School Visits and Nature Talks


Joy visits her grandson's school in San Antonio.

Types of Programs

I am flexible and open to do any combination of programs for your students, faculty, school or organization. This can include: A teacher in-service program in combination with an author visit, book signings in combination with a Young Author's and Illustrator’s fair, or any other possibilities that meet your needs. I enjoy sharing with groups of all ages.

I will provide your students with an exciting look into the life of a children's book illustrator and how the creative process works. As a Texas Master Naturalist, students will see how important bio-diversity is to our environment and what they might do to provide a healthy environment for wildlife. My program is designed to help students with observation skills as well as stimulate the creative process of visualization. I can provide copies of numerous writing and art activities for your classroom. My goal is to encourage reading and observational skills for every student.

I look forward to the opportunity of sharing my work and books with your students. Please call or e-mail me and let's discuss possibilities, available dates, and ways to make literature, art, writing, drawing and learning exciting elements in your students' lives.



Everyone made wildflower shirts for Joy's visit about Lady Bird.


I begin programs with Show and Tell of original art. I also explain how nature inspires my work. Most presentations include a slide show pertaining to presentation. Slide presentations with questions and answers are 45 minutes to an hour long.

Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers

Illustrated by Joy Fisher Hein
Written by Kathi Appelt (HarperCollins 2005)
Nature and Nurture, Lady Bird’s Mission:
This presentation explains and shows the process of creating the book that celebrates the life of this inspirational First Lady of our environment, Lady Bird Johnson.

Wildflowers and Highways

A Collaboration Between Author and Artist
When Kathi Appelt and I set out to create a picture book biography of Lady Bird Johnson we encountered more than wildflowers along the way. We recount the journey of this collaboration and the profound love we discovered during our project. We love to share our difficult, joyous journey.


Involves more time and smaller classes. I like to give a brief history with instruction and examples on creating a piece of art; be it a book, drawing or sculpture. This kind of workshop works best with a follow-up visit after the students have had time to create and complete the project chosen by the school in advance. I can demonstrate drawing techniques, encourage artistic vision, and the development of creative imagination through the arts and sciences. These workshops require a list of supplies. Most require only basic paper, pencil and a color media.

  • How to Create a Picture
  • BookJourney of an Illustrator
  • How to Create and Present your Portfolio
  • Artist Detective: Researching Nonfiction
  • Native American Culture and “How to Make” CHIPPEWA-OJIBWA DREAM CATCHERS
  • Asian Culture and “How to Make” VIETNAMESE DRAGONS
  • Secrets in the Garden


About Joy's School Visits

Guidelines for promoting reading through the arts and for creating a successful and enjoyable event for all:

Please send any tickets or ticket information, travel instructions and lodging details well in advance. An advance copy of my schedule would also be appreciated. Please sign and return contract. If paperwork is required by your school, please fill out all forms before asking me to sign. I also need telephone numbers of contacts (both school and home phones please) and an accurate map if I am driving.

I present to grades K–College. Groups of 100-125 or less are great. For all elementary grades, please seat students on the floor or bleachers, not on chairs, unless there is carpet under the chairs. The space must be appropriate for my slide presentation: Dark. I prefer a range of not more than three grades at a time. For instance, a presentation for 1–3 and one for 4–6 grades.

Having sixty to ninety students of the same grade provides a better opportunity to tie in with current curriculum and for our question and answer session. I show the original art and explain how I create art for books, how I conduct my research and the revising that goes into the book and slides. Assembly time is around 45 minutes to one hour.

In addition to assemblies, I can present to individual classes for young or mature artists, workshops for book design, portfolio presentations, book jacket design, or other requested presentations. I am also certified to create outdoor classrooms. I can give talks about gardening with native plants. Fee depends on size of project and the extent of my involvement.

For presentations, I need three six-foot tables in the front part of the room. A P.A. system is essential for very large rooms. In some cases, a long cord or wireless mike is helpful. Please check the system before my visit. I bring my own projection equipment. Please provide an adjustable slide stand, screen and extension cord. (If I fly in for a visit, I will need a Kodak Ektagrahic Auto Focus Slide Projector, too.)

I give a maximum of three presentations during a full-day visit. For a “half-day” visit, I give two presentations. (“Half days” need to start in the morning.) Allow at least 45 minutes to an hour before the first presentation so I can check the room and set up. I will also need 10 minutes of unscheduled time between my presentations to regroup. Extra time in the day can be used for autographing, presentations by students, and so on. For a lunch break, please allow at least one hour, not including any travel time. I request a copy of the final schedule well in advance of my visit.

I appreciate an escort from my place of lodging to the school, or I promise I will get lost. I would also like to be escorted from place to place in your school. A parking space near the area where I will set up is also appreciated, as well as a cart for my boxes of show and tell. I am grateful for assistance with my equipment unloading and loading.

Varies with age groups and current curriculum. In most cases, to help me provide maximum benefit from my visit, I recommend that the students be made familiar with my books ahead of time. Ideally, each student should read my book and complete an individual or class project based on one of the classroom ideas I am happy to provide upon request.

Book sales are very important to writers and illustrators. Without sales our books go out of print! I highly recommend that my books be offered for sale to the students. Often sales can be handled by a local bookseller. Schools handling their own sales should send an order form home to parents before my visit. This would be a terrific opportunity for the local Parent/Teacher organization to raise funds. In some cases I can provide the books if they are pre-sold.

Download Pre Order Template

I will autograph my books and art only. If my travel schedule allows, I am happy to remain after school for a reasonable time to finish signing books. For books that cannot be signed during my visit, I can autograph adhesive bookplates if you provide me with a self-addressed, stamped envelope for return. I request that the librarian has included time for autographing in the schedule.

For an additional fee, I can present to teachers, librarians, and/or parents. Please inquire about possible topics. My books should be made available for sale for these presentations too.

I need to know and agree ahead of my visit if you plan to tape my presentation.

I appreciate organic-natural, “whole” foods when available. I am content to eat on site, in a home, in a restaurant, with or without company, in a smoke-free environment.

With overnight visits, I can stay in a hotel, motel, bed-and-breakfast, or private home. I request that the bedroom and a bathroom are private and quite. Accommodations must be nonsmoking. Please pay any lodging bill directly.

Please purchase any advance tickets directly; please consult me for my preferred mode of travel. Reservations should specify “nonsmoking” and an aisle seat. The nearest major airport is San Antonio International. Please consult me on departure times. I live an hour and a half from San Antonio and the airport.

Joy Fisher Hein

Hill Country Studios
150 Private Road 2643
Medina Lake-Mico, TX 78056

I look forward to the opportunity of sharing my work and books with your students.


Joy's Dog Max