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Visit Kit

Elizabeth Upton Author Visit Kit

Current home
New York, New York, United States of America


PreK–K, 1–2

Elizabeth Upton first told the story of Maxi the Little Taxi to her son when he was three years old. She has a teaching degree from Teachers College at Columbia University, and her poetry has been included in several collections edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins. She currently works as a writer and a teacher in New York City, where she lives with her two children.

Teachers said, “We were delighted to have the wonderfully talented Elizabeth Upton come and visit our students. She gave us a sneak preview of her delightfully witty and rhythmic book. Our class of kindergarten students was riveted with both the story and the illustrations.“

Students said, “We loved the whole story. We really liked how the illustrator added a lot of details to his pictures. We thought they were really ‘wow.’”

With fifteen years of teaching experience with both adults and children, Elizabeth Upton is a skilled teacher and presenter. She lives in New York City. Her website is

Description of the Author’s Presentation

How a Book is Made

Grades K–2
30 minutes

In her engaging and playful presentation for K-2, Elizabeth Upton reads her book aloud while encouraging students to predict what will happen next. Her PowerPoint presentation explores where ideas for books come from and how a story grows from an idea to finished book. Students see a book going from sketches to finished art and a bound book. Ms. Upton emphasizes the idea that the writing process professional writers go through is just like the process student writers explore. This is an inspiring presentation for young writers and illustrators and a great complement to any process-oriented curriculum.

Trying New Things, Helping a Friend, and Making an Onomatopoeia Poem Together

Grade PreK; groups of 15 students maximum recommended
20 minutes

The story Maxi the Little Taxi explores these themes of a Pre-K curriculum: kindness, how to help a friend, willingness to try new things and have new experiences, using descriptive words to discuss sights, sounds, and textures, cleanliness and social responsibility. Following an interactive read-aloud, Elizabeth Upton engages young students in a sing-along with gestures that both summarize the story and make for playful learning. Then, Elizabeth helps students create a playful onomatopoeia poem together.


Virtual Visits

Elizabeth Upton is happy to drop in for a Skype read-aloud of Maxi the Little Taxi with your PreK–1 class. Students are welcome to ask questions about the writing process and how a book is made. This is perfect for units on transportation and city life. This presentation celebrates the creative process that young writers and illustrators are exploring. 

AV and Tech Needs for In-Person Visits

A Smart Board system if available.


Ms. Upton’s honorarium is $500 for visits in the New York City area, if the commute is an hour or less. Additional fees are required for longer commute times and travel expenses.

Ordering Books

Schools and libraries may order books at a discounted rate by visiting The Scholastic Teacher Store or by calling 1-800-SCHOLASTIC.

Susan Cheyney

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