Now Scheduling for 2024 – 2025!

For additional information, pricing and to check availability, contact me.

  • My programs are perfect for kids of all ages, preschool through high school
  • I teach adult workshops for writers and illustrators
  • No group is too small or too large

The most rewarding part of creating is connecting with teachers and students. I am passionate about visiting schools and participating in events where I can inspire the next generation of artists and writers. My programs can be customized for large school-wide assemblies, grade-level groups, and even individual classroom visits. I also teach craft-related workshops on illustrating and writing children’s books.

I have developed a number of programs that focus on a variety of topics with common elements that I touch on in each presentation. I begin with a peek at my childhood journey from Germany to Australia, where I learned English at age eleven while adjusting to a new culture. Next, I share my love of art and illustration which grew into a passion for books and a career in children’s literature. Then I explore the endless revision process that applies to both writing and art. I discuss my favorite books, and I talk about the importance of reading and writing. The program concludes with a question and answers session.

Virtual Visits & Presentation 

If an actual visit or in-person event is not an option, we can arrange a virtual visit via Skype or Zoom. If you would like more information about an online version of one of my programs, contact me.

Schools Assemblies & Classroom Visits

The length and content of my school visits are tailored to your needs and will be age and grade-level specific. My programs include a slide presentation, various props, including my painting materials and actual paintings and, if desired, a drawing demonstration. Large assemblies are welcome and smaller classroom, “Meet the Writer & Illustrator” type, sessions are also available and work well, especially for younger grades.

Professional Events

As the Assistant Regional Advisor for the SCBWI in Arizona, I help to develop, coordinate and present a variety of events for writers and illustrators of children’s books throughout the states and nation. These have included panel discussions, book festivals, workshops, storytimes, KidLit Mingles, critiquenics as well as our annual Regional Conference.  If you are looking for professional-level content, I can customize a program to accommodate your needs.


The Adventures of Salt & Soap at Grand Canyon

Presentation for ages 4 to adult

“The Adventures of Salt and Soap at Grand Canyon” is a true story about two stray puppies that have the Grand Canyon adventure of a lifetime. Experience Salt & Soap’s story while learning about the Grand Canyon’s history and diversity. Delve into the process of creating this beloved nonfiction picture book from concept to rough draft to countless revisions before producing the final product. Learn about the importance of the research process and how producing nonfiction varies from creating fiction. 

Curriculum friendly for: 
Language Arts, Geography, Social Studies, The Arts

Equipment Needed: Computer, LCD projector, screen, table

Presentation Duration: Depending on requirements and age range of audience

The Book Creation Process

Presentation for ages 4 to adult

Have you ever wondered how a book is made? How do the pictures get into the books? What about the words? This presentation explores the entire picture book creation process, starting with the initial idea to finally holding the finished book in your hands. Students will see the art process from initial thumbnails (tiny rough sketches), first draft sketches and revisions, a rough dummy book, final artwork, F&G’s (you’ll learn more about what this is during the presentation) actual paintings, to the final book. Students will see how the creation and revision process relate to what they are doing in school.

Curriculum friendly for: 
Language Arts, Social Studies, The Arts

Equipment Needed: Computer, LCD projector, screen, table

Presentation Duration: Depending on requirements and age range of audience

The Power of the Picture?

Presentation for ages 4 to adult

Why do illustrators draw what they do? How do they design an image? Where do their ideas come from? Analyze the power of the pictures while learning more about the characters by looking beyond the words.

Curriculum friendly for: 
Language Arts, Social Studies, The Arts

Equipment Needed: Computer, LCD projector, screen, table

Presentation Duration: Depending on requirements and age range of audience

The Picture Book Dummy: The Writer’s Revision and Editing Friend

Workshop for adults

Picture book dummies are the domain of the illustrator. NOT SO! As a writer, you will learn how you MUST use this vital tool when crafting, revising and editing your manuscript. This workshop will show you how to use a dummy to ensure that your story will function properly within the picture book format. Learn about page turns, pacing, rhythm, language and more, in order to craft a manuscript that editors will love.

Equipment Needed: Computer, LCD projector, screen, table

Presentation Duration: 1 – 3 hours

Customized Presentations and Workshops 

Presentation & workshops for ages 4 to adult

If you have a special topic or concept that you are working on in class, I can design a custom program for you. Just contact me and I will work with you to develop a program that will accommodate your needs. I also present hands-on workshops that range from exploring artistic mediums to the process of producing your own picture book.

Helpful Materials for your School Visit or Event:

If you have any additional questions or if you would like to schedule a school visit or event, feel free to contact me.


