ALA Annual Conference 2021

Celebrate Global Stories at 2021 Virtual ALA Annual Conference #alaac21

Eileen Robinson from Reycraft Publishing (beginning in 2019) has been focusing on authors with diverse voices. In a Zoom webinar at the 2021 Virtual ALA Annual Conference, Robinson spoke with Luther Tsai, the author of the Magic Mirror Time Travel Series. In this series, geared toward children ages 8-12, the settings are from historical times that are underrepresented. “Jump into history and mystery,” says Tsai. Because that is what characters Marko and Miranda do when they use a Chinese magic mirror to travel back into history. The historical time periods that they travel to are mostly in Asia. But stay tuned, more books are coming with new locations. Robinson mentioned that the books include meeting new people, friendships, and on building up one’s vocabulary. At the end of the session, Robinson and Tsai explained activities to do with children that center around Tsai’s books. One craft children could do is…

ALA Annual Conference 2021

Diversity in Children’s Literature and in Your Library #ALAAC21

ALA Annual Conference has tremendous featured speakers, and we’ve all enjoyed hearing from the stars like Stanley Tucci and Nikole Hannah-Jones, but the real learning often takes place in the quieter sessions. Over the last few days, I’ve benefited from multiple sessions that focus on diversity in children’s literature and our responsibility to diversify our collections.

ALA Annual Conference 2021

Barton’s Book About a Book At 2021 Virtual ALA Annual Conference #alaac21

Q & A With the Author When I joined the Zoom webinar at the 2021 Virtual ALA Annual Conference it was already busy with discussion. Rachel Zugschwert, from Lerner Publishing, was taking questions from the chat of participant attendees for author Chris Barton to answer. It didn’t take me long to get caught up (with only my few minutes late entry) that we were talking about Barton’s non-fiction book, “How to Make a Book (About My Dog).” Book About a BookThe picture book developed from author visits Barton has made to schools in the past. He frequently answered questions from students about how to make a book and about his dog, Ernie. So, he wrote a book about the two. As Baron read us the 1st page he also explained the cartoon picture of himself (that is also on the page) and that the illustrator, Sarah Horne, did a great…

ALA Annual Conference 2021

Life Journey in a Picture Book #alaac21

Eileen Robinson with Reycraft introduced us, via a Zoom webinar, to author and illustrator Wook Jin Jung. Wook Jin said his book, “Black Cat, Yellow Bunny,” is based off of his life journey. He said that he came to America 25 years ago from South Korea as a college student not knowing English and later got a job in design. His journey wasn’t an easy one and wanted to share his near wordless story, to bring empathy to readers. Wook Jin says, “Simple kindness to get to know each other,” is welcome when in a new environment. It was mentioned children might feel similarly when they are in a new school.

ALA Annual Conference 2021

Inspirational Author Connects Emotionally to Participants #alaac21

This morning’s Scholastic Coffee Chat was very inspirational. At today’s 2021 Virtual ALA Annual Conference, Scholastic’s editor, Tracy Mack and author Ann Clare LeZotte spoke together about LeZotte’s newest book “Set Me Free.” While I’m watching on my laptop, I could tell the two have a very special relationship that has been developed over the last few years from working together. Mack asked LeZotte questions about her book. LeZotte, then answered them in two languages, English and in American Sign Language. I could tell from the chat responses of the participants that LeZotte’s words were creating very emotional responses. LeZotte is deaf and a former librarian. She drew her inspiration for her book from her own life and those of others she has interacted with over the years. As someone who’s parents were told by doctors to not teach her ASL, she had many lonely days. But as she came…

ALA Annual Conference 2021

Amanda Gorman and Loren Long @ #ALA Annual Conference 2021

On Wednesday morning, #ALA Annual Conference 2021 began with an amazing opening speaker session with Amanda Gorman and Loren Long. They were interviewed by “rock star” (to quote Gorman) Carla Hayden. Really, all three of these speakers are ROCK STARS! Gorman introduced us to her new book, CHANGE SINGS, which will be available in the fall. She has been working on the poem for over 3.5 years and wanted it to come out as close after the Inauguration as possible (before she even knew that she would be the Inaugural Poet). Gorman and Long discussed the transformation of her poem into a children’s book. As Gorman explained, poems are “divisible by units of sound, and children’s books are divisible by units of scene.” In thinking about turning the poem into a book, she had to think about “page turns,” and she wanted to give the huge topic of CHANGE texture,…