One of my goals for next year is to connect students more with authors and illustrators. Twitter has been very motivational in that respect. Skype is not an option for me, so I started looking for other sources.
This video clip is 25 minutes long, but I was reminded (again) about what a resource the Library of Congress is. They have many videos of featured speakers at past National Book Festivals. This one of Mo Willems is fabulous. There are several sections of this 25 minute video that would be perfect to use with any of your elementary students. About minute 13 is my favorite section of the video when Mo brings up volunteers (and his family) to read aloud Today I will Fly.
There are many other Library of Congress videos with long excerpts of authors and illustrators of great quality. They have playlists put together from several years. Below are the highlights I spotted for elementary students.
2012 National Book Festival
Tad Hills, Lois Lowry, Mike Lupica, Jerry Spinelli, Jeff Kinney, Anna Dewdney, Peter Brown, Marc Brown & Judy Sierra, Natalie Pope Byce & Mary Pope Osborne, and more!
2011 National Book Festival
Katherine Paterson, Gordon Korman, Kadir Nelson, Harry Bliss, Jon J Muth, Tomie dePaola, Tom Lichtenheld, Michael Buckley, Loren Long, Daniel Kirk, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Bo Shea, Chris Van Dusen, Carmen Agra Deedy, and more!
2010 National Book Festival
Jeff Smith, Rosemary Wells, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Mem Fox, Jerry Pinkney, Rebecca Stead, and more!
2009 National Book Festival
Shannon Hale, Mo Willems, Nikki Grimes, Jon Scieszka, Judy Blume, Sharon Creech, Steven Kellogg, Jacqueline Woodson, Rick Riordon, Kate DiCamillo, Tony DeTerlizzi, Megan McDonald, Jennifer L. Holm, and more!