Instructor Stories: Laurie Keller


It is with great pleasure that I introduce our newest mini-class instructor (and very possibly critique group mentor) . . .  

Laurie Keller!

If you're part of our membership, you  should have access to “Writing Humor with Laurie Keller” already. She also agreed to mentor a discounted critique group this term, and I can't think of a better person you could have as a mentor if you want to make children laugh. We're still hammering out the details. (Get it? Probably not, if you haven't watched her mini-class.) 

If you're familiar with the ALA awards, which include the Caldecott and the Newbery, Laurie won the 2017 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for WE ARE GROWING, her first early reader. She wrote the following song to thank the award committee for choosing her.

Writing Humor

Raise your hand if you like to make people laugh. Do people groan when you make puns? Is your imagination captured by interesting coincidences? Do you love funny parodies?

If any of those apply to you, you're going to love Laurie Keller's new mini-class

In Laurie's class, I learned how to:

  • use puns, parody, and wordplay in a story
  • make the most of sideline stories
  • lighten a heavy moment
  • present facts in a more interesting way
  • play with voice
  • add unexpected details
  • find inspiration
  • use humor to escalate emotion in a story
  • make the most of page turns

You're going to enjoy this class, because we all enjoy humor, right?

Best of all, there's a live workshop on August 29 at noon, PDT, where Laurie will review some student submissions and answer questions. It's going to be fun!

Laurie's Books

Laurie has so many great children's books that I'm just going to share some of the highlights. Many of them have some kind of educational or nonfiction element. Some have even been turned into fun educational videos. 

ARNIE THE DOUGHNUT was so popular that Laurie got to create a fun chapter book series based on it. 

Book Giveaway Details

I will be giving away a copy of one of Laurie Keller's books. Any book written and/or illustrated by Laurie Keller is an option. To enter, just comment on this post with the book you'd like to win. You don't have to be a student or buy anything to enter.

If you're outside the United States, just choose a book carried by Book Depository.

For additional entries, you can share the post on social media and post a link to where you’ve shared in the comments (preferably as a comment to your original comment so that all of your entries are grouped together).

I’ll close the contest at midnight, Pacific Time, on August 25. Thanks for reading and sharing!

Blog Contributors

Instructor Photo: Myrna Foster

Myrna Foster writes and edits content for Storyteller Academy and the WriteRiders Newsletter for SCBWI Nevada. She has spent a lot of time teaching and coaching children, including five years as a preschool teacher. She's also worked as a journalist, and Highlights High Five has published six of her poems. 

Arree Chung is an author/illustrator and the founder of Storyteller Academy. Arree’s Ninja! series has received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal. Kirkus also gave a starred review to Mixed, which recently won the FCGB award. 

Today Arree lives a creative life, making stories for children. Arree spends most of his time making picture books, writing middle grade novels, and sharing his love for art, design, and storytelling with kids and dreamers everywhere.

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112 thoughts on “Instructor Stories: Laurie Keller”

      1. Pluto Gets the Call!!!
        I absolutely am thrilled to see that I have picked up many of Laurie’s books without understanding that she wrote all of them! My son loves “We Are Growing” and a lot of Laurie’s other books are read in my classroom.

    1. Just by reading the titles, such as DO UNTO OTTERS, you can see how these would interest children and teach them something.

    1. Christina Ibarra

      Her books are so hilarious and entertaining to read aloud! I’d love a copy of Arnie the Doughnut. Thanks for the opportunity.

  1. Loved Laurie’s mini class!! I would love to get Potato Pants or one of Arnie the Doughnut books. If I don’t win, I’m going to buy them anyway! Thanks for the opportunity.

