Category Archives: UCSD Illustrating Children’s Books Workshop with Joy Chu

Asynchronicity!

Asynchronistic_DebbieTilley_SM

I received the following question recently: “I’m interested in your online CB illustrators course at UCSD, but can’t find the link. Can you please post it again? Also, I travel overseas a lot for work. Would that preclude me from taking the online course, i.e., are the classroom times synchronistic or can you work at your own pace? Many thanks!! [from Linda Benson]

Great question! You can take the class at your own pace. It’s a 9-week course, with a new exercise/assignment given at the start of each week. You post completed exercises online, to share with classmates, at the end of each week. And you can post questions at the Class Discussion Board anytime, too. It’s an asynchronous class

For more info, go here.
Register anytime, 24/7, here.

Drawing Warm-ups: I do it with Ed Emberley’s help!

Emberley-FROG

It’s about seeing common shapes differently. Like D.Frog

It's Sasquatch!

It’s Sasquatch!

Every new class I teach is like embarking upon a new adventure mind trip.

It’s good to re-visit familiar terrain from a wholly different angle. Here, I do it upside-down, sideways, anyway-but-regular. I see it as the ultimate brain synapse challenge. Like quickie sit-ups, with a lilt!

For instance, I love drawing from Emberley.  In each of the following, we start with the letter D, step-by-step. . . but holding the book itself upside down.

This is the way to see PURE SHAPE. Forget about the end result entirely.

Fact: Guess who has the hardest time doing the above — from all the people who’ve taken my illustration class — the artists, or the writers? The seasoned artists. Not all of them, but just a few. Why? It’s unfamiliar, not envisioning the end-result. These renegades then discover they are falling back into old patterns of drawing, unwilling to try something new. I remind them that this is the way to venture into new terrain. To discover new possibilities in drawing. How letting go of certain drawing habits will set them free. And when they allow it to happen, they smile. Inevitably.

Try any of the following. Bonus:  If you render these, purely as shape, you can do them in ANY size, from tiny to titanic — no sizing tools needed!


A turtle...

A turtle…

Then notice how these same shapes re-occur in everything around you. . . .

A mouse. . .

A mouse. . .

Or a porcupine

Or a porcupine



These images are progressive drawings from Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals, © 1970 by Edward R. Emberley, animated as .GIFs . This book is the required textbook at my UCSD Extension class, Illustrating Books for Children. I think everyone needs this book in their lives. Follow each step. Watch it change the way you see your world.

http://www.amazon.com/Ed-Emberleys-Drawing-Book-Animals/dp/0316789798/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388183051&sr=1-2&keywords=ed+emberley+drawing+books

On Inspirations and My Upcoming Class…

ASL-hola

Greetings! If you live, work, or are vacationing this summer in the San Diego area, consider creating stories with pictures at my class, on the beautiful campus of UCSD in La Jolla!

Illustrating Books for Children
Instructor:  Joy Chu
June 26-August 21
Wednesday evenings, 6:30pm-9:30pm
extension.ucsd.edu
Register before June 25!
 
A section of UCSD campus at night
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Inspiration is Everywhere!

During last winter’s 2013 class at UCSD Extension, I asked my students to locate the CIP book summary from any picture book, and use it as the inspiration for an eight-panel wordless picture story.

CIP (pronouncedsip”) is book publishing jargon for the Library of Congress Publishing Cataloging-in-Publication Data. This is found within the copyright page text of every book. It features a well-constructed one-phrase synopsis of the book’s theme.

homework_sabatage

Here is an example. One student, Aijung Kim, selected the following CIP summary from Chalk by Bill Thompson. While she didn’t read the book, she knew from its cover that it featured a dinosaur. She transported her setting to a beach…

Book Summary:  A wordless picture book about three children who go to a park on a rainy day, find some chalk, and draw pictures that come to life.

Here’s what she came up with:

Aijung Kim’s 8-panel wordless story, created during Joy Chu’s class, Illustrating Books for Children, at UCSD Extension (right-click image to enlarge)

Another student, Fnu Anisi, enchanted by Kevin HenkesKitten’s First Full Moon, wanted to explore an eight page wordless re-telling.

Book summary:  When Kitten mistakes the full moon for a bowl of milk, she ends up tired, wet, and hungry trying to reach it.

Here are Anisi’s results:

(Right-click to enlarge)

Fnu Anisi’s 8-page wordless story, created at Joy Chu’s UCSD Extension class (Right-click to enlarge)

At my upcoming summer 2013 UCSD Extension class (June 26-August 21), Illustrating Books for Children (ART 40011) we might look into creating an advent-styled calendar as a possible inspiration for creating a picture story.

