This past Saturday, Anderson's Bookshop, out of Naperville, IL, held it's annual Children's Literature Breakfast. When they first did this, 6 years back (I think it was) it started a pretty big thing, and now, it's become a HUGE thing. Julie and I have been doing this for 4 years now. They rent a great big ballroom/meeting room place (the kind you'd find at a nice hotel or banquet hall) and sell seats to interested librarians and teachers (typically) from all around Illinois to come enjoy. Each year, they've had 2-3 big name speakers speak. Past has been Rosemary Wells, Kate Dicamillo, Brian Selznick, Jack Prelutsky, etc. This year they hosted Kevin Henkes and Richard Peck. Another perk of the breakfast is they invite tons of published authors and illustrators and author/illustrators (i.e. Julie and me) from all over the state of Illinois to come and participate by having breakfast with the crowd and move from table to table to chat and promote her/his books. It's a lot of fun.
This year was freakin large. In the past, it's been, you know 200-300, maybe 400 or so people in all. This year, they had to change venues cause there was a whopping 600 attendees. That's 60 tables of 10 people each plus all the author illustrators bumping around the tables (60 plus of those). There's lots of friendly authors and illustrators based out of Illinois. So it's great to mingle up in that as well. At the book signing afterwards, we've sat beside one Scott Gustafson the last two years. He's been good company.
This is what 600 people eating breakfast looks like.
Some hip teachers and librarians reading Julie's and my books. The kind lady up front bought a copy of THE MOON IS LA LUNA!
Some more hip teachers and librarians reading our books.
My awesome shot of Richard Peck getting his groove on for the crowd.