Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Speaker Profile - Natasha Yim


Region: California: San Francisco North and East Bay
Age Levels: 5-10 and 11-13
Will Travel: Anywhere in the world
Skype Visit: Yes
SCBWI Profile: Member Profile
Speaker Email:

I was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong. In 1979, I came to California and attended Dominican College (now University) in San Rafael, California, where I received my B.A. in English LIterature with a Writing Emphasis in 1983, and a M.S. in Counseling Psychology in 1986. I have worked for most of my professional career as a counselor/social worker with kids in group homes, foster homes, residential treatment centers, and for the Mendocino County Child Protective Services. I began writing when I was 11 years old, and have had non-fiction articles published in regional and local magazines and newspapers, as well as in the children's magazines, "Highlights for Children", "Appleseed", "Faces". and "Muse". I am the author of six picture books OTTO'S RAINY DAY (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2000);CIXI, THE DRAGON EMPRESS (Goosebottom Books, 2011); SACAJAWEA OF THE SHOSHONE (Goosebottom Books, 2012), GOLDY LUCK AND THE THREE PANDAS (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2014); THE ROCK MAIDEN (Wisdom Tales Press, 2017), and MULAN'S NEW YEAR (Disney Press, 2018) I am currently working on two middle grade novels, and two picture book manuscripts.

Presentation Description:
I like to connect with the teacher(s) or author visit coordinator first to see what the teachers would like to focus on. Presentations on the historical aspects of Cixi and Sacajawea will include power points about the women's stories, some interactive activities such as non-verbal communication and translation chain (Sacajawea), what people ate and wore in their time periods, discussions of whether women in power like Cixi deserved their Dastardly reputations.

Writing aspects will focus on research, writing, and editing, how do you choose what goes in the story and what stays out?, fun facts that did not make it into the books, separating rumor from facts, I'll show them revision notes from my editor. With smaller groups, writing or craft activities can be arranged: journal writing exercise (Lewis and Clark documented everything they saw in their journals. Students will use their imaginations to pretend that they're visiting a location for the first time and write a paragraph using their five sense: touch, taste, smell, hearing, feeling), writing biography exercise (students will pair up and interview each other, then write a couple of paragraphs of their partner's "biography"). 

Craft activities can include Chinese lantern making or making and decorating teepees with construction paper.

Also available: a skit presentation with Natasha Yim dressed as Cixi and Janie Havemeyer (author of Catherine de Medici) dressed as Catherine.