2016 Conference

Peter Brown

Peter Brown authored his first book at age 6. Since becoming a grown up, he has gone on to receive numerous awards and honors for his books. Brown wrote and illustrated Mr. Tiger Goes Wild (2014 Horn Book Award and Golden Kite Award for Illustration); The Curious Garden (2010 E.B. White Read-Aloud Picture Book Award, Children’s Choice Illustrator of the Year Award, and ALA Notable Children’s Book.); and My Teacher is a Monster! (No I Am Not.), an ALA Notable book. His Lucy bear series, You Will Be My Friend and Children Make Terrible Pets, delight young children everywhere. Brown’s illustrations for Creepy Carrots!, written by Aaron Reynolds, earned him a 2013 Caldecott Honor. Mr. Brown lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Cynthia Lord

Cynthia Lord is the author of four critically acclaimed middle grade novels including Rules, winner of a 2007 Newbery Honor Award, Half a ChanceTouch Blue, and A Handful of Stars. She is also the author of the beloved Hot Rod Hamster series (Parent’s Choice Award) of picture books and beginning readers as well as the early chapter book series, Shelter Pet Squad (American Booksellers ABC Best Book list for Children).  Animals and the state of Maine feature prominently in Lord’s work and life.  Ms. Lord lives in Maine with her family, including a dog, a guinea pig and two rabbits.

Melissa Sweet

Melissa Sweet has illustrated nearly 100 children’s books from board books to picture books and nonfiction titles. She has also written and illustrated three books: Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade (2012 Sibert Medal, NCTE Orbis Pictus Award, ALA Notable Book, Flora Stieglitz Straus Award from Bank Street Books, Cook Prize honoring a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) picture book); Tupelo Rides the Rails, and Carmine: A Little More Red (New York Times Best Illustrated). Sweet received a 2015 Caldecott Honor for The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant (Sibert Medal) and a 2008 Caldecott Honor for A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant. Ms. Sweet lives in Maine.

Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang has been involved in creating comics for over fifteen years. His Eisner Award-winning American Born Chinese (2006) was the first graphic novel to win the Printz Award and the first to receive a National Book Award nomination. Yang’s two-volume graphic novel of the Boxer Rebellion, Boxers & Saints, was a 2013 National Book Award nominee, and won the LA Times Book Award. As a writer, his comics work includes Avatar: The Last Airbender and Superman. A former high school computer science teacher, Yang teaches creative writing through Hamline University’s Writing for Children and Young Adults program. Mr. Yang lives in California.