Was surprised by how much I enjoyed the readers’ theater at Scholastic’s Sunday Brunch. The deal is that a group of writers each present a snippet of each of their books. This time I learned that Sharon Flake can do some very convincing wiggles, Sharon Cameron‘s got loads of good humor, David Shannon is ready to try out for High School Musical, Trent Reedy can do earnest with great conviction, Raina Telgemeier acts with her whole body, Eliot Schrefer is most convincing, and James Dashner can pull off every sort of British accent from cockney to Downton Abbey. Great fun!
Then I was on to an S &S illustrators lunch where Raul Colon spoke of how he managed to work nonstop for days to complete the illustrations for Jill Biden’s Don’t Forget, God Bless the Troops, Denise Fleming spoke of her fascinating process making paper for underGround, Loren Long spoke of his development of the small bat character in Nightsong, Ashley Wolff spoke of her printmaking process for Baby Bear Sees Blue, and Peter Brown showed how he developed his art for Creepy Carrots!. Fascinating stuff.
Then on to a very good panel on the New Nonfiction where there was plenty of passion and conversation. Panelists included my good friends Nina Lindsay and Jonathan Hunt (of Heavy Medal fame), Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos, and Susan Campbell Bartoletti.
Then it was time for the one and only Newbery Caldcott Banquet where Chris Rashka and Jack Gantos gave splendid speeches. If you get a chance, be sure to read and view them. Both were so heartfelt and genuine while also very much the sum total of each man, Chris’ being pensive and intriguing while Jack’s was outrageous at moments (as in his books), funny, and caring. What a great night (even if my dessert was brought to my table and removed before I ever saw it. Darn you, Marriott servers!).
On Monday I went to the ALSC awards, had lunch with the delightful Lisa Brown, and a giddy (as we were so overtired by then) dinner with Starr LaTronica, Linda Perkins, Nina Lindsay, Roxanne Feldman, and Melissa Sweet (who did something way, way too kind at the end — we seriously owe her).
Now it is Tuesday morning and I need to get up and get ready to fly home. Thanks once again to all the publishers for hosting me at so many wonderful events. Great, great conference!