out of "potatoes"
when Ms. Wickstrom drew potatoes then brought them to life.  

Image of Ms. Wickstrom Image of Ms. Wickstrom
Students contributed to the drawings by sharing their ideas of how
the potato characters should look. 

Drawing of dog cooking pototoes.        Drawing of dog on motorcycle.
With the help of lots of great ideas from students, Ms. Wickstrom created original drawings for each of the groups she met.  The drawing at left turned into a sad dog cooking potatoes in his clown shoes. The drawing to the right was of a happy dog riding a motorcycle while wearing his flip flops and a leash.

Drawing of crocodile in jeep.
This drawing was of a shocked crocodile who was
about to run a red light in his camouflage jeep!

The following Animoto video includes pictures and video from the visit.

Create your own video slideshow at


To learn more about Ms. Kantorovitz and her works, you can visit her website at



James Preller


On February 3, 2011 the Altamont PTA helped us to host local children's author James Preller for a day-long visit. Pictures and highlights of his visit are shown below!

Image of book coversImage of James PrellerImage of book covers

Third grade students got creative when they designed puzzle pieces to go with their own original titles for Jigsaw Jones books.


Image of student display  

Joseph Bruchac

On December 6, 2011, local author Joseph Bruchac visited grades 2-5. He was joined by his son, fellow author Jessie Bruchac.


Joseph Bruchac's writings reflect his Native American heritage and knowledge of many American Indian cultures and traditions.


Both students and staff alike enjoyed the visit!


To learn more about Joseph Bruchac or his works, parents are encouraged to visit his website ( 


Picture of Joseph Bruchac

Picture by Michael Greenlar from