Speakers

    
Ashley Bryan
Award winning author and illustrator Ashley Bryan is the first African American to publish a children´s book as both author and illustrator. He is an artist, a writer, an anthologist, a storyteller, and a noted scholar of African and African American folklore. His numerous awards and honors include the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration and six Coretta Scott King Honors. He has also received three career lifetime achievement awards: the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, the Coretta Scott King Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Regina Medal.
Andrea Cheng
Drawing on her background as the child of Hungarian immigrants as well as the background of her husband, the son of immigrants from China, Andrea Cheng´s books have received wide recognition. Ms. Cheng studied Chinese at Cornell University where she received a Masters degree in linguistics. She and her family have traveled to both Budapest and Shanghai to get to know their extended families. In addition to writing books for children, Ms. Cheng teaches English as a Second Language at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. She lives with her husband and their three children in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Bryan Collier
USBBY illustrator nominee for the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award with numerous children´s books to his credit, award-winning author and illustrator Bryan Collier won recognition from both the Coretta Scott King Jury and the Caldecott Award Committee. His most recent Coretta Scott King award was for I, Too, Am America, a poem by Langston Hughes.
Simone Elkeles
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of novels for teens. Simone Elkeles´ wildly popular books have been praised for their appeal to reluctant readers. Several of her titles have been named as YALSA Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, as YALSA Popular Paperbacks and added to the Illinois "Read for a Lifetime" Reading List. Simone also won the coveted RITA award from the Romance Writers of America for her book Perfect Chemistry.
Sara Farizan
SARA FARIZAN lives near Boston, Massachusetts. She is the daughter of Iranian immigrants to the United States. She is an MFA graduate of Lesley University and holds a BA in film and media studies from American University. She has just published her first book If You Could Be Mine.
Mem Fox
Briley Lecture to be presented by Australian Mem Fox. Fox was born in Australia, grew up in Africa, studied drama in England, and returned to Australia in 1970. She is Australia´s best loved picture-book author. She has received many honors and awards from various Australian governments and other organizations for services to literature, as well as three honorary doctorates for her work in literacy. She has visited the USA over 100 times as both a consultant in literacy and as an author.
Gregory Maguire
Best known as the author of Wicked and the Hamlet Chronicles, Gregory Maguire has been writing for children for more than thirty-five years. He has a PhD from Tufts University and taught for many years at Simmons College in the children´s literature program. He is co-founder of Children´s Literature New England. His work as a consultant in creative writing for children has taken him to speaking engagements across the United States and abroad.
Louise May
Editor-in-chief at Lee and Low, Louise May came to children´s publishing in a roundabout way, but her eventual arrival stemmed from majoring in child psychology in college. There I took a course in children´s literature, and I made the connection between what children read (and what is read to them) and their overall intellectual and emotional growth and development. She is a strong advocate for publishing books that honor the experiences of minorities in our country.
Pat Mora
Poet, author and literacy advocate excited about sharing what she calls "bookjoy," Pat Mora founded the family literacy initiative, El día de los niños / El día de los libros, Children´s Day / Book Day Dia, now housed at the American Library Association. The year-long commitment to linking all children to books, languages and cultures culminates in celebrations across the country.
Ifeoma Onyefulu
A Nigerian expatriate living in England, Ifeoma Onyefulu (pronounced "Ee-for-ma Oh-yefulu") has successfully introduced English-speaking children to the range and variety of village life in her homeland through her picture books. Illustrated with her own photographs, Onyefulu´s books have been praised for the lessons they teach about the universality of some experiences, as well as for offering a rarely seen depiction of African village life.
Siobhán Parkinson
Author and publisher Siobhán Parkinson is one of Ireland´s best-known writers for children. She says herself that she writes ´to the imagination´. True, most of the imaginations who engage with her work are on the youthful side, but in her view, the best books are for everyone who enjoys them. Siobhán served as Ireland´s first ever laureate for children´s literature (Laureate na nÓg).
Katherine Paterson
Our second National Ambassador for Young People´s Literature Katherine Paterson´s international fame rests not only on her widely acclaimed novels but also on her efforts to promote literacy in the United States and abroad. She is a two-time winner of both the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award and has received many other accolades for her work, including IBBY´s Hans Christian Andersen Award, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. She was also named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000.
Peter Sís
The 2012 winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration, Peter Sís is an internationally acclaimed illustrator, author, and filmmaker. Among his other awards and recognitions are a Boston Globe-Hornbook award, three Caldecott Honor recognitions, the Siebert Award and The New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year award six times
Klaas Verplancke
Awarded the prestigious Bologna Ragazzi Award in 2001 illustrator Klaas Verplancke is one of the most famous Flemish illustrators and picture book authors. He was finalist for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2006 and is to date nominated eight consecutive times for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Having studied advertising graphics and photography at the Sint-Lucas Institute in Ghent, he views his illustrations as text expanders rather than merely decorative. Yet there are constants: humor, details, surrealist tendencies. ´Appelsauce´ (Groundwood) is his first picture book published in the US. It has been translated in more then 10 languages and was listed on the Kirkus Best Children´s books of 2012.
Jacqueline Woodson
USBBY author nominee for the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Medal, Jacqueline Woodson is a recipient of the Margaret Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the author of three Newbery Medal honor titles, Coretta Scott King Author Award and honor award, Woodson "used to say I'd be a teacher or a lawyer or a hairdresser when I grew up but even as I said these things, I knew what made me happiest was writing." Her most recent book Each Kindness received a Coretta Scott King Honor Book Award.