Children's Institute Program
Schedule subject to change
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer will open ABC Children's Institute 2014 with a plenary talk about the need for real heroes in children's literature for both boys and girls beyond sports figures, princesses and franchise characters. I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln (Dial/Penguin Young Readers Group)—the first two titles in his Ordinary People Change the World series of nonfiction picture books—follow renowned American heroes from childhood and the particular character traits that led them to fame and achievement. In his talk, Brad will share his inspiration behind his books—his own kids—and discuss how all of us can discover the power of an ordinary person, and the power and potential in each of us.
Poolside reception to follow
If weather does not allow for an outdoor reception, please join us in Aztec A & B.
7:45 am to 8:50 am
Tim Federle's middle grade novels, Better Nate Than Ever and Five, Six, Seven, Nate! (Simon & Schuster for Young Readers), were inspired by his backstage Broadway adventures, where he began crashing auditions as a teenage before joining the casts of The Little Mermaid and Gypsy, and going on to coach the child stars of Billy Elliot. In his funny and interactive talk on diversity, Tim will recount his journey from bullied teen to Broadway dancer to debut novelist, and share his secrets to turning weaknesses into strengths.
8:50 am to 7:00 pm
With the Children's Institute's publisher sponsors generously providing a wealth of material, the Galley Room is sure to be a hit. The room will be open throughout the day, so be sure to stop in!
9:00 am to 10:00 am
Book fairs can be a great source of revenue if you can keep them from being a drain on your resources. How far in advance should you schedule in order to properly prepare? How much inventory should you have on hand, and how do you choose titles and decide quantity? Should you discount books, or offer a percentage of sales as cash back? What kinds of events are helpful in driving book fair attendance? What organizations, other than schools, make good book fair partners? This session will give you the keys to grow your book fair business in your store, at schools, and elsewhere in your community.
It is clear that age compression -- or the marketing of titles for older children to younger children -- is having an effect on the sales and popularity of picture books among elementary school children. But the benefits of reading picture books to older children are many. How can you educate customers about the importance of picture books for children ages 5 and up?
10:10 am to 10:55 am
Award-winning graphic designer Chip Kidd will bring to life many of the ideas from his recent book, Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design (Workman), and discuss a number of dynamic and interesting design projects for curious children that your store can offer as authorless events. With playful explanations of color, form and other basic elements, Chip will also share design ideas for bookstores.
11:05 am to 12:05 pm
Dr. Susan Keehn, a graduate professor in early literacy at the University of Texas in San Antonio and an Outstanding Teacher Educator as recognized by the International Reading Association, talks with Tess Riesmeyer of Penguin Bookshop (Sewickley, PA), who is also an instructor of children’s literature at the University of Pittsburgh, about the latest research in reading comprehension and the challenges and obstacles presented by digital reading versus physical books.
What are the key elements that put a store on the top of a publisher's list for sending visiting authors? Learn what you can do to entice publicists and authors, and manage everyone's expectations, as well as how to work with schools to reach established audiences, develop community relations and build pre-order sales.
12:15 pm to 2:15 pm
Enjoy lunch and learn about great upcoming titles at the Rep Picks Speed Dating luncheon.
2:25 pm to 3:25 pm
Austin Kleon, the bestselling author of Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work! (Workman) and a keynote speaker at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival, talks and answers questions with Julie Wernersbach of BookPeople (Austin, TX). Austin will present strategies for building an audience, promoting and growing your business, and connecting with your community of book buyers in the age of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, bloggers and the digital space.
If there is a universal truth about teachers and librarians, it is that they are BUSY. How can you entice them to take the time to attend your store's educator night? What sorts of offers, perks, and/or agenda items will make it worth their while? Join us for this panel to find out.
3:35 pm to 4:35 pm
Becky Anderson of Anderson's Bookshop (Naperville, IL) will lead a discussion on reaching out to schools and meeting the needs of educators, students and parents when it comes to Common Core State Standards.
Caroline Christopoulous of Malaprop's (Asheville, NC) will lead a discussion on buying and merchandising the right balance of non-book and gift product for your store.
Suzanna Hermans of Oblong Books and Music (Rhinebeck and Millerton, NY) will lead a discussion on how booksellers can be prepared to handle such issues as whether and when to refuse to sell certain titles to children, how to respond to angry parents, and what to do when a school wants to ban a book.
Angie Tally of The Country Bookshop (Southern Pines, NC) will lead a discussion on how stores can get more out of the "Give Me Summer! Give Me Books!" summer reading program by reaching out to schools, partnering with local businesses, creating reading contests and more.
Cynthia Compton of 4 Kids Books & Toys (Zionsville, IN) will lead a discussion on the challeneges and opportunties in diversifying your book collection to better reflect and appeal to the diversity in your community.
4:45 pm to 5:30 pm
A bookseller at The Twig Book Shop (San Antonio, TX) and a professional storyteller with more than 3,000 performances at bookstores, schools and libraries, Anastasia McKenna – know to children as "Miss Anastasia" – believes deeply in the importance of creating a human connection through reading. With a storytime demonstration, Miss Anastasia will show how certain children's books can be like user's manuals, and with simple techniques like facial expressions, vocal inflections and dramatic pauses, stores can host lively and entertaining storytimes on a budget and with limited staff.