This brother/sister duo has proven to be one of the most dynamic, educational and simply unforgettable presenters that Kingsbury School has ever hosted. With their quick wit, endless energy, not to mention their gift of musical talent, these two pack so much fun into their presentations that students and teachers begged me to bring them back again soon. — Jane Saxon, Media Specialist

BRING LAURA AND ROBERT TO YOU!

Laura and Robert Sams are dynamic performers, who have performed live for over 150,000 children and families. They are educators and entertainers, who truly know how to adapt their performances for different audiences. They do programs based on storytelling, filmmaking, the creative process and about nature/wildlife. They perform at:

  • Museums, Aquariums and Other Fun Places -- They have performed for visitors at The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, The Monterey Bay Aquarium, The Seattle Aquarium, The Chicago Field Museum and more.
  • Schools, Libraries, Young Author Events -- They have performed in hundreds of schools and libraries from the United States to Dubai, from huge audiences to small ones, from big auditoriums to small libraries.
  • Film Festivals, Theaters -- They have performed for family audiences at lots of festivals, from the International Wildlife Festival to the Wild and Scenic Film Festival to the BLUE on Tour program.
  • Workshops -- They have done small, focused workshops with students and adults, about writing, photography, filmmaking and more.

learn about their programs below. 

The Shark Riddle is the winner of Best Children's Program at all three major wildlife film festivals in the U.S. (BLUE Ocean, International Wildlife Film and Jackson Hole Wildlife).

what is the program about?

Based around the award-winning wildlife film, The Shark Riddle, this performance is a shark-filled, fun-filled look at big sharks, small sharks and the behind-the-scenes process of making a film! 

From Story to Screen

Storyboard example from The Shark Riddle, as Robert Sams chisels a shark tooth from a rock.

Storyboard example from The Shark Riddle, as Robert Sams chisels a shark tooth from a rock.

  • Shark Research: What inspired Laura and Robert to make a movie about sharks, and how did they learn about sharks? How big is a shark? Play our game 'Big or Small' to find out! Do you know what makes a shark a shark? Play our game 'Are You A Shark' and find out!
  • Writing/Editing: Laura and Robert wrote a screenplay for the movie, but what did that look like, and how did the story change between their beginning ideas to the final draft? 
  • Visual Storyboards: Movies often start out as storyboards, which look like a comic book. Compare the storyboards with the final movie to see what changed!
Laura and Robert Sams sing the Great White Shark Song

Laura and Robert Sams sing the Great White Shark Song

The Great White Shark Song

Join Robert and Laura to sing their incredibly catchy Great White Shark Song from the movie The Shark Riddle! Also hear Robert tell behind the scenes stories about how he filmed the sea lions and seals in the song.

A GIANT, LIFE-SIZED INFLATABLE BASKING SHARK

That's right folks, a giant shark could swim right into your school, library or special event! Sisbro has a one-of-a-kind inflatable basking shark that is 23 feet long. Basking sharks are the second biggest shark in the ocean, and they are peaceful creatures that eat tiny plankton. You could feel what it is like to stand next to a true giant of the sea!

The book and movie are winners of 21 international awards, including Midwest Picture Book of the Year, Best Children's Program at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival, and a National Parenting Publications GOLD Award.

what is this program about?

Ahoy all ye scalliwags! This program is based around the book A Pirate's Quest (written by Laura and Robert Sams, illustrated by Heiner Hertling) and the movie The Riddle in a Bottle (written, directed, filmed, composed by Laura and Robert Sams). It is a wonderful, pirate-filled, ocean-filled, music-filled program that can be adapted for libraries, museums or schools. 

WRITING A STORY AND FINDING ANIMALS

What inspired Laura and Robert to write a story about the ocean, and how did they come up with their ideas? How did they film the animals underwater like sharks and sea turtles? Play our game 'Whose Hiding?' to test you skills at finding animals hiding underwater.

MEET THE RIDDLE SOLVERS

Laura and Robert Sams are The Riddle Solvers from the movie. How did they write their funny dialogue? How did they compose their music in the story? And how did the movie inspire their book?

robert, the one-legged pirate

Robert Sams is the one-legged singing pirate in the movie, and the actual model for the pirate paintings in the book! First, ready your finest pirate voices and join Robert in singing The Peg Leg Song (a wonderful watershed song that inspired the book A Pirate's Quest)! Then discover how the song turned into a book!  Compare the rough draft to the final draft to see how it changed! How did the illustrator (Heiner Hertling) create the paintings? What other images could have been on the cover of the book? 

APiratesQuestChildrensBookAndRiddleInABottleMovie
From a sketch to a photo to a painting in the book A Pirate's Quest

From a sketch to a photo to a painting in the book A Pirate's Quest

Thank you so much for being the highlight of our March is Reading Month Celebration. All grades, all genders, ethnicities and learners loved your presentations! Your presence made such an impact that we can’t keep the books on the shelves and the movies are getting check out over and over again! Thanks for sharing your love for literature, nature and enthusiasm! With much appreciation.
— Melissa C., Media Specialist

First Snow in the Woods, the book and movie, combine for 29 awards, including a Mom's Choice Award and a Parent's Choice Gold.

What is the program about?

First Snow in the Woods, the book and DVD

First Snow in the Woods, the book and DVD

This program explores how a book is adapted into a movie, based on the vibrant seasonal tale, First Snow in the Woods. The book, by Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick, is a photographic fantasy about how the forest animals prepare for an early winter.  Laura and Robert will show how they expanded the story from into book into a movie, with new characters, music and incredible wildlife footage.

20 years of photography

Mouse in the scarecrow's pocket

Where did the idea for the book begin? See how Carl and Jean used their library of over 20 years of wildlife photography as inspiration to craft the story for their book.  See how Laura and Robert filmed wildlife to match the images from the book.

From Script to screen

Storyboard comparison

How does a script turn into a movie? Laura and Robert will show how their words on paper came to life on screen. 

  • Writing/Editing: Laura and Robert wrote a screenplay for the movie, but what did that look like, and how did the story change between their beginning ideas to the final draft? 
  • Visual Storyboards: Movies often start out as storyboards, which look like a comic book. Compare the storyboards with the final movie to see what changed!

What ages do you perform for?

In schools, we usually visit elementary aged children (K-6th grade), but we can adapt for middle and high school. At other venues, we perform for general family audiences.

How long are your performances?

At schools, our assemblies are about 50 minutes in length. At other venues, we can adapt from 15 minutes up to an hour.

Do you have a limit on group size?

At schools, we try to see around 125 students per assembly, so that we can adapt material with age-appropriate activities, and because we like to be interactive! At other venues, we work with what is possible!

What does this cost?

Contact us for prices at venues other than schools. At schools, we perform between two and four assemblies in a day. The cost is $650 for 2 assemblies, $800 for 3 assemblies and $950 for 4 assemblies, PLUS a travel fee. We are based out of Portland, Oregon. We always do a school tour in the Midwest/Michigan in March.

Can people buy autographed products?

Yes. We can bring some with us, or we can give people a coupon to use on our web store.

Your presentation was dazzling! Your humor and energy demonstrated such enthusiasm for creating stories that our Cherry Creek CHAMPS are motivated to publish their own work this month. THANK YOU!
— Cherry Creek Elementary Staff