Sunday, January 26, 2014

Live From Midwinter

It’s blustery in Philadelphia but that hasn’t deterred thousands of librarians from attending the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference, which started Friday and ends tomorrow.

For a number of lucky children’s librarians, the conference has been the time when they have gathered in closed committee sessions to discuss possible contenders for various children’s literature prizes, including the most famous: the Newbery and Caldecott medals. The winners will be announced tomorrow – stay tuned!

Other librarians, like myself, are here to attend previews by publishers of their forthcoming books. Most publishers have some sort of preview at Midwinter, and I’ve gotten sneak peeks at spring and summer titles to be published by Crown, HarperCollins, Scholastic, Sourcebooks, Egmont, Macmillan, Candlewick, Boyds Mill Press and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I’ll share some thoughts on some of the books I found most interesting in another post.
Authors and illustrators also are on hand to sign books and talk to fans. Among the authors and illustrators here are Tom Angleberger, who was promoting “Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue!,” the latest book in his “Origami Yoda” series, Matt Phelan, illustrator of the forthcoming “Miss Emily," a novel written about Emily Dickinson, Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord, whose new novel, “Half a Chance” will be published in February, and Caldecott Honor author/illustrator Jon J. Muth, whose newest book --  “Hi, Koo: A Year of Seasons" -- also will be published in February.

And, of course, Midwinter is a wonderful time to connect with librarians from all over the country and learn about new programs and ideas. I always feel energized and inspired after attending an ALA conference, and this one is no exception. And it’s just a whole lot of fun sharing ideas for new Circle Time fingerplays and rhymes with a group of other children’s librarians!

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