Mary Ann Castagnetta has been a resident of New Jersey for over 35 years after experiencing a wonderful childhood in Brooklyn, New York. She had always wanted to put Bubble Gum Dreams in book form after telling this story to her son John, who is the character in the book. However, life got in the way and she has been busy performing in Community Theater for over 30 years. She performed in many Musical and Non-Musical Productions with her favorites being Nunsense and Steel Magnolias. She was also very happy to appear on TV on Gene Simmons Reality Show, Family Jewels and was thrilled to spend 3 days with him.
After writing Bubble Gum Dreams, children asked her to write another book since they loved the first book so much. She then wrote Elephant Soup?, Rosie Ravioli's Cape May Adventure (where all of the 96 people and 4 dogs are actually real people) and finally her latest book, Haunted Vacation, which is a fun ghost story.
One of Mary Ann's most important associations is with Family Promise of Cape May County. She started as a volunteer after moving to Cape May. She then became a Board Member and worked her way up to Board President. Family Promise of Cape May County is a program designed to help families with who are experiencing homelessness. They are a non-traditional sheltering program that only accepts families with children. A network of faith based organizations and over 1,000 volunteers provide temporary housing and meals for families in their program and help them take the necessary steps toward lasting independence. They are funded solely by donations and fundraisers and take NO government money. Family Promise believes it is unacceptable for even one child to be without a home in Cape May County or anywhere in our country.
Mary Ann Castagnetta
Have Mary Ann Castagnetta Visit Your School!
About the course
School Apprearnces and Presentations
Author visits are wonderful! They are beneficial to author, student, and teacher. They can inspire children, making them want to write better and read more. A successful author visit will leave your school and your children richer from the experience.
My presentations last 30 to 45 minutes for each group, depending on age of each audience. I usually give between 3 to 5 presentations during my one-day visit.
Presentations include reading my book to each group, having a discussion and sharing ideas and thoughts about the story, and a Question & Answer Session. With the older children, I also discuss how they too can become an Author. I take them through how I create a book, from the inception of the idea, to hiring and working with an Illustrator, to how I self-published the books.
My vision and hope is not only to entertain the children, but to get the children to speak about their dreams, and show the students the fun of reading and writing.
I like to inspire them to follow and write about their own unique visions and dreams, so with the teacher’s approval, I encourage them to write a story of their own, or draw a picture, again depending on the age of the group, and to share it with their class. You can see some examples of these on my Photo Page.
It is best if you can arrange a classroom or assembly room for me to do the presentation. In this way, I am stationery and each group can come into wherever space you have chosen. I bring an easel and a beautiful blow-up of my book, which the children love to see.
After choosing a date and time of my visit, it is a good idea to discuss the number of presentations you would like me to give, the length of each session, the age groups I will be addressing, and the size of each audience. I do not charge for travel costs as other Authors do. However I do require an honorarium, taking into consideration your school’s budget. This can be discussed when we speak.
Pre-ordering books for the day of the event Upon choosing a date for my visit, I will email you a flyer/order form to be sent home with the children prior to my visit. Since I personalize, autograph and date each book, it is most helpful if this is done a few weeks in advance. As the orders are received, your school representative can email me the first names of each child, and I can have all pre-orders signed in advance. By doing this, I do not take any time away from my presentation by having to sign a large number of books while there. Of course, if there is anyone who did not pre-order and would like to order the day of my visit, I will be happy to personalize and sign those books as well.
If you are a School Administrator and is interested in having Mary Ann appear at your school, please feel free to contact her.