If you’ve visited my blog before, you would recognize that kid’s books play a central role in my life. My career choices were made around the fact that I wanted a job where I could read and share books with children. I think it is magical to see how words combine with illustrations to create powerful stories.
I spent last weekend in Los Angeles at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators 44th annual summer conference, which is an amazing celebration of the creators of children’s books. The Century Plaza Hotel was filled with the creative spirit of authors, illustrators, editors, and agents. I think it would be hard to find a more friendly, encouraging, and creative group of people. The keynote speaker was my favorite children’s author, Mem Fox, whose books have inspired me as a parent, teacher, and writer for years. She shared the sparks that led to her books and the importance of reading aloud to children. She held us all spellbound as she read several of her picture books to us.
Here she is reading my very favorite picture book – Wilfred Gordon MacDonald Partridge in which a young boy helps his neighbor, Miss Nancy, get her memory back.
I met another spectacular author, Jane O’Connor, who writes the Fancy Nancy books. She shared this picture of herself as a young girl being fancy:
Here I am being fancy with Jane:
I spent time with lots of writing friends including my critique buddy, author Nancy Ralston:
The Spectacular Sassy Scribes:
The beautiful Sugarfinas (aka Margaret O’Hair, Alicia Lindberg, and Christina Tucker Wise) who won the Sparkle and Shine contest:
So, cheers to children’s books – the classics that we loved as children, the new ones and the ones to come in the years ahead. And, cheers to those who create them!