Saturday, September 28, I attended the Plum Creek Literacy Festival at Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska.
I have attended this festival many times, including when Ted Kooser (2004-2006 US Poet Laureate) gave the keynote speech. Of the Plum Creek Literacy Festival, Kooser wrote, "This is one of the premier children's literature events in the country."
Each year, the organizers bring in a stellar group of writers, illustrators, and educators.
This year, one of my favorite YA novelists gave presentations, Neal Schusterman, whose novel Unwind my Children's Literature class read this summer as part of the focus on YA Dystopian Fiction, which I plan to offer again this summer.
Named Book One for Nebraska Teens (2010-2011), the novel is in the final stages for film production, which will please
After an hour at Neal Schusterman's presentation, I talked briefly with Neal and got a picture with him to make my students jealous. Then I headed to Kenin Henkes session, "The Bird in My Mind."
Henkes has won, among other things, a prestegious Caldecott Medal in 2005 for Kitten's First Full Moon. And he also read and talked about one of my favorite of his picture books, A Good Day.
The conference program features Henkes' beloved mice who populate many of his books.
I enjoyed Kevin's presentation a great deal, especially his discussion about the sophistication of art in Picture Books and some of the techniques he utilizes.
Having stood for an hour for Kenkes's
presentation--all the sessions drew substantial crowds--I rushed to make sure that I got a seat for the joint presentation of Eric Rohmann, author and illustrator, and his partner and collaborator on a variety of projects, author Candace Fleming.
Rohmann, a multiple Caldecott winner, also used the cover of the new book the two created, Oh, No!, for the festival's T-shirt at the top of this page.
I enjoyed a great deal their discussion of the genesis of the story--a trip the two made with their son--and how the two developed both the story (Fleming) and the illustrations (Rohmann) about their Asian animals in the story.
I look forward to sharing the book and the presentation with my Children's Literature class this spring, when we will also read Unwind.