I’m off shortly to ALA in Chicago where I will be seeing many friends from the publishing world — authors, illustrators, editors, marketers, publicity folks, agents, librarians, academics, reviewers, educators, teachers, bloggers, booksellers, and book lovers of all stripes. Can’t wait to see them all and do some socializing, gossiping, hear about and see new and forthcoming books, and otherwise have a grand time.
In addition to all the socializing and networking, I also plan to:
- Stop by the Mo Willems reading at the Art Institute’s “Picture Perfect: Caldecott Award Books: 2006-2009) exhibit on Friday afternoon, 3-5.
- Wander the exhibits on Saturday morning. (This is perhaps my favorite thing to do — see what is coming down the pike for all of us. I’m also on the look-out for next year’s Battle of the Kids’ Books contenders.)
- Meet up with some fellow child_litters for lunch on Saturday at the convention center food court (thanks to Cheryl Klein for organizing this).
- Hopefully make it to the Saturday 1:30 session, “Books and Blogs: Made for Each Other?”
- Sit in on the Notables meetings (their discussion list is available here) at various times.
- Also on Saturday, at 3:30, get to the session, “Mixing it Up: The Process of Bringing International Children’s Books to the US” with Cheryl and others.
- On Sunday at 1:30, go to The Pura Belpré Celebración; I’ve never been before and hear it is wonderful!
- Be at the Newbery Caldecott Wilder Banquet on Sunday. I went to my first one of these in 2002 when my dear friend Roxanne Feldman was on the committee that honored Linda Sue Park with the Newbery Medal for A Single Shard. She arranged for me to sit at the FSG table where I had a blast with Jack Gantos. Since then I’ve gone yearly and it has been wonderful each time. Last year was, of course, particularly special because it was when I was on the Newbery Committee and we got to see one of the best banquet speeches to date by our winner, Laura Amy Schlitz. Neil Gaiman is an amazing speaker (and, as this blog’s readers well know, I was a huge advocate for his book winning), but I’m dubious that even he can beat Laura’s mesmerizing presentation of last year. Still he is NEIL GAIMAN, arguably the biggest celeb to win this award (biggest outside this world of children’s books, I mean), a great guy, and a wonderful storyteller in his own right — so I’m sure it is going to be one hell of a night. I cannot wait!
- Listen to Melba Beals on Monday morning.
- Attend the presentation of the Batchelder, Carnegie, Geisel, and Sibert Awards later on Monday morning.
Sadly I am returning to NYC on Monday afternoon so cannot attend the Odyssey Award Presentation and Reception, the Printz Award Program, the Coretta Scott King Award celebrations (really, really sorry I can’t do these — I’ve gone to the amazing breakfast several times and this year there are more events to celebrate 40 years of the award), and too many other cool looking activities.