SLJ Picture Book Palooza

Join us July 25th for our fourth annual SLJ Picture Book Palooza, an all-day, free virtual celebration of authors and artists from around the world, who bring picture books to life with their extraordinary art. Register for a day dedicated to their craft and hard work, with a schedule that includes keynotes, author panels, and illustrator spotlights with visionary creators.

Visit the exhibit hall, chat with authors and publishing teams, download digital galleys & resources, and be prepared to be inspired as you build your collection, one picture book at a time.

Follow the conversation on X! #PictureBookPalooza

EVENT HOURS: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM ET


 All live sessions will be on Zoom. Make sure to log in to your work or personal Zoom account before the day starts to avoid having to log in for each session.

The Virtual Environment is optimized for 1024 X 768 screen resolution. Joining the environment with a cell phone is not recommended. Please make sure your computer and browser are up to date. Chrome tends to work best. The event platform does not support IE11 + Windows 7 or older versions.

CE certificates are available in the event environment for all keynotes and panels, whether you view them live or on-demand.Certificates are not provided for sponsored content.

If you are unable to join us on the live day, know that all sessions will be available for on-demand viewing within 24 hours, and the entire event will be accessible for three months from the event date.

By registering for this event or webcast, you are agreeing to School Library Journal Privacy Policy and Code of Conduct Policy and agreeing that School Library Journal may share your registration information with current and future sponsors of this event.

Having trouble registering? Contact the Event Manager.

10:00 – 10:30 AM ET | Exhibit Hall Opens / Visit the Booths

On-Demand All Day | Artist Studio Spotlights
Step inside these artists’ studios as they discuss their work, from inspiration and medium to technique and style.

Mathias Ball, Robin’s Worlds (Astra Books for Young Readers)
Aliaa Betawi, A Map for Falasteen (Macmillan Children’s)
Nina Mata, Beach Hair (Simon & Schuster)
Briana Mukodiri Uchendu, The Night Market (Random House Children’s Books)

10:30 – 11:00 AM ET | Morning Keynote

The inimitable Fan BrothersEric, Terry, and Devin—discuss their multilayered, enigmatic work, including Barnaby Unboxed! (Tundra), a forthcoming sequel to the award-winning The Barnabus Project (2020), praised for its “cinematic wingspan.”
Moderator: Desiree Thomas, Librarian, Columbus (OH)



11:05 – 11:55 AM ET | For the Story Shelves
A selection of new titles that offer humor, irrepressible characters, and/or quiet wonder to suit the mood. 

Kate Beaton, Shark Girl (Macmillan Children’s)
Nelly Buchet, Big Sister, Long Coat (NorthSouth Books)
Justin Colón, Impossible Possums (Disney)
Carrie Kruck, Iggy Who Breathes Fire (Disney)
Katarína Macurová, We’re Off to the Forest (Albatros Books) 
Moderator: Amalia E. Butler, Librarian, Park Avenue School (NJ)

11:05 – 11:55 AM ET | Humor: It’s Elementary  
Creatures—real, imaginary, and extraterrestrial, are featured in stories imbued with humor and subtle messaging.

Alliah L. Agostini, No Cat Like Tac (Disney)
Bambi Edlund, Squirrel-ish (Owlkids)
X. Fang, We Are Definitely Human (Tundra)
Shawn Harris, The Teeny Tiny Unicorn (Random House Children’s Books)
Andrea Zuill, Dog vs. Strawberry (Random House Children’s Books)
Moderator: Jonah Dragan, Reviewer, School Library Journal


11:05 – 11:55 AM ET | With a Little Help from Our Friends 
New picture books tell stories of friends—old, new, and newly appreciated.

Sara Laux Akin, The Pass (Capstone)
Ariel Bernstein, Mabel Wants a Friend (Simon & Schuster)
Sharon M. Draper, Bella Ballerina (Simon & Schuster)
Naseem Hrab, How to Staycation Like a Snail (Owlkids)
Jennifer Maruno & Scot Ritchie, Broom for Two (Pajama Press)
Moderator: Jenny Arch, Children's Librarian, South Hadley Public Library (MA)

Armchair Conversations  
Authors join their illustrators as they discuss their recent collaborations that celebrate the imagination and picture book art.

12:00 – 12:20 PM ET | Kevin Henkes & Laura Dronzek, Finding Things (HarperCollins Children’s Books) The award-winning author-and-illustrator, husband-and-wife team, discuss their “child-centered, conceptually rich picture book that explores storytelling, connections, luck, nature, and responsibility.”


12:00 – 12:20 PM ET | Donald Lemke & Bob Lentz, Author vs. Illustrator (Capstone) “Over-the-top humor and under-the-radar lessons” ensue when two creatives engage in an epic battle “about the not-so-simple process of creating a picture book.”


