Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm White and Nerdy at the Book Brunch

On Saturday, I was pleased to attend Anderson's Bookshop 9th Annual Children's Literature Breakfast. This breakfast included amazing keynote speakers like Mark Teague, Tim Green, and Weird Al Yankovic (yes, that Weird Al). Several Illinois authors also participated in this fabulous event.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS


Trent Reed wrote Words in the Dust about an Afghan girl after serving there in the U.S. Army. Best quote: "Literature is an essential part of life-not a luxury."

  • Tim Green was definitely the most vivacious speaker. Green is an ex-NFL player, earned his law degree, and now has written several books for adults and middle school readers like Football Genius. And yes, he's handsome too. He visits schools and tells the kids this: "Take your talent and work like a maniac! Work maniacally until you throw up! Also, you need to be lucky along the way, so you need a back up plan with education. Know what you want to be - what you CAN be!"
  • Mark Teague, the fabulous illustrator of my favorite Jane Yolen Dinosaur books, showed us illustrations of his book, Firehouse! I loved how the dog in his book is inspired by his own Boston terrier.

  • Kathryn Lasky's books such as the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series are centered around animals. She said, "For the past ten years, I have written about animals and to be truthful, I don't really care for animals." And she really doesn't! Funny!

  • The last speaker was Al Yankovic. Not only is he a genius of parodies (and yes, I've even seen him in concert once as a teen), but a picture book author, too. Al did a fun Q&A, and he really is witty in person. When asked does he want to remembered as an author or a singer or a poet or question mark, he replied, "A question mark. An enigma."
He signed this book for my kids who have seen his "White and Nerdy" video a hundred times!
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I also enjoyed meeting and chatting with these wonderful ILLINOIS AUTHORS!

Next to me is Lori Degman, the author of 1 Zany Zoo which was also the winner in the Cheerio's Spoonful of Stories Contest. Next to her is Laura Ripes whose picture book, The Spaghetti Slurping Sewer Serpent is coming out next year! Both ladies attend the same local SCBWI chapter as I do!
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After reading a week of James Kennedy on Murph's blog, I was excited to meet the very funny James Kennedy, author of The Order of Odd-Fish. James helped launch the 90 Second Newbery Film Festival. Check out details here. Film one yourself or watch the clips! Deadline is September. I also just realized that James kind of resembles James Spader in this pic...
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Yes, Hilary Wagner is as sweet and beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. I was so glad to meet her in person. The sequel to her middle grade novel Nightshade City comes out in October!
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Who writes funny stuff about kissing zombie and American history plus gives ghost tours in Chicago? Adam Selzer, that's who. I am looking forward to reading I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It. My children now like to sing that version of the Katy Perry song...
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I also met the wonderful Cynthea Liu who signed Paris Pan Takes the Dare for my daughter. I wish I'd taken my picture with her! She was very helpful with a manuscript in one of her Red Light, Green Light critiques!

My Tune for Tuesday today is by of course, Weird Al Yankovic. Check out the hilarious "White and Nerdy."

48 comments:

Candyland said...

Looks like such a fun time! And how cool you met Weird Al!

Kristi said...

I LOVE living through you Kelly!!! What fun! ;)

Thanks for sharing with us!

Her highness, Samantha VĂ©rant said...

OMG! Weird Al! how freaking awesome! So much fun! And meeting Cynthia and Hillary! How cool was that! I'm moving back to Chicago, darn it...

Bish Denham said...

Kelly, Kelly, Kelly. You get to do the neatest things. I'm SO jealous. Weird Al? FAR OUT!

Tina Laurel Lee said...

We love Weird Al around here! Not only have we been known to enjoy White and Nerdy but his Star Wars spoof makes us laugh. We watch it over and over. Glad to hear he is witty in person as well. Nice line up of folks! Wish I could have been there!

Kelly said...

