More About the Author
Deborah Guarino's best-selling children's classic, "Is Your Mama a Llama?" (Scholastic, Inc.) is now celebrating almost 25 years in print! With more than a million copies sold, this playful book's popularity now spans two generations. It's available in five different editions, including Spanish, Arabic, and E-book versions, and has even been animated by Weston Woods on DVD. In 2011 it was chosen as the children's title for Colorado's "One Book, One Denver" literacy event, partially sponsored by McDonald's, during which more than a thousand copies were donated to preschools and Head Start Programs citywide.
"Is Your Mama a Llama?" was also chosen as one of the first selections in Oprah's Book Club for Kids, quoted in an episode of the prime-time series "Medium," endorsed by actress Jennifer Garner (a recent literacy advocate on behalf of the "Save the Children" organization), who appeared reading the book in PEOPLE Magazine. The book has become so iconic that its title was a $2000 clue on "Jeopardy!" in 2010, and used as the #7 Down clue in the "New York Sunday Times Crossword" in 2013!
Deborah, born and raised in New Jersey, comes from a large, talented family that includes professional and award-winning artists, craftsmen, photographers, and many, many teachers. Inheriting a genetic tendency to be multi-talented, Deborah is also a professional actor--with roles in theatre, radio, TV and film--as well as an artist specializing in portraits, caricatures, costume design and sculpture.
An avid reader and writer since childhood, Deborah published her first fiction--a weekly mystery serial--anonymously in her church paper when she was only 13, and had her first professional sale--a children's story--published nationally in "MS. Magazine" when she was 19. During her career she's also written several produced plays--one broadcast over the BBC's Radio 4 when she lived in London--and has worked as an editor, copywriter and journalist in addition to becoming the popular author of "Is Your Mama a Llama?". So popular, in fact, that for the last 20 years she's also been a frequent visiting author at schools, libraries and literacy events across the U.S., where her lively, interactive presentations on writing and the creative process entertain children and teachers alike.
These presentations, tailored to the age of her audience, are an exciting, eclectic mix of lively story-telling, works-in-progress, improvisational theatre and original, interactive songs, art, and funny, inspiring, behind-the-scenes glimpses of the creative process and the tenacity it takes to succeed in any creative field. Appropriate for audiences ranging from preschool toddlers to college-age teaching students at universities (where her book is frequently used in their curriculum),her presentations are interactive, informative, dynamic and guaranteed to make you laugh.
Deborah is the proud single mom of Josh and Dan, her two talented sons who are also pursuing careers in the arts, as well as "mama" to a menagerie of pets that doesn't actually include llamas, but does feature two parrots, four cats, a fish, an iguana, a pigeon rescued as a baby from a theatre on Broadway, and one very confused little dog named "Fuji," all of whom inspire her work on a daily basis.
If you'd be interested in having author Deborah Guarino visit your school or literacy event, please contact her directly at Deborahguarino@aol.com, or through Scholastic at Scholastic.com, where you can also learn more about valuable school discounts on book purchases for your event.