  2. Ohmygosh! I’ve been looking forward to a humor class to help me inject some tee hees into my MS. And as I’ve been searching up read-alouds lately, I keep seeing Chris o’dowd holding Arnie the Doughnut up to read – must mean something. Can’t wait…

    1. I got the Joke. Hammer. Hahaha haha. Her Intro is awesome.
      If you haven’t read Arnie the Doughnut, look for Chris O’Dowd reading it. If you have read it but you didn’t see Chris read it, look it up. Awesome sauce.
      Which book? Which book would I choose?
      I want them all. When I win the lottery, I’m going to build a library and have all the books.
      For now, I choose . . . POTATO PANTS.

  3. These books all look so exciting! Can’t wait to read them! My choice for the giveaway is the Scrambled States of America. Thanks!

  4. Catherine Crossgrove

    Scrambled States looks like a fantastic way to help my international students to enjoy learning about this really big confusing country.

  5. I finished this class today. Lots of great info, I also shared with my 15 year old daughter. She’s an aspiring PB illustrator. If I won the drawing, I’d love to own Pluto Gets the Call. Thank you!

    1. Carmelita Cunanan

      I am very grateful to receive the book Arnie the Doughnut. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to know you thru your books. I am sure I will enjoy the book as well as my 4 grandsons. Thanks

  6. They all look very very fun and interesting! Can’t wait to read them! I wud love to pick ‘Pluto gets the call’ first!

  7. We are growing is such an fun concept. I think it would be challenging to have a story about grass which doesn’t move, but now I’m super curious!

    1. Thanks for this opportunity! I don’t know this author, her covers look so interesting and captivating. I would choose “Potato Pants” or “We are growing”, but I live overseas and I don’t know if any of them is carried by Book Depository, so anyone would be great! Thanks again!

  8. I’d like to get ‘Potato Pants!’ or ‘We Are Growing’. (I already own ‘Do Unto Otters’ and ‘Scrambled States of America Talent Show’) Or any of the other books I don’t already have sounds great! Thank you 😊

  9. Verlyn Maldonado

    I think I would love to see what The Scrambled States of America is all about. Thanks so much for the opportunity!

  10. Erika Loudermillwebb

    Thank you for this opportunity. I would love to have them all. To choose one, I choose ,Do Unto Otters’ this one has caught my eye first. Thank you again.

  11. Eva Blankenship

    They all look fun and have beautiful illustrations! I’m gonna pick Potato Pants. Thank you for this chance. 🥰👍

    1. Congratulations, Persephone! The good news is that you won a Laurie Keller book. The bad news is that now you have to choose. I’ll send you an email.

  12. I love Laurie Keller’s humorous picture books! I donated two books of hers to a kindergarten classroom where we read them over and over. The children laughed every time!
    I would like either Arnie the Doughnut or We are growing! Thank you,

  13. Wow, these all sound (and look) amazing! If I win I’ll let Laurie decide what book she thinks best for a boy of ten years old, a girl that’s eight years old and a girl of 38 ….love it!

  14. So fun (and funny)! I would love to win Arnie the Doughnut or Do Unto Otters. Hope to take a class with Laurie in the future! 🙂

  15. Oh my goodness how exciting! My kids used to get “The Scrambled United States if America” from the library often !!! I can’t believe she is teaching a class how fun!

    If I win I would like to read “Do Unto Otters.”
    Thank you for offering the drawing!

  16. Do Unto Otters is a great book! Would be perfect for all my grandkids. Also, I would love to read Arnie the Doughnut. Sounds like a great book for my 4 year old granson.

  17. It’s hard to decide between Pluto Gets The Call and Do Unto Otters! If I’m not too late, I choose Do Unto Otters. No wait! Never mind, that’s my choice, yeah.

  18. I love Laurie’s books! Used them all the time when I was in the library! I also already own several. If I win, I’d like The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut chapter book. Thanks!

  19. So funny and creative illustrations. Any of the books that would suit the Kindergartner would be nice. Can’t wait to read! Thank you 🙂

  20. Do Unto Otters. We need fun books like these to laugh. Writers need to laugh to let loose sometimes.

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