Keila V. Dawson worked as a community organizer, teacher, school administrator, educational consultant, and advocate for children with special needs before she became a children’s book author. She is co-editor of No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History, along with Lindsay H. Metcalf and Jeanette Bradley, illustrated by Bradley (Charlesbridge, September 22, 2020), the author of The King Cake Baby, illustrated by Vernon Smith (Pelican Publishing 2015) and the forthcoming Opening the Road: Victor Hugo Green and His Green Book, illustrated by Alleanna Harris (Beaming Books, January 26, 2021). Dawson is a New Orleans native and has lived and worked in the Philippines, Japan, and Egypt. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

She is a member of SCBWI, writes monthly author studies for the Reading for Research Month (ReFoReMo) blog, annual author studies for Picture Book Summit and reviews books for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. When Dawson isn’t reading, writing, and visiting schools, she’s traveling, playing tennis, or digging in genealogical archives.


Coming soon!

  • OPENING THE ROAD: Victor Hugo Green and His Green Book
  • OPENING THE ROAD activity guide.

Photos of my visits:


“I can’t thank Keila Dawson enough for the absolutely fantastic classroom visit today! My students LOVE her book and were so excited to meet a real author. Not only did she give them tons of information on the writing process and cultural information on Louisiana, she also taught them how to sing a precious song about Louisiana food, the “12 days of Carnival” and a song on how to spell Tchoupitoulas! It will be a visit they will never forget and neither will I!” – Catherine Donnow, Hammond Westside Montessori School Teacher 1/2/3 Combo, Louisiana

“Thank you so much for the wonderful author visit! You were amazing and the students were so engaged. I can’t thank you enough for giving my kindergartners a perfect first experience Skyping with an author! My teachers all came to me the following day to thank me for putting this all together, they had a great time as well.” – Mindy Perry, Librarian, Dawes Elementary School, Illinois


*Single in-person visit: $300.00 

*Half day in-person visit: $500.00/may split between two schools in the same proximity. 


  • A 40-45 minute virtual visit, a presentation and Q&A is $150.00.
  • A 15-20 minute virtual or Skype with Me FREE visit includes reading and a question and answer session with students.

I am willing to work with faculty and or staff to integrate specific activities into my presentation. Presentations are developmentally appropriate according to age, grade, and academic ability.

Tips for a successful visit:

1. Arrange to host a book sale and allow me to autograph books purchased to make the day much more memorable for your students.

2. Send notes home about my visit. I am happy to provide you with a template.  

3. Take photographs of the visit with permission and share on social media.

4. For each book ordered, please provide the correct spelling of the child’s name.

Tips for the Day of the Visit:  Mixed grades are fine. All groups should have a teacher or a teaching assistant present during the presentation. If possible, ample space should be allowed for kids to move about. A smartboard to accommodate a PowerPoint presentation and microphone for large audiences.


BON TEMPS! Had a good time sharing The King Cake Baby! In Louisiana & Ohio! Some photos of my school, library, and bookstore visits.

Click here and or here for details about my visits or email me:

Interpreter4 Interpreter5 20150206_103130~2  11002509_1784422115116351_360393369091218442_n 


catching beads    future parade goers

20150217_153109~2  Emma book
Emma beads Emma & Leilah



20150206_103130~2  11018891_776445822425474_2249403486890501074_n  in library

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