All Around Us

Program Offerings with author Xelena González &

illustrator Adriana M. Garcia

Tai Chi Storytelling
In this unique and dynamic program, Xelena will follow a reading of her book All Around Us
with a movement-based retelling of the tale. Drawing upon her experience living in China, she
will introduce participants to the basics of tai chi in a way that will make the story meaningful
and unforgettable. Time permitting, participants will then engage in a group story circle that
will involve their own ideas and movements inspired by tai chi, yoga, or other forms of
expression. This program is appropriate for ages 5 to adult, and can be modified for younger
audiences with parent participation.

30 minutes minimum, with the option to extend exercise up to 90 minutes

Writing & Sketching in Nature
Take a nature walk with All Around Us creators Xelena & Adriana, as they guide participants in
new ways of observing their environment and re-envisioning their findings on the page. As
writers, we will play with personification and other poetic tricks. As artists, we will discover
ways to add life to objects that only appear to be inanimate. All ages and levels are welcome to
take the nature walk, but participants ages 8 and up will benefit the most from this experience.
45 minutes minimum, with the option to extend exercise up to 2 hours.
Open access to nature is essential. Parks, gardens, and even yards are ideal.

The Rainbow Within: Playing with Poetry
This workshop asks participants go within and reflect upon their own unique gifts. We will
connect with images from nature, as we build a poem that may play with metaphor, simile, or
personification. Adding illustrations to our creations will enhance the experience and the final
piece (which can be formatted on a single page or in “mini book” form). If time allows, we will
extend the poem into expressive movement, with a focus on mindfulness / positive affirmations.
45 minutes minimum, with the option to extend exercise up to 2 hours.

Sowing Seeds
This is a simple seeding activity that can be led in conjunction with any of the aforementioned
programs or as a stand-alone project. It is also a nice prelude or follow-up to a scheduled
author/illustrator visit. Many ideas can be found online, and we are happy to suggest the ones
that have worked for us in past programs. Older participants can engage in conversation about
the metaphorical seeds we wish to sow in our circles of community.

30 minutes minimum, including reading

A Rainbow of Words & Color
Add a splash of color to your walls as participants create a group mural that combines images
and words relevant to agreed-upon themes and intentions. Everyone will have the chance to
contribute ideas in the form of sketches and creative writing, which Adriana and Xelena will
help refine during the workshop. The final piece can be a stand-alone art piece for the space or
the initial sketch for an eventual mural. (Adriana, an experienced muralist, can advise interested
parties on mural development plans.) This program can be modified for early/pre-writers.
90 minutes minimum is optimal for the exercise,
with the option to extend exercise up to 2 hours or longer.

Circles are Everywhere
What do you see inside a circle? What can you design using only circles? What circles are you a
part of? Using simple demonstrations and free-writing/drawing exercises, this workshop can be
tailored to fit any age group. It involves brief discussion post book-reading and a chance to
participate in a worldwide experimental art project based on circles. Older writers will leave
with the beginnings of a reflective story, essay, or poem.

30 minutes minimum, which includes story time for younger participants

The Seeds of Personal Story: Educator Workshop
Open to teachers, parents, and lifelong learners, this workshop asks us to go to our roots to find
the stories that shape us. With a light focus, we will explore culture, family traditions, and belief
systems through reflective writing exercises and guided discussion. Educators will learn simple
techniques for eliciting similar writing from their students through fun exercises.

1 hour minimum, with option to extend to 2 hours
Other program offerings can be modified for adults & educators

Play & Learn: Early Childhood Programming

In conjunction with the San Antonio Public Library, Xelena and Adriana led an early-literacy-
based “Play & Learn” program that centred around their story. Themes included gardening,

rainbows, circles, and family. Each activity included some component of early literacy practices
(reading, writing, talking, singing, and playing). Please contact the creators to request a list of
these activities to replicate in your library, home, or learning center. It is also possible to
incorporate one or more of these activities into a scheduled visit.
Story Walk: An Interactive Way to Experience Story
Also in conjunction with the San Antonio Public Library, Xelena and Adriana shared an early
version of the book with their community through a dynamic reading and art installation,
designed in the style of a Story Walk. This unique way of sharing stories promotes family
literacy, healthy living, and nature appreciation. Please contact the creators to discuss the space
and cost considerations involved in replicating this exhibition in your space or city. Indoor or
outdoor displays are possible.

Program Notes and Fees

◆ All program offerings may be modified according to preference or
time/space/participant size. Although most programs are designed
to be co-led by both author and illustrator, it is possible to hire one
artist…Xelena is available to lead any of the workshops (barring
elements of visual art expertise). Adriana is available to lead most
of the workshops (barring “Tai Chi Storytelling” & “The Seeds of
Story”) with a focus on the visual art components. We are flexible
and easy to work with, so if you have a different idea, just ask.

◆ A general guideline for program fees is to plan for $1,000 per day.
One day means providing 4-6 programs, depending on the length
of each session (allowing for brief breaks and mealtime). Cost of
supplies, travel, and accommodations can affect this quote. Please
be in touch to discuss details. We are flexible and can always
adjust depending on your needs and budget.

◆ If your school’s budget does not allow for visiting authors/artists,
consider teaming up with the PTA or with outside community
organizations. Adding professional workshops to the visit may also
allow your school to find other sources of funding.

◆ The author Xelena González currently works and resides in China.
She will return to the United States to conduct a small tour of book
readings and school visits January-August, 2018.

◆ To schedule a school visit, please contact Cinco Puntos Press at or contact Xelena González directly at