203 Daywood Drive
Baldwinsville, NY 13027

May 1 - Dec. 31: 315 635-5819 (NY)
Jan. 1 - April 30:
Cell Phone: 315-727-9374


Kind Words from
Pleased Listeners

Dear Mr. McKenna,
I just wanted to thank you for coming to Laurel Oak and mesmerizing our students. You have such a gift of voice when you read, that the children are brought immediately into the book. I hope you have a safe trip back to New York and that we will see you again next year. It is because of you that I make sure to read aloud to my class. (my favorite part of the day)
Kathy Meyer
4th - LOE

Big Cypress Elementary School
Naples Florida

You recently read at our school and the children have been very inspired by you. I have ordered several books from your list. Students are constantly asking for books you suggested. I would like to make a spine label so the books are easily identified.
May I copy your picture from your web page to use as my label? This is the one I would like to use.
Hi Mary,
I would be honored! What a great idea!
I really enjoyed my visit at Big Cypress. I was especially excited to know that Sean, Mary and you are on the same page as far as books and reading are concerned.
Thank you for your support and all you do to get books into the hands of children!
Thanks again,
Jim McKenna

Dear Mr. McKenna,
I was delighted to hear you at Naples Park Elementary last month and appreciate so much my personal reading of Eve Bunting's The Wall. It was a real treat to hear you again. I first experienced your magic when I was pregnant with my son, Eli as I taught at Naples Park. And I thought to myself now there is a man who knows kids. So when my son was born I tried to emulate that excitement I learned from you while I read aloud. Yesterday, my first born was able to hear you for the first time. I am delighted he loved you just as much and I have ordered Isabelle's Noisy Tummy for him.
Thank you!
Very Sincerely,
Jen Denard

I had certainly looked forward to visiting Ramsdell Elementary, but I couldn't have remotely anticipated the extraordinary treat in store for me there - a most stirring, touching, absolutely enchanting reading of "lra Sleeps Over" . . . I will remember forever the nuances of humor and sensitivity you found in the text that even I hadn't realized were there.
Bernard Waber
Author of "lra Sleeps Over"

He shared beautiful literature which held students, teachers, and parents in rapt attention. He moved us to laughter and tears with his selections. He shared favorite authors and introduced us to new ones. He introduced us to characters worth meeting and values worth imitating. He also showed us that you can never be too old to enjoy a good read aloud.
Margaret Kerstner, Reading Director
Oakland Public Schools
Oakland, New Jersey

The students have been mimicking your creative voices and reading the books you recommended
Jo PfeiI, Principal
Community School
Naples, Florida

Your presentations were delightful, hilarious, sensitive, and just plain fun. You opened our eyes to the art of story reading. The students are asking for many of the titles you touched upon and the teachers are definitely feeling more comfortable about taking time to read aloud in the classroom.
Gale F. Swiecki, Elementary Principal
Patricia R. Burke, Reading Coordinator
Lowville Elementary
Lowville, New York

Please keep up the public relations job for libraries and books. Far too many children don't get a love for books - unless someone like you can turn them on by your story reading.
Joan Siddall Library Director
Wilson Free Library
Wilson, New York

Lake Park Elementary
Naples Florida

Hi Jim,
You are outstanding—in every way!
I enjoyed getting to know you a bit and I know everyone at LPE more than enjoyed being a part of your presentation.
Side note —- remember the "difficuIt" student who needed to get up to get a band aid? He was in your first group (5th grade) on Thursday. I wanted to share that first thing Monday morning when the media center opened, he was at the door asking about some of the books you presented. Together, he and I printed the Books Come Alive list and pinpointed the ones he was really interested in —I promised him I would include those titles in my next new book order. Today he asked if they had come in yet.... what a tremendous success story!!!
Be well,

Big Cypress Elementary School
Naples Florida

Hi Jim,
I was thrilled that you were able to join us this year. The teachers and the students enjoyed themselves. I happened to be in the media center and I passed a shelf that said, "Jim McKenna’s Favorite Books." I looked down and there was one remaining book on the shelf. It shows that the kids want to read whatever you recommend.
Enloy the rest of your time in Naples. I do so hope we can do this again next year.
Thanks for all your positive feedback and encouragement.

Dear Mr. McKenna,
You are an amazing storyteller! Thank you for inspiring all of us to develop a love of reading. It was a privilege for the students and staff at Highlands Elementary to be captivated with your storytelling ability. You not only entertained us but motivated all of Highlands Elementary School to read!
Thank you for sharing your talents with us.
The Students and Staff of Highlands Elementary School
Immokalee, Florida

Because of your valuable work, we feel sure some lives have been touched and enhanced with a new spark of interest in the adventure of reading!
B.E.N. Home Community Group
Errick Road School
North Tonawanda, New York

We liked the way you imitated different voices for every character. You used the music to make us feel relaxed, sad, and happy while you were reading.
Fourth Graders from
Ms. Severini's Class
Dogwood Hills School
Oakland, New Jersey

My teenage daughter said that listening to you was like being at Disney World. She said she is supposed to be all grown up but she just couldn't help smiling while you were reading. We're never too old for stories!
Debbie Trexler, Teacher
Elbridge Elementary
Elbridge, New York

You helped me to realize the absolute magic that is created by the pairing of literature and music. Your presentations have made a profound impact on my teaching style. Not only were the parents inspired to read with their children in new and different ways, your comments to them on the character values and intrinsic lessons available within good literature were timely and much appreciated.
Mary Rys, Reading Specialist
Elmcrest Elementary
Liverpool, New York

Mr. McKenna shared some exceptional children's literature with our students in an entertaining and dramatic way. His love for reading aloud and children's literature was evident from the moment his presentation began.
Evaluations from
Catskill Reading Council
Oneonta, New York

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