By Denise Schurr
One of my favorite activities at a writing conference is learning about the recently released books. As a teacher, I’m looking for books to add to my classroom library. As a parent I’m looking for books to capture my kids’ interests. As a reader/writer, I’m looking for something inspiring. The last conference I attended, SCBWI Letters and Lines in September 2015, did not disappoint.
I picked up Todd Tuell’s picture book, Ninja, Ninja, Never Stop! I have two pint-sized ninjas at home who I knew would love it! I think they picked up some cool moves after reading. And it’s one I can share with my school kids too. The ninja topic paired with the rhythmic rhyme is a homerun for both sets of kids!
Another treasured find was Sean Ferrell’s picture book, I Don’t Like Koala. While you think you know the whole story, when you get to the end, there is a fun twist. It’s humorous for kids and adults.
And little did I know at the beginning of the school year, when I read The Kissing Hand to my kindergarten class, I would be picking up my very own copy at the conference. Only this one was signed by the very talented illustrator, Ruth E. Harper. When I took it to school my class was in awe. It was inspiring for them to see something autographed from the person who makes stories come to life through illustration.
Finally, I was disappointed when I was unable to pick up my own copy of Tara Dairman’s middle grade novel, All Four Stars because it was all sold out. Lucky for me, one of my critique group member snagged a copy and let me borrow it. Tara has a feel for the flow of a story and I was swept up from the beginning. For the record, that read wasn’t for my school kids or for my own kids, it was a perfect fit for me.
What about you? What is your favorite find from attending conferences?