Dan Sapakie, IB/AP Instructor, Chandler High School – Chandler, AZ

“I have always admired Tanja’s incredible creativity and her ability to interact with people of all ages in a way that is affirming and inspiring.  She has a rare combination of artistic talent and the ability to communicate her ideas and vision to others.  My students enjoyed her presentation and learned about the genre in ways my own background could have never allowed them to understand.  The only thing I wish her presentation would have been is longer!  She clearly had so much more to share with us than only a two-hour period could hold.”

Michele Bove, Reading Specialist, International Baccalaureate Coordinator, Primary & Middle Years Program, Estrella Mountain Elementary – Goodyear, AZ

“Thank you for such a successful illustrator presentation!  The teacher’s loved the classroom visits, which were highlights for the kids. They were especially impressed that we had an illustrator presenting and that you go through the same process as writers!  The teachers loved having you and loved your presentation! It was a learning experience for the teachers as well as the kids.

I will be in touch again to schedule another presentation.”

Michelle Bayer, PTO President, Pilgrim Lutheran School – Mesa, AZ

“We so enjoyed having Tanja come to our school to present the book she illustrated, The Adventures of Salt and Soap in Grand Canyon, at our Family Reading Night.  She also shared her drawing skills with the children and how to go about illustrating a book.  We had a wide range of ages who attended, and she put together a presentation that was able to engage the youngest preschooler.  She related so well with the students.  The students were excited to start illustrating the books they had been writing for a special project the entire school was doing.  We here so much about writing books and it was nice to learn more about the making of illustrations to help capture the imagination and add to the story.  Thank you so much, Tanja for all that you have done.”

Sheri HH, Teacher, Kindergarten, Eduprize School – Gilbert, AZ

“Thank you SO much for coming in last Friday and sharing your pictures and expertise with my class!  They really enjoyed it and learned so much.”

Rachel DeHaan, Teacher, 1st Grade, Chandler Christian School – Chandler, AZ

“I wanted to let you know that I am sending a copy of Salt & Soap along with your wonderful bookmarks to our First Grade penpals in Florida – could there be a better way to teach our Florida, humid climate dwellers, about life in the desert?  Of course, there will be some letter writing and sharing about meeting you.  Thank you for inspiring us and encouraging our students. Blessings!”

Brenna Renaud, Teacher, 1st Grade, Gilbert Christian Schools – Gilbert, AZ

“Thank you so much for the wonderful presentation. The class really enjoyed your wonderful information and they were so pleased that you read their stories with them.”

Jen Robinson, Instructional Coach, Bustoz Elementary School – Tempe, AZ

“Thank you again for coming to Bustoz! The kids really enjoyed your talk and your artwork. There are a few more kids that are inspired by your work!

The biggest message they took away from your talk was that creating a book takes work! You must revise, revise, revise! What a great teaching point! “

Lindsey O’Brien, Teacher, 3rd/4th Grade, Eduprize School – Gilbert, AZ

“Tanja is such an incredibly talented illustrator. All of my students were fully engaged by her entire presentation.  Tanja has such a special way of presenting her many talents and skills as an illustrator, in addition to encouraging students to reach for the stars in their writing and illustrating. She truly WOW’d us and we cannot wait to have her back!!!”

Cynthia Achilles, Teacher, 4th Grade, Riggs Elementary – Gilbert, AZ

“You really touched a lot of kids.  Many of the teachers have commented that all their kids want to be illustrators.  Again, thank you for coming and sharing your special talent.”

Lorie Hantla, First Grade Teacher, Eduprize School – Gilbert AZ

“As I have launched the Writers Workshop with my students, it’s been such a pleasure to have Tanja Bauerle come and show the first graders how she, as an illustrator, incorporates what they have been learning into her work.

Before giving her presentation, Tanja and I chatted about what the focus for the writing lesson would be over the course of the next few weeks.  Building on my lesson plans, Tanja designed her time with the kids to complement what they had been learning.  For instance, when we were focusing on Telling Personal Stories and Experiences through Pictures, Mrs.  Bauerle showed the students her visual diary that she uses to record things that speak to her and that she uses for future reference.

Tanja also showed the students how she uses her images to elaborate in greater detail than what the words are saying. She showed a Power Point Presentation with examples of the power of an image by using simple photos. The children could see how they could use simple images to get the point across that even though the words are the same, the pictures can tell you something completely different.

The children really enjoyed seeing Mrs. Bauerle’s illustrations and learned how she overcomes obstacles when trying to draw “hard-to-make ideas”.  She showed us her rough drawings, thumbnails and the people in her family that she uses as models and visual references.  That was a lot of fun.

Finally, the kids learned to take a squiggly line and find the picture in it.  This activity was designed to help the kids overcome their fear of having to get the picture right the first time.  They thoroughly enjoyed themselves and have carried this lesson with them since it was taught several months ago.”