Jim Spensley, Storyteller Extraordinaire, Author

Lydia Lion Goes Exploring turned out to be more than fun — teachers use it as a supplemental reading text

Jim Spensley made up stories for his three kids, and then when they became parents, they demanded that he publish the Lydia Lion stories. Lydia Lion Goes Exploring was Jim's first children's fiction book. 

He is a retired systems engineer for advanced automation and controls, communications and computers. Today, he still tells stories and helps kids, parents, and teachers. He also leads a not-for-profit association, SMAACMN.

The most important thing the author wants readers to gain from his book:

Fun, of course, if you are a kid. But also, the book is crafted in many ways towards connecting spoken words and printed words through context in an interesting story and drawings. I included (with much help) two appendices useful for parents or other readers teaching.

Why the author is an authority on the subject of his book:

I have spent thousands of hours telling stories to kids about African animals, including many that were related to true stories passed on by an uncle and a cousin living in central Africa most of their lives.



Social Media:


Speaking Engagements and School Presentations:

As a young Dad, I was invited to re-tell stories at my children’s preschool, daycare, kindergarten, and early elementary grades. Recently, I have read stories from my book in library programs. I am not a teacher, but the book includes some tools to help kids learn to read (word recognition).

For first-time authors, compared to traditional publishing, self-publishing is a tricky business when it comes to choosing a company and then handling the details. Many authors unnecessarily cede decisions to the 'publisher' and end up having to pay extra for reconsiderations. As an engineer, Jim was able to oversee the technical issues and guide his unusual, unclassified book through the process, ultimately realizing most of his goals. In his presentations to author groups, Jim shares invaluable advice about what he has learned as a self-published author and how to avoid common pitfalls .

Presentation Audience:


 Grades K-3



300+ appearances


Minnesota and Arizona

Willing to travel

Book Type:

Children's Fiction





Education/College Preparation/ Special Education