Award-Winning Picture Book Author
MFA Professor, LMSW
Travels from: New York, NY

“This picture book has much to offer for young readers about life’s challenges and how we handle them.” — School Library Journal

Caron Levis (MFA, LMSW) is the author of several star reviewed and award-winning picture books including the Feeling-Friends collection: Feathers Together, This Way, Charlie, Mighty Muddy Us (Abrams 2023) and Ida, Alwayswhich the New York Times Book Review calls, “an example of children’s books at their best.” Other titles include: Mama’s Work Shoes, May I Have A Word? and Stop That Yawn! Caron is a professor at NYU and The New School where she is the coordinator for The New School’s Writing for Children/YA MFA program. As a social worker she has facilitated loss & bereavement groups for kids and parents. She has been an SEL creative-arts educator for over twenty years.

With a background in acting, educational theater, meditation, non-profit and one-to-one work, Caron has worked with all age students, pre-K through University, in a variety of settings such as public/private schools, detention centers, a ballet-academy, and more. She has presented at Library Association events, writing conferences, and coached teachers on/off site. Caron uses a blend of drama, writing, and psychophysical techniques to create a variety of workshops for children and adults with a playful approach to exploring practical skills, because learning about reading and feelings should be fun!

Caron's Featured Titles

Mighty Muddy Us (Feeling Friends)

Abrams Books for Young Readers |

From the award-winning team behind Feathers TogetherIda, Always, and This Way, Charlie comes a moving story of sibling love, inspired by a real-life elephant family

The moment he is born, Ely delights in the welcoming trumpets of his adoring big sister, Enid. She is so excited to play—but Ely’s legs are injured and it’s hard for him to move. To help keep Ely safe, Enid sticks close to her determined brother as they grow together through the seasons, trunk-twirling, mud-wallowing, and making silly sounds!

But as Ely grows more confident, he’s ready for more adventures, and he feels squished by Enid’s worries and rules. Enid is glad that he can run and play, but she’s nervous he could get hurt—or that he won’t need his big sister anymore. When a drought threatens the whole family, Ely shows what he is capable of, and both he and Enid discover that whether they are helping or playing, dusty or muddy, siblings are mighty special.

This Way, Charlie (Feeling Friends)

Abrams Books for Young Readers |

From the award-winning team behind Ida, Always comes a story about a friendship that grows between a blind horse and a gruff goat

All the animals at the Open Bud Ranch can see that Jack likes keeping his space to himself. But when Charlie arrives, he doesn’t see Jack at all. He’s still getting used to seeing out of only one of his eyes.
The two get off to a bumpy start. At first, Jack is anxious and distrustful. But one day, he summons his courage and guides Charlie to his favorite sunlit field: this way, Charlie. And so begins a powerful friendship that will be tested by life’s storms—but will ultimately change each life for the better.

Mama’s Work Shoes

Abrams Books for Young Readers |

All about the adjustment a toddler makes when her mother returns to work, this humorous picture book takes on a big emotional milestone with a light hand.

Perry knows all of Mama’s shoes. She knows that the zip-zup shoes are for skipping and swinging in the park. She knows that the pat-put shoes are for splishing and splashing in the rain. And she knows that no-shoes are for bath time and bedtime. But, one morning Mama puts on click-clack shoes, and Perry wonders what these new shoes are for. When Mama drops Perry at Nan’s house, and the click-clack shoes take Mama away for the whole day, Perry decides she hates these shoes!

Perry later hides the click-clack shoes . . . and all of Mama’s shoes, just in case. Mama then explains that the click-clack shoes bring her to work in the morning, and they will also bring her home to Perry every single evening—clickety-clack fast!

Stop That Yawn!

Atheneum Books for Young Readers |

Pack your toothbrushes, but leave your pajamas and pillows behind for this one-of-a-kind bedtime story from Ida, Always author Caron Levis and bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham. And whatever you do…DON’T YAWN!

Gabby Wild has had enough of bedtime. Yawn, curl, snuggle, snore—what a bore!

So instead of tucking in, she jets out—with poor Granny in tow—to a place where beds are for bouncing, hushes are shushed, and it’s never too late for ice cream. But sometimes, even when you grit your teeth and seal your lips, it’s impossible to stop that…YAWN!

There’s a yawn on the loose! Can Gabby stop that yawn from spreading the snooze, or will it be lights out for Never Sleeping City?

Ida, Always

Atheneum Books for Young Readers |

A beautiful, honest portrait of loss and deep friendship told through the story of two iconic polar bears.

Gus lives in a big park in the middle of an even bigger city, and he spends his days with Ida. Ida is right there. Always.

Then one sad day, Gus learns that Ida is very sick, and she isn’t going to get better. The friends help each other face the difficult news with whispers, sniffles, cuddles, and even laughs. Slowly Gus realizes that even after Ida is gone, she will still be with him—through the sounds of their city, and the memories that live in their favorite spots.

Ida, Always is an exquisitely told story of two best friends—inspired by a real bear friendship—and a gentle, moving, needed reminder that loved ones lost will stay in our hearts, always.


“We’re brave explorers!” - Feathers Together

All of Caron Levis’ school visits, professional developments, and parent programs explore reading, writing, and emotions in her signature interactive style!


