About one week ago, I was fortunate to be able to attend the 31st Annual Children's Literature Conference in DeKalb, IL on the campus of NIU. The conference started off with the announcement of two awards: the Caudill 2011 winner and the Monarch 2011 winner The Monarch winner, pictured above, is a hoot of a book for those who enjoy picture books. Kids won't realize just how much learning is going on while laughing their way through the antics of dust bunnies - yes, dust bunnies - in the course of this book. Grandmas laugh their way through the book also! The Caudill winner is a book you may have heard about: the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Most assuredly, this book appeals to older kids due to the content being a bit disturbing and controversial. This is a book often requested at our library, and is difficult to keep on the shelves.
Keynote speakers included Laurie Halse Anderson, Susan Prineas, Thom Barthelmess (great book reviewer of 32 books in under one hour), Mac Barnett and (drumroll, please) Jon Scieszka. I also attended a break-out session featuring 5 local Illinois authors: Sallie Wolf, Barbara Rosenstock, Marianne Malone, Andrea Beaty and Cheryl Bardoe. They are pictured above.
Jon Scieszka (tan jacket, above) presented an absolutely hilarious lecture with matching family photographs of his five brothers mostly wearing the same plaid suit jacket in their school pictures. I laughed so hard my gut hurt. These pictures - and more - can be found in his book
Knucklehead. Mac Barnett was his sidekick and side-splitting as well.
If you saw the recent blog post where Wes snapped a picture of me with Rahm Emanuel in the background, you know I like to be photographed with "celebrities" but am a bit shy to approach them directly...here I am with Jon Scieszka.
I love books, and going to conferences where they are celebrated!