Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Illinois Reading Council Conference, 2013-A Rich Experience

All I can say is wow!  The Illinois Reading Council Conference organizers outdid themselves this time.  Each year I look forward to the conference held in Springfield, Illinois each mid-March.  But this time, it was a true embarrassment of riches.

During this annual event, nearly three thousand teachers, librarians, authors, publisher representatives and others gather for what is always guaranteed to be a rich and meaningful experience.  Last week was no exception.  The list of keynote speakers reads like a who's-who of authors and illustrators that influence children the world over. 
head shot of Avi

Avi has written over sixty books for children in his varied career.  He is at work on another novel for kids.

Pam Muroz Ryan
Pam Muroz Ryan is the author of more that thirty books for young readers, including four novels, Riding Freedom, Esperanza Rising, Becoming Naomi León, and Paint the Wind, along with countless accolades, the Pura Belpré Medal, the Jane Addams Award, and the Schneider Family Award.

 Eric Rohmann is an author/illustrator who won the Caldecott Award for his illustrations of the book My Friend Rabbit..  Eric has created book jackets for a number of novels, including His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman.

Nancy Stewart and Eric Rohmann
 He won a Caldecott Honor Book award for Time Flies. Eric has written four children's books: My Friend Rabbit, The Cinder-Eyed Cats, Pumpkinhead, and A Kitten's Tale.

For four different books published 1975 to 1980, Katherine Paterson won two Newbery Medals and two National Book Awards. She is one of three people to win the two major international awards: for "lasting contribution to children's literature" she won the biennial Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing in 1998.  
Nancy Stewart and Katherine Paterson
 For her career contribution to "children's and young adult literature in the broadest sense", she won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award from the Swedish Arts Council in 2006, the biggest prize in children's literature.  In 2013, Paterson won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal from the American Library Association.

These luminaries are but a few of the artists that can be found at the IRC conference each year.  It is entertaining, academic and uplifting.  Thank you, Ilinois Reading Council!

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