Example: Look at the one Zachariah OHora created from his own story. Fun, yes?

Many thanks to Zachariah OHora and Julie Danielson for sharing the above image.

Creating a 3D model for your story setting can also serve as an invaluable reference in plotting out your narrative, as well as a guide in drawing scenes from a variety of perspectives. Note how illustrator Sophie Blackall created a diorama for her work-in-progress. She can view her characters from above!

(photo © PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved)

Author/illustrator Barbara McClintock builds cut-paper replicas of her illustrations, in composing her scenes. The following sequence is from her studies for an upcoming book, Adèle and Simon in China (all 3 photos below © Barbara McClintock)

"What do those little flat boats in photos of Tongli really look like? I have to find out by building one."—Barbara McClintock

“What do those little flat boats in photos of Tongli really look like? I have to find out by building one.”—Barbara McClintock

"...Now I can draw the boats in the picture and feel some sense of confidence in what I'm doing/seeing..."

“…Now I can draw the boats in the picture and feel some sense of confidence in what I’m doing/seeing…”

Tongli, China, circa 1908, as drawn by Barbara McClintock

Tongli, China, circa 1908, as drawn by Barbara McClintock

Here’s Tove Jansson, creating reference models for her fabulous Moomin stories.

MOOMIN_collage


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Illustrating Books for Children / Art 40011
Instructor:  Joy Chu
June 26-August 21
Wednesdays, 6:30pm-9:30pm
extension.ucsd.edu

Register before June 25!

illustration by Debbie Tilley

 

From On-Line to HANDS-ON: Let’s Draw Stories!

Register NOW for Joy Chu's hands-on workshop, Illustrating Books for Children, Wednesday evenings 6:30-9:30pm, 6/28-8/21/13, extension.ucsd.edu, ART 40011. Immerse yourself!

Exercise your art chops!

Summer Solstice! What could be better after a full day’s work (or sunning & surfing — hey, we’re in San Diego!), or sight-seeing around San Diego, than hunkering down, and drawing pictures with other passionate story-tellers?

We’ll do hands-on drawing-and-sharing, in class, in person, at the beautiful UCSD Extension campus in La Jolla, CA. Examine the latest picture books, plus a few timeless classics. And address aspects of the current children’s book market.


Join us!

Class:        Children’s Book Illustration – ART-40011
Instructor:  Joy Chu
Dates:       June 26 – August 21  (9 meetings)
Day:           Wednesdays
Time:         6:30pm – 9:30pm
Location:  Extension, Room 128


Required books: 

Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children’s Books (paperback) :: Uri Shulevitz   ISBN: 9780823059355

Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals (paperback)
:: Ed Emberley   ISBN: 9780316789790

kitcat_SM

Don’t delay, sign up today!
Purchase textbooks @ UCSD Bookstore,
or at amazon.com

extension.ucsd.edu.  Register now.
Ask about ART 40011

Fee:  $250 / $275 after 6/10/13


The Next Big Thing

. . . comes in threes !

[1]  Blog hop* time!

It’s been awhile since my last post.  I’ve been deeply immersed in the world of online learning & teaching, at UCSD Extension. What an adrenaline rush!

illustration by Debbie TilleyI will share highlights (my students were awesome) next week. Alumni & friends will be invited to comment. In the meantime…

[2] I was tagged …

Slithery Snakes by Roxie Munroby the amazeing Roxie Munro , who shares links on creating apps for books at my public Got Story? Facebook page.  Her books are a maze of dazzling fact-filled wonders. Besides creating e-books, she takes you inside and outside of cities, events, and creatures (eggs, bugs, and snakes, oh my), and much more. Do check out Roxie’s blog-hop responses here.

* What is a blog-hop? An author is tagged to answer a set of questions at their own blog. They then tag two other authors with blogs, to keep the blog-hop going.

the-next-big-thing-300x234

I think I’m the first blogger/art director/book designer/teacher who’s ever blog-hopped this event! Here goes:
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1. What is the title of your work-in-progress? The Gallaudet American Sign Language Dictionary for Children  [as art director/designer, and production artist, that is].

2. Where did the idea come from?  *Gallaudet University Press editor Ivey Wallace.

[* Note: Based in Washington DC, Gallaudet University is the only institution of higher learning whose programs and services are customized to accommodate deaf and hearing-impaired students. Thomas Gallaudet (1787–1851) was a pioneering figure in the advancement of deaf education.]
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Illustration for ASL word entry, T.V.
[ASL sign for TV, by Debbie Tilley (l) and Peggy Lott (r)]
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Debbie Tilley was selected because her witty illustrations communicate well to children and adults. Debbie’s agent Richard Salzman recommended my services as a free-lance designer who’s fluent working with artists and editors; and in the prep of layouts and electronic files for print and other media.

