February 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Holy Bagumba! An exclusive webcast with beloved children’s book authors Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka

Join Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature emeritus Jon Scieszka as they discuss Kate’s latest book FLORA & ULYSSES: THE ILLUMINATED ADVENTURES and the importance of humor in children’s literature.  Kate DiCamillo is the author of many beloved books for young readers, including The Tale of Despereaux and Because of Winn-Dixie.  In her new genre-bending novel Flora & Ulysses, Kate delivers a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters. It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences.

Archive available now!

Sponsored by: Candlewick Press and School Library Journal

Kate DiCamillo, author of Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (Candlewick Press)
Jon Scieszka, author of Battle Bunny (Simon & Schuster)

Scheduled Event Date: Monday, October 21st, 12:00 PM EDT – 60 minutes estimated

Can’t make it October 21? No problem! This Archive is now available  for on-demand viewing at your convenience!

Follow us on Twitter! @SLJEvent #sljkatedicamillo

By registering for this webcast, you are agreeing that School Library Journal may share your registration information with sponsors currently shown and future sponsors of this event. Click here to review the entire School Library Journal Privacy Policy.



  1. Hello,

    I tried to register for the interview because I will not be able to make it “live.” However, the link doesn’t work. Advise, please!



  2. Register for the interview

  3. I registered for the webcast. I have not received any confirmation yet. I believe it will start at 11:00 (Centeral Time-Kansas). I have tested my equipment and believe it is ready.

  4. Bonnie Bolton says:

    I registered for this webcast a while ago. Where is it?

  5. My second grade classes had all gathered a few weeks ago to watch and enjoy the Kevin Henkes’ interview. It was such a wonderful experience that I was eagerly awaiting the next author webinar. When I saw that Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka were going to present, I arranged for all of my fourth grade classes to gather in the library and watch these two fabulous authors. I had also purchased multiple copies of Kate’s Ulysses’ book for my 4th grade teachers to read-aloud.
    Unfortunately the Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka webinar was very disappointing. After about 40 minutes, my teachers decided to take their students back to the classrooms, rather than continue watching and listening to the rather silly and somewhat inappropriate banter that Kate and Jon were indulging in. Very little of what Kate or Jon said was meaningful, appropriate or even understandable by most of my students.
    After this disappointing experience, I’m hesitant to watch another live SLJ webinar.

  6. Joanne Hoerth. Literacy Specialist says:

    I have to agree with Cheryl in the above comment. Loving both authors, Jon and Kate, I arranged for all of our third graders to watch the webcast live today. Other than hearing Kate read a chapter from her new book, the rest of the conversation was lost on them. The authors didn’t even seem to know that they should have been talking to an audience – not to each other. I am extremely disappointed in this experience. I feel it was a waste of our students’ time.

  7. Carolyn Pike, T-L, Literacy Coach says:

    I third this sentiment. This is the first SLJ webcast for which I registered, and I pumped it up with our grade 3-6 students as it was promoted as a presentation that ALL students, teachers, families would enjoy. It wasn’t very long into the presentation that we had lost at least half of our kids’ attention. I felt sorry for the students. I tried to engage them by requesting questions which we submitted; however, none of the students questions were addressed. As a matter of fact, very few questions were given kid-friendly responses. I felt that Kate and Jon were unaware that they were presenting to a student audience. I feel I should apologize to both the teachers and students as this webcast turned out to be nothing like what we expected. I, too, feel very reluctant to promote another webcast.

  8. NY Librarian says:

    I have tried to call SLJ about this very poor webcast. Promoted heavily as a way for students to “meet the authors,” instead the authors seemed to be at a private party for themselves. The authors didn’t seem to know that they had a child audience. Rilke? Kafka? Bantering with each other, hilariously enjoying inside jokes, they seemed to have no sense that thousands of students around the country were gathered to hear from them. My teachers won’t want to do anything like this again. They seemed genuinely appalled. The students stopped paying attention and they groaned when Jon said there was more time left…It was truly upsetting. We sent many questions. They were not acknowledged – and there seemed to be almost a disdain for the questions that were acknowledged. Yuck.

  9. Montana Librarian says:

    I am very excited to bring authors to the screen through SLJ! Thanks for this opportunity. I was thankful that Kevin Henkes was archived. I watched it this weekend and loved it and intend to have my first and second graders view it. He had so many wonderful tips for young writers. He spoke TO them as well. So, today, I was very excited to present Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka to grades 3-5. Their first experience was not a good one. I wish these two amazing authors spoke TO the children rather than have their back and forth banter with each other. This had no value to the viewer. I felt it was not rehearsed or well thought out. Our children would love to have an author’s perspective on so many things about writing and publishing. Sorry this did not happen. I am not sure Kate did a great job promoting her book. Our children were disengaged a few minutes into the webcast. I will not give up on these webcasts. I realize authors are not teachers, necessarily, and may need some guidelines set by the SLJ folks as to what a great webcast consists of. Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts. I LOVE these two authors.

  10. Sharon Hancock says:


    Greetings from Candlewick Press,

    I would like to thank everyone who attended the SLJ/Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka HOLY BAGUMBA! Webcast on Monday, Oct. 21st. Kate and Jon had a wonderful time discussing Kate’s new book, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, with all of you.

    And thank you for understating that given the number of questions that came in (600!) we were not able to answer all we received. But please stay tuned for Kate’s responses to a selection of the most popular questions when the webcast is archived next week.

    With kind regards,


    Sharon Hancock
    Executive Director of School and Library Marketing
    Candlewick Press

  11. Kathleen Lynch-Mussen, CT Library Media Specialist says:

    I appreciate having author webcasts available to students as a way to learn about their favorite authors and their writing craft. The HOLY BAGUMBA! webcast was, however, very disappointing and confusing to my third grade students. We were also unable to send in our quesitons.
    I agree completely with the NY librarian. In the future, I will stick to archived webcasts that I have previewed first.