Monday, July 13, 2009
This morning, I went to YALSA's Coffee Klatch, which is like speed dating except you get authors to visit your table every 5 minutes. I met some well known authors like Richard Peck and Garret Freymann-Weyr, then had some newbies come to the table. Afterwards, all 35+ authors gathered for a photo op, at which time I met Jacqueline Woodson, David Levithan, Simone Elkeles, Yasmin Shiraz and others. My students will be so thrilled, because I have a group of girls who absolutely LOVE Jacqueline Woodson's books. This is always a great YALSA event, and I look forward to it every year.
I spent some time with Yasmin afterwards as we struck up a conversation as we waited for the buses, and wound up keeping each other company in the expo until I left to attend the Pura Belpre Celebration. I am on the Celebration Committee and was assigned to be a greeter, and was absolutely thrilled to finally meet Francisco Jiminez, who was an honor winner this year for his book "Breaking Through." Each of the honorees and winners gave great speeches, followed by a wonderful time of entertainment by the Ballet Folklorico Company. A group of young girls dressed in authentic folk costumes from Mexico beautifully danced for us.
Next stop was the convention center, where I laughed and cheered at the annual Demco Book Cart Drill Team Championships. Mo Willems and Jon Scieszka were co-hosts and their combined humor had us in stitches the entire time. My favorite team made up of costumed Vikings danced their way to the Golden Cart win, and I got to meet these two funny guys.
I had a short time to get ready for the annual REFORMA fundraiser, and danced the night away with Camila Alire and others. From there, a group of us packed ourselves into a taxi singing and laughing as we made our way back to the hotel. It reminded me of that commercial where people sing and the taxi driver puts up the radio and joins in - except this one just thought we were nuts!
We went up to the penthouse suite where ALA president Jim Rettig was having a reception, and enjoyed some time with International Librarians. The view from the balcony was spectacular, and the view of the moon reflecting off the lake was superb.
Tomorrow will be sure to have more adventures. So, until then my bed is calling....