Children's Authors' Ally LLC

Connecting Schools With the Books and Authors Kids Love!


WHAT A LINE UP! Andrea Davis Pinkney and Ted Scheu to Join Weisner, Schmidt, Vanderpool, Krosoczka, Alleys and Litchenfeld at the Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival

August 18th, 2012

17th Annual Plum Creek
Children’s Literacy Festival

Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary & Adult Offerings
Sept. 20-22, 2012

Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012 – Children’s Day for Seward Schools Friday, Sept 21, 2012 – Children’s Day for commuting schools Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 – Adult Conference Day and David Wiesner luncheon

Featured authors and illustrators for the 2012 festival


Wiesner.jpgDavid Wiesner – author and illustrator

David Wiesner has illustrated more than twenty award-winning books for young readers. Two of the picture books he both wrote and illustrated became instant classics when they won the prestigious Caldecott Medal: Tuesday in 1992 and The Three Pigs in 2002. Two of his other titles, Sector 7 and Free Fall, are Caldecott Honor Books. An exhibit of Wiesner’s original artwork, “Seeing the Story,” toured the United States in 2000 and 2001. Among his many honors, Wiesner holds the Japan Picture Book Award for Tuesday, the Prix Sorcières (the French equivalent of the Caldecott Medal) for The Three Pigs, and a 2004 IBBY Honour Book nomination for illustration, also for The Three Pigs. Flotsam, was a New York Times bestseller and was recently named winner of the 2007 Caldecott Medal, making Wiesner only the second person in the award’s long history to have won three times.

Wiesner lives with his wife and their son and daughter in the Philadelphia area, where he continues to create dreamlike and inventive images for books.



Schmidt.jpgGary Schmidt – author

Gary Schmidt is a professor of English at Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He is the author of twenty or so books for young readers, ranging from picture books to young adult novels.  His Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy won Newbery and Printz Honors, and his Okay for Now was a National Book Award finalist.  He lives on an 1830s farm in Alto, Michigan, where he types out in a shed on a 1953 Royal.  Those with typewriter ribbons to spare would be welcome visitors.



Vanderpool.jpgClare Vanderpool – author

Clare Vanderpool is the award-winning author of Moon Over Manifest, her debut novel which was awarded the prestigious 2011 John Newbery Award. Clare is remarkably the first debut author in thirty years to win the Newbery Medal.

Citing historical fiction as a favorite of hers, Clare set out in writing a historical novel set in the fictional town of Manifest, Kansas, and which is based on the real southeastern Kansas town of Frontenac, where her maternal grandparents lived. Drawing on stories she heard as a child, along with research in town newspapers, yearbooks, and graveyards, Clare found a rich and colorful history for her unforgettable novel.

Clare has just recently begun making appearances at schools, libraries, and conferences, and enjoys meeting children, educators, librarians, and parents who have embraced her and her novel. She resides in Wichita, Kansas with her husband and four children.



Pinkney.jpgAndrea Pinkney – author

Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of many books for children and young adults, including picture books, novels, works of historical fiction and non-fiction.

Andrea’s novels include With the Might of Angels, a book in the Dear America series, and Bird in a Box, hailed by the New York Times as “a powerful middle grade novel” told with “tenderness and verve.”

Andrea’s picture books include Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down, a Parenting Publication Gold Medal winner, winner of the Jane Addams Book Award, the Carter G. Woodson Award for historical works for young people, the Anne Izard Storyteller’s Award, and the Flora G. Stieglitz Strauss Award for Nonfiction; Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride, a Jane Addams Honor Book and School Library Journal “Best Book of the Year,”; and Duke Ellington, a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

In addition to her work as an author, Andrea is Vice President, Executive Editor at Scholastic, where she publishes and edits a robust list of titles.

Andrea was recently named one of the “25 Most Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal, a publication for Black professionals.

Andrea lives in New York City with her husband, award-winning illustrator Brian Pinkney, and their two children.

View the teacher’s discussion guide (PDF) for With the Might of Angels.



AlleyR.jpgR.W. and Zoë Alley – authors and illustrators

Bob has always enjoyed making pictures that illustrate a story rather than hang on a wall. For the last fifteen years Bob has illustrated new and old stories of Paddington Bear by Michael Bond. A new picture book, Paddington Goes for Gold, and a new novel, Paddington Races Ahead, will publish spring 2012 to coincide with the Summer Olympics in London.

Bob received the 2010 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Award for Pearl and Wager One Funny Day by Kate McMullan.  

AlleyZ.jpgHaving grown-up in a family of “literary grammarians”, Zoë has always been interested in words, recited and written. Zoë received her B.A. from the University of New Hampshire, and her Ed.M. from Boston University. She enjoys writing as a career that allows her to sit on the couch – her office! – in her pajamas and play with a pen and paper!

The Alleys live in Barrington, Rhode Island, and are the parents of Cassandra and Max. They have collaborated on two very large comic book style books: There’s a Wolf at the Door and There’s a Princess in the Palace.

Web:  /


Krosoczka.jpg Jarrett Krosoczka – author and illustrator

Jarrett J. Krosoczka has been passionate about storytelling through words and pictures since he was a kid.  He began his professional career by illustrating educational readers for a national publisher while still an undergraduate at Rhode Island School of Design. Then, just six months after graduation, Jarrett received his first contract for a trade book that he authored. Random House Children’s Books published Good Night, Monkey Boy on June 12, 2001 and Jarrett hasn’t stopped or slowed down since. He currently has authored and illustrated sixteen published books—ten picture books and six graphic novels. He is the two-time winner of the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year in the Children’s Choice Book Awards and has seen his work recommended by national publications like Newsweek, The New York Times and USA Today. His Punk Farm and Lunch Lady series are both in development to be feature films. Jarrett is happily living out his childhood dream in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he resides with his wife and daughter and their pug, Ralph Macchio.



Scheu2.jpgTed Scheu – author and poet

Ted Scheu (rhymes with “poetry guy”) is part poet, part teacher, part entertainer, part kid. Ted’s poems are published in over 20 anthologies in the US and England, and in his own four collections, I Froze My Mother, I Tickled My Teachers, I Threw My Brother Out, and his latest, Now I Know My ZBCs. His voice is authentic and unique. His poems share real issues that real kids face—at school, at home, and out in the world—often with a surprising twist. Ted is a former elementary teacher in Vermont, where he happily lives. He visits over 60 schools each year helping kids find their own poetic voices in writing workshops. His greatest honor to date is being invited to this year’s Plum Creek Festival.




Tom Lichtenheld – author and illustrator

Tom Lichtenheld is a children’s book author and illustrator. He doodled his way through school, then worked as a sign painter, set designer, printer and advertising art director. After a successful career in advertising he gradually made the switch to creating children’s books.  His first book, Everything I Know About Pirates, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2000 and was featured in Newsweek as one of the best books of the year. His 2011 book Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, written by Sherri Rinker, was a #1 New York Times Best Seller.

Tom’s books are consistently praised for their humor, expressive characters, and rich – sometimes hidden – detail. He’s known for creating books that appeal to children and adults alike, and his wide portfolio of books offers something for every age.




Friday, Sept. 21

Children’s Day for Surrounding Area Schools

Saturday, Sept. 22

Adult Professional Conference

  • Where: Concordia’s Seward campus
  • Time: Registration and author autographing begins at 7:30. Sessions begin at 9:00.
  • Registration: Register online or download the PDF form for the adult conference and luncheon with David Wiesner.