• Jessie Oliveros

ALA Part I

Updated: Jul 18, 2019

It's been only three weeks but it feels like months. Oh ALA, how I miss you! What an amazing ride those few days in DC were. There was a time my son would tell me he wished he could "rewind" the fun weekend he'd just had. And that's kind of how I felt about ALA...where is the rewind button? It really was dreamy.



I'd never been to DC before. WHAT a beautiful city. I loved how none of the buildings were too tall, so the sun could light up the streets. I loved how the air is just permeated with history. I didn't have time to see the city with the short time I was there and all the events scheduled. I did have an impromptu tour of the city by my taxi driver. As we passed a few monuments on our way to the hotel, he told me some neat things like...the Washington Monument is made with two different colors of stone. Pre-civil-war and post-civil-war.



After I checked into my hotel (a hotel room all to myself never goes unappreciated to this mother of four) I walked around the nearby streets, having really no idea where I was. And then I sort of...ran into the White House.



I attended the Simon and Schuster Dessert Party that night with Dana and Sean. Well, pretty much, I attended everything that weekend with Dana and Sean. They let me be their third wheel, and if you are going to be anyone's third wheel--Dana and Sean are the best first and second wheels. The three of us talked and laughed and ate really yummy desserts for a couple of hours. Art Director Lucy joined us for awhile. She's hilarious. And adorable. And super-talented. All things an art director should be.


I didn't get any good pictures of the dessert party but here I am on the way to the convention center with Dana the next morning. We got a little lost, but then we just realized that we needed to "follow the tote bags" (a Dana quote) and all was well. How I love librarians. They will never steer you wrong.



That morning, Dana and I had a signing for THE REMEMBER BALLOONS. We'd never done a signing together before! So now there are several copies of our book out there with BOTH our signatures.



Simon and Schuster gave away several copies of our book, and while our signing line was long, it was over too fast. We enjoyed chatting with those in line, which was comprised of mostly librarians. And then Dana, Sean, and I scooted over to the DRAWN TOGETHER signing line before it closed. And we got THIS awesome picture with Minh Le and Dan Santat.



THE REMEMBER BALLOONS and DRAWN TOGETHER have been paired up a few times as they both deal with relationships with a grandfather so that was a fun photo op for me. Plus, we each came away with a signed copy of their book.


That afternoon we had the Schneider Award Ceremony. Dana's family came. Editor Justin came. Art Director Lucy came. Here are some photos from that magical hour.



That's us on stage with 2018 ALA President, Loida Garcia-Febo, and Schneider Committee member, Alyson Beecher.



This was a fun candid that Editor Justin took. Dana and I are silently saying to each other, "Look where we are right now! We can't believe it!!"





And that's a wrap for Part I. That night we had the Newbery-Caldecott-Legacy Banquet and the next morning, the Schneider Luncheon--probably my favorite part of ALA! Read Part II here!