School Visits for Kids

  • Interactive Storytime, Activity, Q&A (Pre–K & UP): An interactive story-time plus one activity or Q&A session (both if time allows!)  Kids will use their voices, gestures, and imaginations to read one of Caron’s books with her then explore the theme and process of writing the story through a group activity and/or Q&A. Program is adapted to age and optional pre/post activity sheets allow you to take the visit further. Also available for Caregiver Enrichment Events
  • Shaping Stories: The Writers Process Revealed: (K & Up, 45-60 minutes) As Caron shares her process for shaping ideas into stories and how an idea becomes a published book participants identify essential craft elements (characters, setting, plot, main idea), discover techniques for writing and revising —and get inspired to create their own stories! They’ll learn about the teamwork and emotional qualities (excitement, curiosity, and grit!) that a writer needs to create a finished book. Add this to an Interactive Storytime session or read the books before the visit. Adapted for student ages and stages. Also available for Caregiver Enrichment Events.
  • Emotional Explorers! (K & Up, 45-60 minutes.) Readers explore feelings and friendships through the characters and challenges in Caron’s books. We’ll make text-to-self connections and practice skills (through writing, drawing, and/or role-play) that support the identification and navigation of emotions in ourselves and relationships with others. Add this to an Interactive Storytime or read my books before the visit.Glimpse sample activities in the Feathers Together video by KidLit TV on Caron’s website. Also Available as a Professional Development for educators.
  • Writing Is ReVISION: (2nd & Up, 45-60 minutes.) Get students engaged in the power of ReVISION. Participants discover Caron’s Acts of ReVISION and see the small and big changes she has made in the many, many, sooo many drafts of her books. They’ll learn and practice tools to enthusiastically apply to their own work.
    Also Available as a Professional Development for educators.
  • Author In Residence:

    Caron will create and facilitate a multi-day/week program to align with your SEL or literacy curriculum or school needs. Email for more information.


Professional Development Programs

All PD’s are available as a Half-Day Workshop, PD Hour (45-90min) or Multi-Day Program

  • Reading Emotions: Integrating SEL into Storytime and literacy lessons. Reading and feeling go hand and hand! Participants discover playful techniques for increasing literacy and SEL skills by utilizing story-time or literacy blocks to engage kids via interactive readings andcreative activities. Participants practice strategies to help kids identify as readers and writers, understand character, conflict, and more; develop self-awareness, emotional vocabulary, and communication skills. You will tap into your own strengths, gain new ideas, and receive psychoeducational information. Caron will use her own books and others as springboards for discussion and activities. Reading-Emotions can be focused specifically on topics such as friendship, big challenges and changes, bereavement/ambiguous loss, or separations/reunions—all topics include caring and kindness!
  • Turn-To-Me: Using books to encourage communication with kids about tough-topics. Participants will explore and walk away with practical tools, techniques, and information on how to utilize books to creatively support and delve into Big-Feelings, Big-Questions, Big-Changes with children.

    Topics include: bereavement, ambiguous loss, separations, and love. Through presentation, discussion, and activities, participants will gain new strategies and confidence to use any book to approach and engage kids in those big-questions (whenever they pop up!) validate feelings, and encourage mindfully open communication within your families and school communities.

    (Great PD for librarians/school counselors; Enrichment for parents/caregivers)
  • Re-freshing reVISION: Teachers, does the idea of rewriting induce groans in your classroom?  Enter a writer who knows all about the challenges and joys of revising and believes in the power of words to reframe anything. For Caron, writing is revision! Educators will be offered examples of the professional drafting process, new language, and exercises to use within existing curriculum to help students discover the delights of drafting!
  • Interactive Storytime Techniques: Librarians, teachers, and caregivers gain active Storytime tools and techniques that engage, energize—and manage those wiggles all the way to The End! Participants learn key phrases and strategies to keep attention flowing, create unison in-your-seat participation, and seamlessly shift affect levels so you can get that energy up while keeping them steady and ready.

Keynote Presentations for Conferences/Universities

Caron is available to speak at conferences for writers, educators, and mental health workers. Any of her professional development workshops can be transformed into a large audience presentation or ask about additional or customized topics.


Caregiver Enrichment Programs

Turn-To-Me, Interactive Storytime Techniques, and Family Storytimes are great for parent/community programs.


Guest Teacher classes for Universities and Writing Groups

Ask Caron about Act-Like-A-Writer: practical and playful craft techniques, Enjoy your Spotlight: for public speaking/readings, and more!

Caron’s Upcoming Events

Caron’s Blog

Stop That Yawn Activity Sheets

May I Have a Word Activity Sheets

More Activities and Info

Ida, Always Activity & Discussion Guide

Honors, Awards & Recognition

California Young Reader Medal Winner 2023
Wyoming Buckaroos Book Award Winner 2023
Nebraska Golden Sower Picture Book Award Honor 2022-2023
Monarch Award Nominee 2022
South Carolina Book Award Nominee 2022-2023
Surrey Schools Picture Book of the Year Nominee for 2021-2022
Indie Next Picks
Christopher Award Winner
Frostburg University’s Children’s Literature Centre Book Award Winner 2018
Sakura Medal (by students in international schools of Japan) 2016
The Nutmeg Award Finalist
Goodreads Choice Award Finalist
Cybils Award FInalist
Florida Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award nominee
Junior Library Guild selection
The Original Art Show, Society of Illustrators Selections
BankStreet Books Best of the year selections
Features in The New York Times Book Review
Starred Reviews from School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly & Kirkus

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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