Candace- I was so fun to meet some of the Illinois authors that I've heard of!!! And of course, Al!
Kristi - Yes, definitely fun for a book nerd like me!!
Sam - I wish you were in Chicago! But I am glad you are so happy in France!!
Bish - Yes, he seemed like a random guest, but Al's book has great rhyme! He is a creative person!
Tina- I'm not sure if my kids have seen his Star Wars spoof!! I'm going to google it today!My kids were very impressed with my meeting Al.

Susan Fields said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time and met some great people - thanks for sharing the photos (you always look so cheerful and happy!)

I just love Mark Teague's illustrations. His books are some of my favorites.

Lola Sharp said...

OMG you could google and watch hilarious Weird Al vids forEVER. Amazing that he looks the same as he did in the 80s...men age so much better than women. SO NOT FAIR.

Hilary is so cute!

Oh, I think I draw the line at kissing a zombie. Though, I heard that book is really cute and sweet. (and that the zombie isn't gross, just a *little* gray* and a *little* cold) (but when I think of zombies, I think of limbs and flesh falling off, and they look like the REEK, don't they?)

I'm so glad you had a wonderful time at the breakfast. I'm sure your radiant smile made the place brighter.

Love,
Lola

DEZMOND said...

you are always the star of all photos, Kels :) You just have that celebrity look, no matter how much you deny it :)

And I'm ashamed to admit that Al Yankovic is of Serbian origins :(

Hilary Wagner said...

Kelly, I had such a great time on Saturday! It was fun and exhausting! :) I loved all the speakers too and I thought it was so funny that everyone ribbed Tim Green! What a great group of writers!

It was so nice meeting you! I cannot believe I didn't know you were in Chicago! I'm such a dummy!What an awesome surprise!!! I hope we can get together some time!!!

Talk soon, Hilary

A. McBay said...

Kelly, what an amazing time! Loved it. Wish we had more events like that around here :-)

Matthew Rush said...

Wow. Weird Al and Hilary Wagner at the same conference? Awesome.

storyqueen said...

Um...is that PETER BRADY dancing n the background of Weird Al's video??? I think I've died and gone to nerd heaven.

What a great weekend you had! Yes, I am jealous a bit.

Shelley

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow. What an amazing line-up! I am so excited for you--and very jealous! LOL. :-)

Kelly said...

Susan- We have all the How Do Dinosaur books! He's one of my favorite illustrators!
Lola - Al is hilarious. I've been revisiting his videos lately. It was SO fun being in a room with so much talent!
Dezz- Ashamed?! He really is intelligent and creative!!! And thank you for your very kind words, sir!
Hilary - I'm north of Chicago, but actually will be moving to Wisconsin sometime this year. Maybe we can meet up before I go!
Amy - I do feel fortunate to live in an area that has great literary events plus of course music events! Though, I'll be moving!
Matthew - I know, right! Twas awesome!
Shelley- It's actually Donny Osmond! I actually had to google who it was after I saw the video a few years back!
Shannon - I was so glad to be able to attend!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, what a day! And you met Weird Al - that is just too cool.

Denise Maple said...

Glad you had fun at the conference. I always love watching that video. I forgot that Donny Osmond is in it. I love him!

Kelly Bryson said...

Ahh, the middle schooler in me is so jealous that you met Weird Al. I still love him. I would love it if a conference were put together like that here, but Columbia, SC isn't quite the magnet that Chicago is!
Thanks for sharing pictures. I followed Hilary's link here and am following:)

Christina Lee said...

OMG how awesome--Al, and Adam and Hilary--wowee!

Kim Kasch said...

How fun it all looks

Kelly H-Y said...

WOW ... what an awesome (and fun!!) event! Even Weird Al?! Love it!! Great pics and stories!

Nahno McLein said...

Sounds like real fun. Lucky you.
Nahno ∗ McLein

Kate said...

