My Time at the ILA 2016

I just returned from the ILA conference, International Literacy Association, that took place in Boston over the weekend, and I have to say it was very cool. It was my first time being invited to the conference and I had the honor of speaking as well.

I was a part of a session titled Ha,Ha,Ha Putting Humor in Children’s Literature and the 2016 Children’s Choice Award. I was joined by author-illustrator Erik Brooks and Members of the Children’s Choices selection committee/board of directors/ Professor Anita Hernandez, from New Mexico State University, and Michele Owen, a teacher  from Hill Farm Elementary out of Bryant, Arizona. I was asked to talk about Monster Needs a Party,


a winner of the CBC 2016 Children’s Choices Award, and where my idea for the series came from. I also spoke about how I enjoy including higher level vocabulary into my writing. Both topics were big hits among the audience of teachers, librarians and other educational professionals. I showed a short video about kids needing Monstrous words, which can be found here. Even though the clip was short, it made an impact with many teachers. They even asked if it could somehow be included with future copies of Monster&Me books!

After my session I did a signing at the PGW booth. IMG_0649PGW is Mighty Media’s book distributor, and even though Mighty Media can’t be present at every conference, PGW usually is. I always love doing these types of signings because you are in an environment where everyone is there for the sake of expanding literature. So the lines of people waiting for a signed copy of my book are long, which feeds into my ego. Don’t tell my wife, that is the last thing she wants!

Once done with the signing then it’s my turn to be the fan and stand on line for signatures. Here is a picture of myself and David Hyde Costello, author of Little Pig Joins the Band. IMG_0653

He also drew a picture from a doodle I produced. Damn illustrators always showing off! Just kidding, it was very cool!


If you have the opportunity to go next year I highly recommend it. Hopefully next year I will be able to attend again, it was a blast!

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