Author of books for kids about wildlife, nature, space, weather, and more!

Mary Kay Carson

Local or Virtual Visits $800 for full day; $450 for half day.

Non-Local Visits $900 for full day, plus travel expenses (mileage and lodging).

Author Visits

đź“Ś April 30: Ohioana Book Festival

đź“Ś May: Claire's Day

Upcoming Visits

I am available to give presentations at schools, libraries, clubs, and other organizations. All programs are tailored to meet the specific needs and preferences of the audience and its organizers.

Author of books for kids about wildlife, nature, space, weather, and more!

Mary Kay Carson

   Contact me via email to inquire about availability, details, references, or other information. There's also biographical information on the About Me page.


DETAILS In general, honorarium is based on time incurred and distance traveled.

  â€˘ Half day includes 1-2 presentations and is limited to 3 hours at school.

  â€˘ Full day includes 3-4 (5 negotiable) presentations throughout an entire school day.

  â€˘ Local visits are within 50 miles of zip code 45223, farther are non-local.

  â€˘ Presentation lengths are up to 60 minutes each.

2023-2024 Programs for Author Visits:

Telling True Tales (all ages)

Even though she writes nonfiction, Mary Kay still sees herself as a storyteller. Hear some of the amazing true tales featured in her books—from the amazing discoveries of space scientists to how a rhino named Emi finally became a mom. Photographs and illustrations of the people and places featured in the true tales accompany the stories. Organizers are welcome to choose the specific books or subjects to highlight.

Batty Science (all ages)

Discover the mysterious and fascinating world of bats—the only furred creatures (mammals) that fly. Find out about the world’s more than a thousand bat species, and which kinds live around here. Learn how their bodies are built for flight, what bats eat, and how they get around in the dark. Students will uncover and debunk common myths about these misunderstood mammals. They’ll also meet some of the bat conservationists profiled in The Bat Scientists who are working to change minds and help bats survive.

The Story Behind Emi, Cincinnati’s Famous Rhino (all ages)

Meet Emi and her famous Sumatran rhino family, the real-life rhinos featured in the book Emi and the Rhino Scientist. Hear the story of how Cincinnati Zoo’s endangered species scientist Terri Roth struggled for years to help Emi become a mother—and help save Emi’s rare species from extinction. Students also find out how the author researched and wrote the book.

Tornado Warning! (all ages)

Tornadoes are the world's most violent storms, with winds that reach speeds of up to 300 miles per hour! In this program students learn what creates tornadoes and hear true stories of young people surviving terrible twisters. Audiences will also follow along as the author goes storm-chasing across tornado alley with the research meteorologist featured in The Tornado Scientist. Find out what it takes to track down and study tornadoes in the field!

Why Are These Animals So Weird? (grades K-6)

Lots of animals look weird—think of alien-like bugs and bats with leaf-shaped noses. But have you ever wondered why animals look like they do? Find out how looking weird helps these animals find food, hide, and survive as featured in Weird Animals. As part of their exploration of animal adaptations, students investigate camouflage and how big ears allow animals to hear better.

Be a Local Wildlife Ranger (all ages)

Find out what birds, bugs, turtles, frogs, snakes, and furry creatures live near you--and how you can help create healthy habitat for them close to home. Students learn tips and tricks for tracking, spotting, and identifying local wild animals from Outdoor School: Animal Watching as well as what wildlife needs to thrive. Discover simple ways from Wildlife Ranger Action Guide to make backyards and greenspaces more wildlife-friendly.

The Wright Brothers (all ages)

Find out how two bicycle-making brothers from Dayton, with no more than high-school educations, accomplished a feat that forever changed the world. How did Wilbur and Orville Wright discover the secret of flight and invent the airplane?

Writing Is My Job (all ages)

Students find out about the author and the books she’s written in this program. The author talks about the twisty and unlikely road she journeyed to become a writer; why she likes to write about “real” things like science and history instead of making up stories; why she writes for young people; why she chose to write the books she’s written; and what a typical day in the life of a professional writer is like. Students are encouraged to ask questions!

Three Steps to Write (grades 2-9)

Help your students write more easily by breaking down the process of writing into three simple steps—Get Ready, Write, and Make It Better. The author shares her real life experiences and anecdotes of how she follows these steps, while helping students see how to apply them to their own writing. Students can work through a worksheet of the steps provided by the author as part of the presentation (classroom-sized audiences) or later with their teachers.

Ohio Author Mary Kay Carson

Tour the NEW Solar System (all ages)

Join the author for a fun tour of our newly organized solar system. Find out how Pluto got kicked out of the planet club and who else is in the new dwarf planet category. See amazing images of the planets, moons, and asteroids and learn some far-out facts! Hear the latest findings from recent missions and meet the space robots, rovers, and robotic spacecraft making discoveries for all humankind.

Helping Endangered Animals (all grades)
 Take a tour through a number of the author’s Scientists in the Field books to find out how scientists are helping to save rhinos, bats, Gila monsters, salamanders, grizzly bears, and other endangered critters. Books featured include Emi and the Rhino Scientist, The Bat Scientists, and Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America's Own Backyard.