Thank you Chicago, ALA, and The American Writers Museum!

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Chicago was anything but the windy city this weekend. It was warm and welcoming as it greeted thousands of librarians, publishers, editors, writers, illustrators, and literary aficionados for ALA’s 2017 Annual Conference and Exhibition.

It’s hard not to feel like a kid in a candy store when attending ALA. And like a well-prepared kid ready to take home a treasure trove of loot, I came prepared with my empty bags. In my years of attending ALA, I have also learned that the extremely patient Fed Ex worker, who is silently laughing at my creatively wrapped packages, has become my new best friend. (At this time, I would like to shout out a very big thank you to my Grandpa Harry for teaching me how to defy the laws of physics with masking tape.)

Here are a few photographic highlights from #alaac17:

 

Creston Books

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Detectives Wilcox & Griswold, me, and Marissa Moss

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Nancy Churnin

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Marcia Goldman and Princess Lola

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Laurie Wallmark and Sue Conolly

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Marissa Moss and Kathryn Otoshi

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Carol Weston

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Monica Edinger and Donalyn Miller

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Tracey Baptiste

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Me and Emma Otheguy

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The AWESOME Mr. Schu!

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Laurie Wallmark, Mr. Schu, and me

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Panel discussion, “Women Aren’t Funny (And Other Essential Untruths for Middle Grade Readers) with Sharyn November, Erica Perl, Betsy Bird, Cece Bell, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Andrea Beaty

During this literary palooza of a weekend, I also had the privilege of being invited to do a reading at the The American Writers Museum. With the mission of “celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture, and our daily lives[,]”[1] The American Writers Museum opened its doors on May 15, 2017.

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While walking around and gazing at the words and portraits of many of my writing superheroes, it was impossible not to reflect upon the impact each of these authors have had on all of us—how they’ve stirred our imagination; comforted us in times of grief; given us a serious case of the giggles; and put us to bed night after night.

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As a writer, I also couldn’t help but think about the number of rewrites each of these authors had to do. How many authors were on the brink of giving up when they finally got their lucky break? What’s the tally on the number of rejections vs. successes?

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Untitled Mural by Paul O. Zelinsky

Next time you’re in Chicago be sure to stop by this inspiring magical place. I promise. You won’t be disappointed.

[1] Source: http://americanwritersmuseum.org/history/

ALA 2016 Annual Conference & Exhibition #ALAAC16

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Every time I go to ALA I feel like a kid in a candy store. Where else in the world can you meet your favorite librarians, educators, editors, and publishers; bump into Dan Santat in the hallway; and hear your child scream with delight, “Mo Willems is HERE! HE’S HERE!!!

Below are a few photographic highlights from this year’s INCREDIBLE conference.

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My super excited boys with their super cool exhibitor badges. 

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Mo Willems

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“Hi Mr. Schu!” 

Pam Muñoz Ryan

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Alyson Beecher, me, Lola, Marcia Goldman, Marissa Moss and Kathryn Otoshi 

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Alyson Beecher and me

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Stephanie Bange and me

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Marissa Moss

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Marcia Goldman, Lola and her adorable fans

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Wilcox & Griswold, me and Marissa Moss

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Kathryn Otoshi

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Bethany Buck and me

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Sergio Ruzzier

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Kwame Alexander

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Rita Williams-Garcia and me

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Sara Pennypacker and Jon Klassen

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Jerry Pinkney

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me and Dan Santat

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Lori Degman’s adorable new book. Norbert is one radiant, terrific pig. 

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A well-prepared librarian! 

As my favorite spider might say, ALA is some conference. I can hardly wait for next year. Thank you, ALA!

 

ALA San Francisco Annual Conference & Exhibition #alaac15

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What an incredible week to be in San Francisco! ALA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition was a jubilant celebration of authors, illustrators, publishers, librarians, and of course, books! Where else in the world are there this many people excited about books? Nowhere. And in a nutshell, it was AWESOME!  ala4

At this year’s conference, I had the opportunity to do a cooking demo, making Mollie Katzen’s super yummy carrot cake recipe from The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake. I have to say when I first heard of this I wasn’t sure if it was a joke because (just between you and me) I don’t bake. In fact, over the years, I’ve had a very good relationship with my friends Betty Crocker, Nestlé® Toll House®, and the Pillsbury® Doughboy® and I go way back. The thought of baking,[1] even pretend baking, in front of an audience was terrifying. Fortunately for me, Mollie Katzen’s recipe is so easy that even a bumbling baking novice like myself could do it. And I had a blast! With the headpiece microphone, I felt like a cross between Julia Child and Madonna. So Food Network, if you’re looking for an author who writes about food, but who can’t actually make the food, I’m your gal. Call me. We’ll talk! 🙂 (I also happen to know two charismatic Missing Food Investigators who would love to host a kids cooking show.)

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ala3Detective Wilcox and Captain Griswold enjoying the spotlight on the What’s Cooking @ALA Stage 

Here are more photographic highlights:

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Mug Shot: Me, and librarian extraordinaire, Beth Decker

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Members of the Creston crew: Muon Van, Darlene Beck-Jacobson, Julie Downing, April Chu, me

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Darlene Beck-Jacobson and Georgia Lyon

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Simon Stahl and me

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Dan Santat

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me and Lane Smith

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Marcia Goldman, Lola, and Marissa Moss 

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me and Debbie Ridpath Ohi

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Jon Scieszka and me

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Muon Van and April Chu

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me and Cece Bell 

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Darlene Beck-Jacobson, Jacqueline Woodson, and me 

It was a wonderful conference. And to all the superhero librarians who inspire fledgling readers and turn reluctant readers into avid readers from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!!! 

Wilcox, Griswold and I have already packed our bags for the next ALA conference. We can’t wait!

p.s. Darlene Beck-Jacobson, Marcia Goldman, Lola, and I also enjoyed a great visit to a wonderful bookstore, Book Passage.

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**Please remember to support your independent bookstores. Thank you!

[1] While practicing the recipe, I learned one thing: grating carrots on a hand grater is a serious workout. You can avoid expensive gym fees by simply buying a bag of carrots and a hand grater.

Creston Books: Upcoming Author Events

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Are you in California? Are you looking for something fun and educational to do with the kids? Then, check out these AWESOME upcoming author events.

lola_cover_webBooks, Inc – Author Event with Marcia Goldman and Lola
Saturday, September 28
3:00pm
1760 4th Street
Berkeley, CA
booksinc.net

Peninsula Humane Society – “Paws for Tales” Therapy Program with Marcia and Lola Goldman at Foster City Library
Tuesday, October 1
7:00-8:00pm
1000 E. Hillsdale Blvd
Foster City, CA 94404
PHS-SPCA.org

coverwebHabitot Children’s Museum – Author Event with Elisa Kleven
Saturday, October 5
11:00am – 12:30pm
2065 Kittredge St.
Berkeley, CA 94704
510-647-1111
habitot.org

Enjoy! 🙂