Photos: Two Days of ALA (Part 2)
Previously: Photos: Two Days of ALA (Part 1)
As the sun rose on the Orlando swampland I looked out my window and thought, “I could use some coffee.” Then I realized they had one of those little makers in the room (complete with official looking to-go cup (see below)). And it was glorious.
Caffeine addiction temporarily satisfied, I headed back to Yarn HQ (I’m just going to keep calling it that) to interview Melissa Sweet about her upcoming E.B. White bio Some Writer! It’s a pretty remarkable book, and we had a good chat about it. On this day I also interviewed Duncan Tonatiuh about Funny Bones, Javaka Steptoe about Radiant Child, and Jon Klaassen about his Hat book trilogy. Did I take pictures? No!
I managed to make it to a preview lunch with Abrams books. Pizza in handy bite-sized pieces was served. Excellent authors shared bite-sized pieces of their books. Authors like…
…and a number of other authors who’s good looks I didn’t do justice with my poor camera skills.
Back in the exhibits, full of pizza and hubris, I decided now was the time to pull off my Mr. Schu cardboard cutout heist. But like a bad dream, Schu stepped out from behind his cutout at the last moment to stop me. Like the friendliest cop in the world. Look at the disappointment in my eyes above.
Good swag alert! Chocolate bars for Alice & Lucy Will Work for Bunk Beds…
…and character cookies for The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat.
Awesome thing alert! The Red Nose Studio-created Alfred Ely Beach from The Secret Subway (100 Scope Notes Review) was over in the Random House booth.
This was my first post-Undies conference, and I liked how the folks at Algonquin Books for young Readers showed me the stamp on the case cover for The Girl Who Drank the Moon – a book that has been getting a lot of advance-reader love.
A create your own zine station? This is a good thing.
Stopped off for a brief BFG meeting.
And then it was Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder Banquet time.
Here’s the scene. If you haven’t been there, it is very much a who’s who of the children’s literature world. It’s a fun place to play “Hey, isn’t that…”
— John Schu (@MrSchuReads) June 27, 2016
See, I thought I was clever wearing a tie that featured illustrations by Caldecott Honor winning artist Christian Robinson (see above – and shout out to Chronicle for this tie). But, as always, I have to recognize the real sartorial genius of the evening…
…Betsy Bird, who’s Caldecott winner catalog card outfit meant that a line of photo-op hopefuls followed her all night long. Myself included.
The program – a beautiful die-cut number, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the year The Lion and the Mouse won:
First to the podium was Sophie Blackall. Her speech was funny, heartfelt, and a celebration of everyone who helped make Finding Winne a reality. You can read it here.
Next up, Jerry Pinkney. JP is my guy. His speech focused on his early days as an illustrator and the mentors who helped him. You can read it here.
Matt de la Peña was nothing short of himself. He began by giving his Newbery Medal to his mom in the audience, and proceeded to bring fits of laughter (when he was not clear if he had actually won the Newbery on the morning of The Call) and tears (while talking about the young people he sees when he visits schools). Click here to read his speech.
After the banquet is complete, the award winners head out to the lobby and form a receiving line to rival any wedding. John Schumacher, the Scorsese of Vine, captured the above video that puts you right in the middle of the action.
— Rodeen Literary Mgt (@RodeenLiterary) June 27, 2016
Fact: in a pinch, my left arm can be used as a selfie stick. I used it to capture the post-banquet festivities.
After that, it was off to the airport to head home. I took the above photo to shamelessly rub in the face of everyone who’s has a long TSA check-in line lately. Notice the lack of any other human life aside from the TSA agent. Sorry – had to do it.
Here are Colby and I, 15 hours after the banquet, on the ground in Michigan.
Thank you to the children’s literature community for being so wonderful. It was a great conference.
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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