Swinging into ALA

NorthSouth together again at ALA 2022 in Washington, DC

What a a momentous and memorable conference it was. The team at NorthSouth and our artists were delighted to see such a buzz around our books. Rainbow Fish shared his signature hugs once more, our artists lit up the room with their insightful thoughts, and the joy of being together was palpable. There was an extra-long book signing, a bookstore visit, and an historic awards banquet for the books.

Read on for more highlights and images from the conference.

The Rainbow Fish celebrated his 30th birthday by swimming all the way to DC! He loved the photo-ops, the spontaneous dance parties, and meeting so many of his fans, young and old, including NorthSouth artists Baptiste Paul and Jackie Alcántara, and The Horn Book editor emeritus, Roger Sutton (first image).

Authors Baptiste Paul (Climb On!, The Field) and Pierce Freelon (Daddy-Daughter Day) discussed the importance of representation in the stories that picture books tell and the way that these stories can have profound impacts on children. Moderator Michelle H. Martin, professor for Children and Youth Services at University of Washington and founder of Read-a-Rama, guided the authors with engaging questions and offered her own personal insight. 

We need to recognize and celebrate the differences in children… We, as adults, need to give them the space to flourish.

Baptiste Paul

Illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara (Climb On!, The Field) shared insights into the process of illustrating movement and motion in Climb On! and The Field. She guided viewers through both her personal experiences that influenced her illustrations as well as universal perspectives from various sources. Featured are some illustrations shown throughout the presentation.

Artists Baptiste and Miranda Paul signed copies of Peace, and artists Baptiste Paul and Jacqueline Alcántara signed copies of Climb On!, which was so popular the signing had to move to the booth to continue.

We also had some special guests at the NorthSouth booth, including John Parra (Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos), Kwame Alexander (Surf’s Up), and Rashin Kheiriyeh (Two Parrots, Hold Your Temper, Tiger), featured here with editor Beth Terrill. Baptiste Paul, Miranda Paul, and Jacqueline Alcántara were frequent visitors throughout the weekend.

Climb On! was also featured at the Diversity in Publishing pavilion.

Artists Miranda Paul, Baptiste Paul and Jacqueline Alcántara visited Politics & Prose bookstore where they signed stock. Baptiste even held an impromptu reading of The Field for a young fan. Thank you Margaret Orto and the staff at P&P for having us!

.The conference culminated in the Newbury Caldecott Legacy Banquet, where the full room of librarians, publishers, and artists celebrated 100 years of the Newbury medal. The NorthSouth table was abuzz with distinguished guests Brenda Dales, Wendy Stephens, Michelle H. Martin, and Kathy Short, author Baptiste Paul with his daughter, and illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara. Everyone was moved by the powerful speeches given by Jason Chin, Donna Barba Higuera and Grace Lin, each highlighting the importance of representation, the impact of childhood memories, and the work that still can be done for children through publishing.

Thank you for an amazing in-person event! We are already dreaming of ALA 2023.

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