Bright Attends ALA 2017 — A Lovefest of Librarians, Authors and Publishers!

Anne Moore Armstrong attended the American Library Association/ALA 2017 in Chicago in June and found it to be a true lovefest of librarians, authors, editors and publishers. Everyone who attended ALA have at least one thing in common: they LOVE books! There were signings galore and workshops geared toward librarians and publishing trends. And the big events were the banquets celebrating the 2017 winners of the most prestigious awards in the business: the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King Award, Newbery, Geisel, Bulpre Awards and more! 

LA Logo

This year we are proud to have artist Hatem Aly representing Bright at ALA. He was a celebrated Penguin Random House feature, as he illustrated The Inquisitor’s Tale by author Adam Gidwitz, the Newbery Book’s Honor medal recipient. 


Nikki Grimes‘s new poetry collection One Last Word was also a feature at the Bloomsbury booth. Bright artist Ebony Glenn contributed a stunning illustration to the collection.

Ebony GlennNikki was awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award given for “substantial and lasting contributions to children’s literature.”

And in the midst of all the award celebrations were authors, editors, and librarians connecting over stories they love and finding new books to read. This is a conference of book lovers if there ever was one, and it was quite satisfying to see so many Bright artists’ books featured. 

Bright books spotted

From left to right: Papasaurus by Stephan Lomp, Playdates Rule by Rob McClurkan, A Cat is Better illustrated by Jorge Martin, Lucy Loves Goosey illustrated by Rob McClurkan, Prudence the Part-Time Cow illustrated by Stephanie Laberis, Dorthea Lange illustrated by Sarah Green, Princesses Wear Pants illustrated by Eva Byrne, I Am A Cat by Galia Bernstein, Maurice the Unbeastly illustrated by Karl James Mountford, The Big Bed illustrated by Tom Knight

It was great to see so many of our Bright artists’ fiction covers featured at publishers booths too, including…

Fiction covers

Left to right: Orphan Island illustrated by David Litchfield, Saturdays with Hitchcock illustrated by Sarah Green, The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters illustrated by Jen Hill

Anne met with numerous trade book clients including Tundra Books, HMH, Candlewick, Chronicle, and Penguin. She found the theme which dominated publisher booths and editors’ wish lists was the celebration of women and diversity. Creative ways of presenting non-fiction subjects also seemed to be a clear trend. Below are some hot titles she spotted while at the show:

Diversity Books

Left to right: The People Shall Continue by Simon J. Ortiz, Girls Who Code by Reshma Saujani, The World is Not a Rectangle by Jeannette Winter, Yo Soy Muslim by Mark Gonzales and Mehrdokht Amini, One Last Word by Nikki Grimes, She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger, Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus and Kadir Nelson

Anne highly recommends that artists who can attend the next ALA do, as there is so much to see and learn about the book industry. It’s a time of appreciation, celebration and encouragement, too—knowing that librarians are on the front lines of helping children find stories that they will love for a lifetime.


Jennie Poh‘s Herbie totes were another crowd favorite (just like at BEA!)

Missed Anne at ALA? Don’t fret! Contact her via email here,
or through Twitter: @childbookart.