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I am happy and proud of the groundbreaking work being done by Jeff Chiba Stearns.

- Joy Kogawa, Author of Obasan

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On top of guest lecturing at hundreds of universities around the world, Jeff Chiba Stearns also enjoys visiting Elementary and High Schools to discuss his creative process through his children's books and graphic novels. Jeff has visited over 90 schools, spoken to over 10,000 students and delivered keynotes at various teacher-librarian associations as well as presented at the BC Teacher-Librarian Association Conference in 2022 and 2023.


With each school visit, award-winning and Emmy nominated animation filmmaker and acclaimed Japanese Canadian author and illustrator Jeff Chiba Stearns brings his children’s books MIXED CRITTERS and NORI AND HIS DELICIOUS DREAMS or graphic novel ON BEING YUKIKO to life through entertaining readings and engaging drawing workshops. After a visual presentation on what inspires his work, Jeff will conduct a drawing workshop where he will teach students techniques on how he creates appealing characters and illustrations. There will also be time for students to ask Jeff questions. Original illustrations from Jeff’s books are also on display to help inspire students to pursue their own visual storytelling.


Jeff has prepared two presentations that teacher-librarians and teachers can book; a primary presentation and a presentation for intermediate and middle school grades. For primary grades, Jeff will present on his children’s books MIXED CRITTERS and NORI AND HIS DELICIOUS DREAMS. For intermediate grades, Jeff will discuss his graphic novel ON BEING YUKIKO and also speak about Japanese Canadian history and the WWII internment.


With a maximum of 2 classes (60 students) per in-person library presentation, the duration of each session run can run from 45-60 minutes. Jeff will digitally project and read pages from his books as students follow along. He will also talk about his inspirations and creative process writing and illustrating his books. For both presentations, Jeff will spend 10 minutes demonstrating how he creates appealing characters by drawing on a whiteboard. There will also be time for a Q&A session with students at the end of each presentation. For primary grades, students will be able to spend 5-10 minutes drawing with Jeff as they create drawings inspired by Jeff’s books. Using only photocopy paper, a pencil and their imaginations, students will create their own mixed critters or turn themselves into cartoon characters sleeping on their favourite food. Assembly and online presentations are also available.


Teacher Librarians can book primary or intermediate presentations for a full day, over multiple days or even mix primary and intermediate talks over the course of one day. The minimum booking is two presentations to a maximum of four presentations per day.  A special full day rate of four presentations is available. Please inquire about current pricing.

To book Jeff or request a PDF author talk pitch deck please click HERE with your inquiry.

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On May 16th, 2023 we hosted a district wide webinar for all grade 4-7 students. We invited Japanese-Canadian author Jeff Chiba Stearns to talk about his books, identity, Japanese Canadian history in Richmond (specifically linked to Japanese internment in Steveston), the writer's craft, creativity and perseverance. He spoke eloquently of the experience of being mixed race and how that has influenced his art and his writing. He had students and teachers enthralled with his words, images, videos and animation tutorial. Over 1100 students participated. He was one of the best presenters we've ever had. I will definitely be calling him back!

- Rebeca Rubio, Coordinator for Libraries and Information Services, Richmond School District  


Jeff is enthusiastic, passionate, and highly engaging as an author and speaker!  He gained superstar status with the toughest critics - intermediate students - at both of the schools in which I am the teacher-librarian! The earthquake of excitement after Jeff's visit vibrated through the halls for weeks after his visit and students were anxious to receive autographed copies of all three of his books! I highly recommend introducing your students to Jeff's work and inviting him to inspire your young authors, illustrators and graphic novelists!

- Leslie-Jo Field, Teacher-Librarian, Montecito Elementary & Parkcrest Elementary


Jeff Chiba Stearns visited the library one morning in May 2023. Grade 9 and 10 classes were lucky to see Jeff's presentation which was dynamic, engaging, educational, and fun. It offered a great balance of historical perspective and artistic components. Jeff's real-life drawing/illustration was a hit and a highlight of the presentation!  Students learned firsthand his process and witnessed his excellent illustration skills.  

- Allison Brett, Teacher Librarian, Prince of Wales Secondary


I think the most compelling thing is how authentic Jeff is and how he is willing to share his authentic self both in his presentations and through his books. I can't help thinking that's why the kids respond to him.  

- Ingrid Veilleux, Teacher-Librarian, L'École Élémentaire Homma Elementary


Jeff is an energetic, organized and reliable presenter! His presentations bring his work alive, adding layers of cultural and historical context to support student understanding; ultimately aligning to BC curriculum and connecting to core values of inclusion and empowering diverse voices. 

- Lesley Gunning, Humanities District Teacher, Langley School District

Jeff’s presentation was perfect edutainment experience for my school community. He was able to teach both primary and intermediate students important lessons that were connected to the BC curriculum. His visit had a lasting impression on my students throughout the school year. You could tell that the whole experience was expertly crafted by an experienced and trained teacher.

- Matthew Mueller, Teacher Librarian, Promontory Heights Elementary

It was a pleasure to have Jeff as a guest author in our library. We particularly liked the focus on identity - Jeff's willingness to share his personal experiences made the presentation all the more meaningful and engaging. Our students were really inspired and we're hoping to bring him back to work with them again!

- Allyson Yee, Teacher-Librarian, Morley Elementary


We were lucky to have Jeff come and talk to our class about our own stories which led to an art lesson about creating their own mixed creatures, based on "Mixed Critters". Jeff's work fits so well into the curriculum. The retelling of Lillian's mother's arrival to internment and after affects story through the eyes of Yukiko, brought to life what was life before and after WWII. "On Being Yukiko", by Jeff Chiba Stearns and Lillian Michiko Blakey, is a must read.

- Kavita Parmar-Holten, Teacher, Westridge Elementary

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