On Saturday, October 19th several OPL librarians attended Book Fest at Bank Street College of Education. Children’s librarians Debbie Fletcher & Marci Dressler attended along with Mallory Harlen and Suzy Zavarella from the Teen Room, and Nicole Zavarella, Suzy’s daughter, who is studying for her Masters Degree in Elementary Literacy.
We observed authors and illustrators take part in various panels, discussing their own work and also the work of others who influenced them.
Philip Nel spoke about Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson, who worked together and separately on many famous children’s books. Harold and the Purple Crayon and The Carrot Seed are among the most famous of their books. When asked why Harold’s crayon was purple, Nels said that Crockett Johnson claimed that “purple was the color of adventure.”
During a panel about visual storytelling, author/illustrator Grace Lin, who attended the Rhode Island School of Design, said that her goal was to create a piece of art to hold in your hand.
2013 is the 50th anniversary of the publication of the classic beginning reader, Amelia Bedelia and the others in that series. One of the panels celebrated those books and discussed how they came to be published. There is a whole new series of Amelia Bedelia books that are now being written by author Peggy Parish’s nephew, Herman Parish.
There was also a panel that discussed the role of illustrations in informational books. The authors and illustrators on the panel talked about criterion they used to choose which parts of the story to illustrate.
All of us also took part in book discussion groups. Mallory Harlan, Suzy Zavarella and Nicole Zavarella attended, “Why I Love YA,” which was a group that discussed new teen books. Debbie Fletcher and Marci Dressler attended a Mini-Mock Caldecott group which looked at several Caldecott contenders for this year.
The program ended with a Keynote Address by Newbery Medalist, Kate DiCamillo. She made a poignant speech about the origin of her new book, Flora and Ulysses, which has just been published.