ALA: Happy Birthday to Walter

The hands-down best bash at ALA/Chicago was Walter M. Mayes’ AKA Walter The Giant Storyteller’s birthday party in celebration of, well, himself and his new picture book, Walter the Giant Storyteller’s Giant Book of Giant Stories, illustrated by Kevin O’Malley (Walker, 2005).

Complete with cake, an iced-cream bar, and a resplendent birthday boy, this was the to-be-seen-at party of the conference.

I also had the honor of enjoying the company of some of the finest of folks at more intimate yet lovely lunches, dinners, and what not, filled with sparkling conversation and wit. Here’s waving to: Elisa Carbone (see my interview with Elisa), Jacqueline Davies, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, Franny Billingsley, Carolyn Crimi, Alex Flinn, Esther Hershenhorn, Jennifer Richard Jacobson, Nancy Keane, David Lubar, Marsha Qualey, Laura Ruby, Wendie Old, Mary E. Pearson, Amy Timberlake, Nancy Werlin, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, and Lisa Yee.

In other news, I was impressed by the Roaring Brook Press booth, which was designed around a theme inspired by one of its books. It was charming and storytelling — a far cry from just randomly sticking the books and ARCs on the shelves and letting it go at that.

Cynsational Links

Walter Mayes: A “Giant” in YA Books from (if the precise page-link doesn’t work, scroll!).

GregLS offers his ALA report, and so does our co-panelist Miss Cecil Castellucci. Who else? How about author Lisa Yee? I wasn’t lucky enough to sit by her at the pizza parlor, but Greg certainly enjoyed her company.

One Author’s Adventure in BEA-land by Dianne Ochiltree from Debbi Michiko Florence’s Web site.

“Switching Gears to Dump a Slump” by Linda George from the Insitute of Children’s Literature.