12:20 – 12:55 PM ET | Break / Visit the Exhibit Hall


12:55 – 1:25 PM ET | Lunchtime Keynote

Award-winning author and illustrator Traci Sorell (Cherokee Nation) and Michaela Goade (Tlingit Nation), Being Home (Penguin Young Readers), and Carole Lindstrom (Anishinaabe-Métis) and Aly McKnight (Shoshone-Bannock), The Gift of the Great Buffalo (Bloomsbury), discuss their forthcoming titles that center Indigenous girls living on ancestral lands, separated by 150 years in time. 
Moderator: Mandi Harris, Children's Librarian and University of Washington Information School Doctoral Student


1:30 – 2:20 PM ET | Becoming Our Best SELves
Introduce readers to characters who when confronted with new experiences and situations, find courage and learn to express their best selves.

Ty Chapman, James Finds the Beat (Free Spirit Publishing)
Antonio Michael Downing, Stars in My Crown (Tundra)
Sarah & Ian Hoffman, Jacob’s Missing Book (American Psychological Association/Magination)
Apryl Stott, Ruby's Tools for Making Friends (Simon & Schuster)
Ryan Bani Tahmaseb, Rostam's Picture-Day Pusteen (Charlesbridge)
Moderator: Yesica Hurd, Librarian, Berkeley Public Library (CA)

1:30 – 2:20 PM ET | Families at Play        
Join these family members as they create their own fun at home, at the beach, and around town.

Julia Pierre Hammond, Soulful Struttin’ (Free Spirit Publishing)
Bee Johnson, What Can a Mess Make (Macmillan Children’s)
Jessica Slice & Caroline Cupp, This Is How We Play: A Celebration of Disability & Adaptation (Penguin Young Readers) 
Ashley Woodfolk, Beach Hair (Simon & Schuster)
Moderator: Ashley Rayner, Librarian at NORC, University of Chicago (IL)

1:30 – 2:20 PM ET | Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Indulge young children with a fascination for all manner of things that go with these supremely satisfying lighthearted stories. 

Jashar Awan, Towed by Toad (Tundra)
Karol Hernández, I Am La Chiva!: The Colorful Bus of the Andes (Penguin Young Readers)
Rukhsana Khan, Honk Honk, Beep Beep, Putter Putt! (Tundra)
Kyo Maclear, Noodles on a Bicycle (Random House Children’s Books)
Moderator: Myiesha Speight, Book Reviewer, SLJ


2:25 – 3:00 PM ET | Clarion Calls   
New books explore the lives and legacies of three individuals—two scientists and a musician—whose work has brought attention to the plight of our planet and the creatures who inhabit it.

Zachariah OHora, Whalesong: The True Story of the Musician Who Talked to Orcas (Tundra)
Angela Quezada Padron, As the Seas Rise (Simon & Schuster)
John & Hayley Rocco, Wild Places: The Life of Naturalist David Attenborough (Penguin Young Readers)
Moderator: Kyra Nay, Branch Services Supervisor - Children’s, Cuyahoga County Public Library (OH)


2:25 – 3:00 PM ET | Portals to the Imagination
Older readers are keenly aware of the places books can take us, real and imaginary. Launch young children on their journeys with three books that take readers on flights of the imagination with these three books.

Sophie Blackall, Ahoy! (Random House Children’s Books)
Antoinette Portis, Not-a-Box City (HarperCollins Children’s)
Moderator: Louie Lauer, Library Media Specialist, Fargo Public Schools (ND)

2:25 – 3:00 PM ET | Those Who Sustain Us
Three books take a look at family and community gatherings celebrated with traditional foods.

Stephen Briseño, Tamales for Christmas (Random House Children’s Books)
Andrea Rogers, When We Gather (Ostadahlisiha): A Cherokee Tribal Feast (HarperCollins Children’s)
Kabir Sehgal & Surishtha Sehgal, Seven Samosas (Simon & Schuster)
Moderator: Denise Dávila, University of Texas, Austin


3:00 – 3:35 PM ET | Break / Visit the Exhibit Hall


3:35 – 4:25 PM ET | Creating Memories  
Intergenerational relationships, cherished by both young and old, are featured in these endearing picture books.

Gabriella Aldeman, Squawk of Spanish (Charlesbridge)
Hannah Chung, The Most Perfect Persimmon (Astra Books for Young Readers)
Ruth Forman, Like So (Simon & Schuster)

Laurel Goodluck & Bridget George, Too Much (Simon & Schuster)
Aisha Saeed, Zuni and the Memory Jar (Penguin Young Readers)
Moderator: Marva Hinton, Articles Development Editor, The Horn Book, Inc.

3:35 – 4:25 PM ET | Visualizing the Text  
Children's picture book artists discuss forthcoming books and the considerations and challenges when approaching a manuscript.

Matthew Cordell, The Ship in the Window (Penguin Young Readers)
Liniers, Night Stories: Folktales from Latin America (Astra Books for Young Readers)
Zahra Marwan, Sakina and the Uninvited Guests (Bloomsbury)
Lauren Redniss, Heatwave (Random House Children’s Books)
Moderator: Rachel Zuffa, Librarian, Case High School, Racine (WI)

4:30 – 5:00 PM ET | Closing Keynote

Join Calkins Creek’s Editorial Director Carolyn P. Yoder in conversation with Sarah Albee and Stacy Innerst, author and illustrator of the forthcoming The Painter and the President: Gilbert Stuart’s Brush with George Washington (Astra Books for Young Readers), a look at how the iconic portrait of our nation’s first president—and reluctant sitter—came to be.


















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