Author: Northern Virginia
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Twitter: @LauraMurrayBook
Books: The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School (GP Putnam’s Sons, 2011)

The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck (GP Putnam’s Sons, 2013)

The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas (Putnam, 2015)

The Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo (Putnam, August 2016)

For fun printables, activities, and teacher’s guides, please visit

For more detailed information about my recent books and upcoming books, please visit

Fee: For fees and more information about School, Library, Book Fair, or Conference presentations, please contact Laura at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit her school visit website page at
Availability: Preschool -- 6th grade, adult groups (librarians, reading specialists, teachers, parents)
SKYPE visits as well.
Features: Laura writes picture books and and is currently writing a middle-grade novel. She is a former teacher, and her presentations are fun, lively, interactive, and educational. She strives to make sure that students not only enjoy the presentations, but that they also come away with new ideas and knowledge to apply to their own creativity, reading, and writing. Using Power Point, visuals, rhythms, and props, each presentation helps children understand that they too have the imagination, creativity, and skills to create -- whether their creations and ideas become amazing stories, incredible drawings, new inventions, or something else entirely!
  • Title:  Gingerbread Adventure! Fun on the Run!
    Audience:  Geared towards grades PreK-2nd
    Length of presentation - 45-60 minutes

    Laura will celebrate reading and writing with an enthusiastic, energetic, and educational presentation that includes a little about Laura as a child, teacher, and author; an interactive call & response book-reading with a PowerPoint slide show; simple ideas about how to find story ideas; and an audience-participation "
    Gingerbread Man Quiz Show,” as well as a preview of the next Gingerbread Man adventure. Presentations can include a question and answer time.
  • Title:  Fresh from the Oven – How Ideas Become Stories, and Stories Become Books
    Audience:  Geared towards grades 3-4
    Length of presentation: 50-60 minutes

    In this interactive presentation, Laura provides a sneak peek at a writer’s journey. She builds on the presentation for younger audiences, but also incorporates elements of a writer’s inspiration, as well as tricks to come up with ideas, characters, and action, and then crafting those elements into a story. She encourages audience participation through call and response readings, a “
    Where in the World is the Gingerbread Man?” game, and an idea-generating exercise for the next Gingerbread Man adventure. Question and answer time will follow.
  • Title:  Sweet Success - A Smart Cookie’s Guide to Creative Writing
    Audience: Geared towards grades 5-6
    Length of presentation 50-60 minutes (depending on Q&A)

    This presentation geared towards older children, incorporates the same engaging and educational elements as the
    Gingerbread Adventure presentation, with a concentration on skills to help young authors grow. Laura will share her Top 3 Tips  for Young Writers on creating ideas, crafting characters, and plotting patterns; using fun/funny language and strong verbs; revision and perseverance; and how young authors can get their work noticed through contests. She will guide students in a fun characterization exercise from a popular middle grade novel, as well as her middle-grade novel “in progress” if time allows. An older version of the Gingerbread Man Trivia will challenge the students and teachers with some of the story elements discussed. Question and answer time will follow.

"I’ve been teaching for over 20 years, and this was one of the best presentations I’ve ever seen. It hits all of the 'hot spots'!
--Union Mill Elementary, VA, Kindergarten Teacher

“Thank you so much for your outstanding presentation! The teachers and students were in awe over your energy and enthusiasm.”
--St. John Academy, VA, Librarian

“The presentation informed the students of the process of writing while simultaneously entertaining them and the staff. I would certainly recommend both the book and author signing/presentation to schools and writers alike. It was very insightful and delightful!”
--Harrison Road Elementary, VA, Parent

“After meeting you via Skype, the students took your advice and started writing new stories. Their imaginations were rolling. How wonderful! One of my students asked me to send the writing contest information to his mother because he really wants to enter. It was absolutely amazing how your talk inspired them to write even more. Normally when we finish writing, the students do peer editing and revising. We decided today that they should meet with multiple people until they think their story is the best it can be. We discussed again how you had to revise over 50 times to create your book. It was amazing to see the energy! It excites me to see what might happen as the year progresses! Thank you again! We will treasure this for a long time.”
--Rochester Elementary, IL, 2nd grade Teacher

“Great presentation—my entire class was engaged and eager to hear more. We loved the pictures and connection to your ideas at a young age, and the connection to the writing SOLs for my 5th graders. We also really liked how you showed the process of writing a book and the different stages.”
--McSwain Elementary, VA, 5th grade Teacher

“It was an excellent presentation and I will definitely recommend you to fellow librarians. The kids were engaged and interested, and we loved the use of visuals and props! Many teachers commented on how much they enjoyed it as well, and they loved that you were a teacher too. Some of them mentioned that they would like to be an author someday, and it was great to see that it is possible!”
--Deer Park Elementary, VA, Librarian

“My kids loved the engaging nature of your story telling—you are fabulous!”
--Deer Park Elementary, VA, Kindergarten Teacher

“What a wonderful day! I am still getting glowing comments from teachers. I am also using things that you said and did in my own lessons. My first author visit with you sets an extremely high bar!”
--McSwain Elementary, VA, Librarian


  • 2014 Winner of the Virginia Reader’s Choice Award
  • 2014 Winner of the Illinois Children’s Choice Monarch Award
  • 2014-2015 Indiana Children’s Choice Award Nominee
  • 2013-2014 Nevada, and South Dakota Reader's Choice Award Nominee
  • 2012-2013 Florida Children's Choice Honor Book
  • 2012-2013 Washington, Mississippi, Kentucky Children's Choice Nominee
  • Scholastic Book Club and Fair Selection
  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best book
  • * Starred ALA Booklist Review
  • Finalist SCBWI Crystal Kite Award
  • 2012 Featured in NY Society of Illustrators Original Art Show
  • Publisher Weekly’s Picture Book Bestseller
  • 2015 Dolly Parton Imagination Library Selection
Resources: School Visit Author Brochure (pdf):

Book Trailer - The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School - Great for classroom skills like prediction, sequencing, and inference.

Teacher’s Guide and Classroom Extension Ideas

Fun Stuff Activities

Feel free to contact Laura to schedule a visit for your smart cookies! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Author Visits

Book Trailers