ALA Midwinter 2016

#ALAMW16 Illustrated Morris Seminar Wrapup

I had a mind-blowing time at the Bill Morris Seminar  in Boston. The gist of it is: you take a room, fill it with librarians from all over the country at varying times in their librarian and ALSC careers, and then have incredible people lecture them on book evaluation and put them into discussion groups to apply what they’ve learned. Here is my illustrated wrap-up of the day, with wise words from KT Horning (sometimes reading the words of out-sick Martha Parravano), Thom Barthelmess, Mary Burkey, Kevin Delecki, Randy Enos, Junko Yokoto, and other participants.

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All original artwork copyright 2016, Lisa Nowlain

Lisa Nowlain is the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Fellow and Children’s Librarian at Darien Library in Darien, CT (you can be the next one! Apply by April 1 at She is also an artist-type (see more at


  1. Debbie Reese

    Thanks for this, Lisa! Sounds terrific!

    Back when I was teaching children’s lit at UIUC, I did some of this kind of work with students. We’d read an article and I’d haul in a bunch of books, and we’d use the article to examine the books.

    What books did you discuss? Can you share a list of the pre-readings (I followed your link and saw reference to readings)?


    1. Lisa Nowlain Post author

      Hi Debbie! Here is our list of pre-readings that we discussed in small groups. The list was pulled from award winners last year.
      The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat
      The Right Word by Jen Bryant, illus by Melissa Sweet
      Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales
      Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman; Illus. by Rick Allen (Children’s Notable)
      The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
      El Deafo by Cece Bell
      Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
      Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
      The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming
      I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosín

  2. Liz Gotauco

    I’m so sad I missed this. Thanks for the colorful sum-up!

  3. Sylvia Vardell

    This is a wonderful, visual, personal, spot-on synthesis of Morris highlights! Thank you for creating this unique summary, Lisa, and for investing fully in our big day. It was a rich and fabulous experience all around, I totally agree!

    1. Lisa Nowlain Post author

      Thanks so much, Sylvia, for planning it with Deb! What a highlight!

  4. Eileen Makoff

    Wow, this visual is great! It helped me remember a truly terrific day of learning and camaraderie,

  5. Laura Simeon

    Lisa, this is fantastic! I took written notes – it was such an incredible, information-packed day – but your gorgeous, bright illustrations sum things up so well. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Laura Simeon

      Oh, and one more quote to add, from Deb Taylor’s wrap-up: “Read as an adult, but put the child first.”

      1. Lisa Nowlain

        Thanks Laura! Yes, there were so many good quotes…I could have illustrated all day long. It was fun to read your blog too!

  6. Pingback: A Magnificent Midwinter #alamw16 - ALSC BlogALSC Blog

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