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, 2020), the forthcoming No World Too Big: Young People Fighting Climate Change, also with Metcalf and Bradley (spring 2023, Charlesbridge), and the author of The King Cake Baby (Pelican Publishing 2015), and Opening the Road: Victor Hugo Green and His Green Book, illustrated by Alleanna Harris (Beaming Books, 2021). Dawson is a New Orleans native and has worked and lived in the Philippines, Japan, and Egypt. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

She is a member of SCBWI, a regular contributor at the Reading for Research Month (ReFoReMo) blog, has written author studies for Picture Book Summit, and has reviewed 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.


    • Writing Fiction vs. Nonfiction Stories: How to decide what to put in and what to leave out?
    • Connecting Readers and Writers: How to tell true stories about history’s heroes and events using text structure.

Photos of my visits:


“It was a pleasure to have Keila V. Dawson speak to my Kindergarten class about her book The King Cake Baby! She really connected with my kids and had them saying words in French by the end of her visit. She inspired us to write our own class book!” – Elizabeth Gates, Kindergarten Teacher, Rothenberg Academy, Cincinnati Public Schools

“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 visit: $300.00

*Half day: $500.00

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.


Virtual Visits/Skype:

  • A 40-45 minute virtual visit, 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.