A serious whim recently turned into a 4-day trip to London, England. I had been drooling over the exhibit Harry Potter: A History of Magic at the British Library for some time. When my friend Kirsten suggested we go to London to see the Winnie the Pooh exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum, we began to plan in earnest. I bought tickets for the Harry Potter exhibit before I even got my flight booked. Tickets were selling fast and the exhibit did sell out, a first for the British Library. But I had two spots for the last day.
I recently picked up the newly published book, A Kid’s Guide to America’s First Ladies by Kathleen Krull and was intrigued by the plethora of interesting facts and stories revealed within this title. Nearly each chapter shared something surprising, such as how Abigail Adams was mocked with the nickname “Mrs. President”, considered the opposite of a compliment at the time, or how women were not allowed to wear pants on the U.S. Senate floor until 1993.
ALSC and the ALSC Awards Preconference Pilot Program Task Force announced the theme and speakers for the 2015 ALSC preconference program. This program takes place 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday, June 26, 2015, at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. The program, entitled “Distinguished and Diverse: Celebrate the 2015 ALSC Honor Books,” will spotlight 2015 Honor Book recipients for the Newbery, Caldecott, Batchelder, Pura Belpré, Sibert and Geisel awards. The keynote speaker for the program is K.T. Horning, and there will be a panel facilitated by Judy Freeman. The event will feature authors, illustrators and editors such as Cece Bell, Jacqueline Woodson, Lauren Castillo, Mary GrandPré, Candace Fleming, Yuyi Morales, Jillian Tamaki, Katherine Roy, John Parra, Patricia Hruby Powell, Mark Siegel, Christian Robinson, Jon Klassen and Melissa Sweet. More speakers will be announced soon. This is the first year that such a preconference will be held. The…
You know it’s going to be a cool conference when the first person you spot standing outside of McCormick Place is Jason Segel. I’d just hopped off the bus and there he was, hanging out before his talk! Way cool. Segel, an actor and writer, was this morning’s interviewee during the Auditorium Speaker Series. He talked about how his own childhood experiences with night terrors inspired his children’s book, Nightmares! (co-written with Kirsten Miller). “I dreamed witches were eating my toes.” Sounds kind of adorable? “It’s adorable if you’re the eater, not the eatee,” he quipped. He’s been writing since age 22, and is heavily influenced by Roald Dahl, Tim Burton, Goonies, and Labyrinth. While writing The Muppets screenplay, Segel re-read A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh for inspiration and to get in “kid brain” mode. Segel’s primary interest is exploring the human condition of always wanting to be something more, of…
ALSC and Bechtel Fellowship Committee are now accepting online applications for the 2015 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship. The Bechtel Fellowship is designed to allow qualified children’s librarians to spend a total of four weeks or more reading and studying at the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, a part of the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida, Gainesville. The Baldwin Library contains a special collection of 130,000 volumes of children’s literature published mostly before 1950. The fellowship is endowed in memory of Louise Seaman Bechtel and Ruth M. Baldwin and provides a stipend of $4,000. Applicants must be personal members of ALSC, as well as ALA members to apply. Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, October 1, 2014. For more information about the requirements of the fellowship and submitting the online application please visit: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/profawards/bechtel
David Lubar spoke on the Pop Top Stage, Popular Topics Everyday for an hour shortly after the Youth Media Awards. He is a hysterical author who talked about his books, read from his new young adult book coming out in the fall of 2015, and told some very funny jokes. A local author from New Jersey, he is so funny to listen and is definitely an author for boys who love Captain Underpants for his younger novels and does some great work for middle grade students and young adult too! I’m excited to hear him again when he comes to our library this summer for an author visit with our kids.
One of the most interesting sessions to stop in and see at any point during the conference is the Notable Children’s Books committee discussion. Whereas many committees meet behind closed doors, this group invited anyone at the conference to come and listen in as the committees discusses, literally every book on the list. The committee gives a brief synopsis of the book and then the committee discusses both he positive aspects of he story as well as concerns they may have about the book. Their discussion about these books brings up all aspects of the story the language, the storytelling, character development, as well as plot and setting. If you’re interested in the books on the Notable Children’s Discussion list, take a look and see what you think will make it!