I went to a Weird Al concert in college, it was in a high school gym--kind of weird. Somehow I got third row seats so all the people around me were super fans who came in costumes and stuff.

White and Nerdy hadn't come out yet, but it's currently one of my favorite songs. I was just cranking it on my iPod about ten minutes ago.

Kelly said...

Alex - It was such a fun day! So much talent!
Denise - I guess that means you are white and nerdy too! ;)
Kelly B- Thanks so much for stopping by!!
Christina - Yes, I was a little starstruck at all the authors there! I was a wee bit intimidated!
Kim - Yes!
Thanks, Kelly!
Nahno - Yep, very lucky!
Kate - I saw him in concert with the Monkees! There are some real hardcore fans out there!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Kelly you live the best life! What an awesome event! Thanks so much for sharing with us. :)

Christina Farley said...

Oh girl, you did have way too much fun. Yeah! Thanks for sharing all the gossip with us.

Anita said...

Oh my gosh, Kelly! You are so much fun! An inspiration to get off my butt! You've got me full of exclamation points!

Kelly said...

Thank you, Sharon and Christina!
Anita- I am rubbing off on you. I seem to always comment with exclamation points!

Stephen Tremp said...

I YouTube Weird Al about once or twice a month. Love the White and Nerdy video where the brothers are trying frantically to lock to car doors as he approaches. Great stuff!

Solvang Sherrie said...

I love Weird Al! How fun that you got to meet him. That alone would have made the conference worthwhile for me :)

Laura Pauling said...

Man, looks like fun! My son just discovered Tim Green's sports books! Thanks for the all the pics.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Super cool, Kelly! Looks like you had such a great time. And what fantastic authors to meet. I used to have a friend that was obsessed with Wierd Al! He would've loved to go to this. Who knew Weird Al wrote books?? That's awesome.

Lydia K said...

Was that...was that...Donny Osmond in that video?

Weird. And appropriate, I guess, if that's my reaction.

Glad you had a great time at the conference and got to meet so many cool people!

Kelly Hashway said...

Wow, it sounds like you had a great time.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

What fun!!! I'm envious! Wish I could have been there, too. But you're recap is awesome and I love the pics. So funny that Kathryn Lasky doesn't care for animals. And congratulations to Hilary Wagner. All great stuff, Kelly. Thanks!

Elana Johnson said...

WOW! This is seriously so cool! I recognized Hilary, and Weird Al? Amazing. So glad you had a great time!

And I know I've said it before, and I'm not a creeper, but you have the most brilliant smile. I don't ever want to be in a picture with you.

Robert Guthrie said...

Thank you for the rundown - spreading the wisdom, spreading the writing love.

Rena said...

Weird Al? Seriously?

SOOOOO jealous!

JLD said...

What a great post and fabulous pictures! Look's like a wonderful time was had by all. Thanks for sharing!

Theresa Milstein said...

How nice you got to meet Hilary Wagner. And how cool you got to meet Al Yankovic. I'll always remember "Like a Surgeon" fondly and the Bob Dylan video. Genius.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

How fun!!!!! I still love Wierd Al - my boys play Y-O-D-A all the time LOL!

Lana D said...

Ha ha ha! Love the video! Love Weird Al! He rocks! Just hopping by the Super 8 blog hop links. Nice to meet you!

Heather Hellmann said...

It looks like you had a lot of fun!

J.Tuttle said...

Sorry I wasn't able to make it, it looks like it was a great event. Maybe next year I'll make it but thanks for the report out!

Suzanne Casamento said...

What an awesome event! So many amazing participants. And boy, did you make out with some serious signings! ;)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

wow! this is all so awesome! thanks for the opportunity to live vicariously through you! I haven't been to one of these in a long time!

Ron Smith said...

Sounds like a fun time. I have seen James Kennedy's book in stores and it looks like a great read. I've been meaning to pick it up.

Glad you had a great time!

The Happy Whisk said...

Looks like you had a great time.