Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Speaker Profile - Dee Leone


Region: California: San Diego
Age Levels: 5-10
Will Travel: Anywhere in my country
Skype Visit: Yes
SCBWI Profile: Member Profile
Speaker Email:


I'm the author of three picture books in addition to 20 reproducible books for teachers. More than 200 of my poems, plays, puzzles, stories, and more have appeared in publications such as Highlights. In addition, I've written online Disneyland articles. 

My most recent story, "Silence Them," is included in an anthology called The Hitherto Secret Experiments of Marie Curie. It was inspired by the fact that Marie and her husband Pierre attended séances and studied them scientifically, considering some of the phenomena they observed could be due to physical states not yet understood. In the imaginary story, Marie participates in a séance as a teen, but when it’s time for the leader to put a co-conspirator into a trance, Marie’s eyes grow heavy and she experiences several horrors. Upon awakening, she’s shown a spirit slate with her handwriting on it. The message says, “Silence them.” After the words show up a few more time under eerie circumstances, she decides to act on the mysterious message.

Dough Knights and Dragons (Sterling Children's Books) is about a dragon and knight who share a secret friendship but who are bound by law to duel in an upcoming tournament. If they can't cook up a way to get out of the situation, more than their friendship could suffer. The story includes creative, peaceful problem solving and shows children the value of making friends who are different from them.

My own kingdom castle has a moat (drainage ditch), turret (chimney), and numerous knights (chess pieces). I'm married to Sir Runs-a-Lot and our royal line includes two dragon-loving, sword-collecting damsels (not in distress). I tutored college math and taught many "subjects" at the elementary level. 

I'm also the author of Bizz and Buzz Make Honey Buns (Grosset & Dunlap/Penguin). Its themes include friendship and problem solving. In it, two bees use a little flower instead of a little flour to follow a recipe, making it a great book for introducing homophones.

Nature's Lullaby Fills the Night (Sterling Children's Books/Union Square Kids), is beautifully illustrated by Bali Engel. From moths fluttering their powdery wings to willows shushing, shushing in the breeze, tender nature scenes sweep across land, sea, and sky to soothe and calm little ones. 

My hobbies include traveling, amateur photography, golf, hiking, and making scrapbooks. I'm especially fond of devouring books and chocolate.

Presentation Description:

PRESENTATIONS in the San Diego Area

Cost:  Varies 

Age Group:  Preschool - 3rd grade

Length: 20 - 30 minutes per session for younger children, 45 - 60 minutes per session for older students

Sessions: Up to four per day

Curriculum Tie-In: Language Arts, Homophones, Writer as an Occupation, Creative Problem Solving, Friendship with Those Unlike Oneself, Rhyming, Creative Writing, Story Structure, etc. (depending on book/books and age group)

1) Picture book readings are for small groups of children (up to about 50 per group) in a classroom or library setting, but I can do PowerPoint presentations for larger groups of elementary children. 

2) Reading of Bizz and Buzz Make Honey Buns (a great book to introduce homophones) or Dough Knights and Dragons (rhyming, diverse friendship, creative problem solving in the face of conflict, story arc) and/or Nature's Lullaby Fills the Night (rhyming, nature, animal groups)

3) Preschool to K: story, song, homophone activity, simple game, question-and-answer session, viewing a book trailer, etc.

4) For elementary children, a PowerPoint presentation is possible in regard to writing, generating ideas for stories, elements of a story, etc.

* For Skype visits or presentations outside of the San Diego area, please email for fees and/or other requirements.