Book Expo America is a joint production of the American Booksellers Association, the Association of Authors' Representatives, and the Association of American Publishers. Luckily those nice people invite librarians to join their party! In two days, I got to meet and/or hear an amazing array of children's authors. My list of luminaries included Brian Selznick, Chris van Allsburg, William Joyce, Katherine Paterson, Sarah Dessen, Kevin Henkes, Jon Scieszka, Jarrett Krosoczka, Jack Gantos, Eoin Colfer, Mac Barnett, Matt Phelan, Mo Willems, David Lubar, Nick Bruel, Gordon Korman, Bruce Lansky, Harry Bliss, Ridley Pearson, Carmen Deedy, N. D. Wilson, Temple Grandin, Barry Moser, Jan Brett, and even Julianne Moore.
Although I'm usually not happy about celebrities writing children's books, Julianne Moore, author of the Freckleface Strawberry series, won me over talking about her girlhood reading. She said, "I remember the day I was in the kitchen with my mother and she told me I was old enough to appreciate Louisa May Alcott. After Little Women, I read ALL the Alcott books, including Rose in Bloom and Jack and Jill. Anyone else remember those books?" My eleven-year-old self responded, "I do! I do!" My parents have a great picture of me at Christmas buried in my boxed set of Alcott while others busily open presents around me.
My acceptance of Moore grew when Brian Selznick presented an illustrated tribute to her and Freckleface! If she's BFFs with Brian, she must be OK.
As to the rest of the list, if you are not familiar with all of those authors, I will be featuring their books in upcoming blog posts. If you ever get the chance to go to Book Expo, say yes!--Lucinda Whitehurst