The second our presentation was done, I had to do a quick change and dash off to the Newbery Caldecott Wilder banquet. It was at the New Orleans Marriott. There are so many Marriott's in this place. In the morning I was at the JW Marriott, and then our presentation was in the Marriott at Convention Center, and banquet was in the New Orleans Marriott. Very confusing.
First there was cocktails, where there was some quality people watching to do. Just before 6:45, people started lining up at the door to the ball room, which I thought was odd because you have an assigned table. Maybe teachers and librarians just naturally make lines. Unless there are free books involved, then there's a riot.
The banquet was nice, although in the future, I'd really be fine skipping that part and just coming to listen to the speeches. I keep Kosher and am lactose intolerant, so I needed a vegan meal BUT I'd neglected to check in at the table by the door, which I hadn't even noticed, so I didn't have a colored piece of paper that said "vegan" on it so they refused to give me a vegan meal. So that was annoying. I had to go find someone in charge (along with a whole bunch of other people who also hadn't realized you needed a color piece of paper) to get a colored piece of paper so I could have dinner. It was nice dinner once I got it, it was just a pain. Then I had to go through it all again for dessert. I ended up with a fruit plate big enough for five people.
But what it's really about is the speeches. First up was the Caldecott Medal, which went to Erin E. Stead for A Sick Day for Amos McGee. She was adorable and totally overwhelmed. She talked about how she had lost faith in her drawing, and hadn't done anything in three years. Than her husband introduced her to this project, and she started again. It was a very sweet speech.
Winner of the Newbery Medal was Clare Vanderpool, for her very first book, Moon Over Manifest. She was very funny. She talked about how a sense of home was very important to her, and that's reflected in her book. She talked about her struggles as a writer, and all the novels she wrote before she got this one published. It must be something to have your first ever book win the Newbery or Caldecott. It was Erin's first book too. Clare told us about her reaction to winning the award. "Someone recently asked me if winning the Newbery is like having a baby. It's like having a baby if you didn't know you were pregnant."
Every two years, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Lifetime Achievement Award is given. This year, it went to Tomie dePaola. He talked about his life and how from a very young age he knew he want to be an artist and draw picture books. Also to sing and dance on the stage. Tomie dePaola is so warm and funny. It was just wonderful to hear him talk. He was having a party when he got the phone call that he'd won the award. "I told the committee their taste was impeccable. Then I had to keep it a secret until the next day. I wanted to run back to the party and say 'drinks on the house!'"
School Library Journal did a nice write up on the banquet if you'd like some more details. I had a very nice time, but I think next time just speeches.