ASL entry for twins

ASL entry for twins

3. What genre does your book come under? Children’s illustrated /Ages 3-11 / reference / American Sign Language / parenting / instructional / school / general trade

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?  A wide spectrum of fluent multicultural ASL signing children, ages 4 through 11, will be in the accompanying DVD. A joyous group!

5. One sentence synopsis for your book? A kid-friendly definitive children’s American Sign Language dictionary with companion DVD, of over 1,000 entries, humorously illustrated by Debbie (Hey Little Ant!) Tilley alongside easy-to-follow signing diagrams by an unparalleled team of ASL experts.

Tilley_girl-dad.jpg

6. Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
Due out Fall 2014, from Gallaudet University Press.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Debbie, the signing illustration team, and I were supplied with the final word list in December 2010. We’ve all bAaeen collaborating steadily since then. That’s over 1,000 illustrations from Debbie; and 1,000+ diagrams from the signing team. Sketches, approval process, revisions, final art, organizing, scanning, etc. Sentences are composed as layouts are formed.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? There’s none like it. Anywhere.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book? The Gallaudet University Board of Directors made this project part of their mandate. The jewel of the crown.

10.What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? In addition to instructors, students, and users, parents will want to teach ASL to their babies, who are often able to sign before they can talk! Imagine that. Real-life ASL, and it’s from Gallaudet, the go-to source!

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And now, I’m blog-tagging three friends. Visit their blogs for…

the-next-big-thing-300x234

[3] Tag 1, 2, 3…

My colleague Andrea Zimmerman [1] teaches the writing aspect of picture book creation at UCSD Extension  [Writing Children’s Picture Books (WCWP-40261)] with Sara Tomp. Check out her fabulous blog, Picture Book Party here. She is both an author and author/illustrator. Among her many titles are Train Man (with David Clemesha); Eliza’s Cherry Trees; and Trashy Town (illustrated by Dan Yaccarino).

Julian Hector [2] draws and writes stories in his inimitable way. Visit his blog here. Check out C.R. Curmudgeon (written by Leslie Muir); Monday is One Day (written by Arthur Levine); The Little Matador; and The Gentleman Bug. Here’s the trailer for his 10 Scary Animals: A Field Guide.

Kathleen Krull [3] roots out the most interesting aspects of a person’s life, and distills it into snappy delightful prose. Let’s peek at her über-awesome output:

KKrull_Facebook_cover

I knew her back in the days of Harcourt, San Diego (she was Senior Editor, I was Art Director), where she edited luminaries like Tomie dePaola, Eve Bunting, Patricia Hermes, Anne Lindbergh, Jane Yolen, and Amy Schwartz, before she left to launch her own writing career.

She also collaborates with husband Paul Brewer on projects — including The Beatles Were Fab (and They Were Funny), and Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved the President (and the Country). In 2011, she won the Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award for her body of work.

NOTE: Since Kathy uses her Facebook page in lieu of a blog as of this writing, her Q & As (and tagging) will happen here at the Got Story Countdown. Watch for announcements, and spread the word. . . 

One Artist’s Dummy Exercises

Illustrator Denise Hilton Campbell was among the participants at my UCSD Extension class, “Illustrating Books for Children” last Spring.

http://www.workbook.com/static/artist/3286/thumbs_large/07008113871736617070.jpg

She has an extensive portfolio of published works for advertising and print.

While she and I had worked together (I as art director/designer at Harcourt; she as illustrator) on several book jackets, she had never tackled the children’s picture book genre.

While Denise’s preferred medium is watercolor . . .

DeniseCampbell2x

. . . she also possesses superb drawing skills.

On her illustration blog, she chronicles her explorations into book dummying. Some highlights:

“… I didn’t give much thought about the fact that there was a process involved in writing and illustrating a good picture book. I thought you just drew 32 pretty illustrations and threw in some words! That all changed with the class and now I’m hooked. . . this is an example from [the] simple 8-page dummy. . .” — Denise Campbell

Campbell-16

“. . . [on to] a 16-page dummy. . .”— DC

“. . . You get the idea…[the 8-page and 16-page dummies] were both wordless stories. An exercise in telling a story without using words as crutches. Finally we tackled the 32-page dummy (above). . . “— DC

You can follow Denise’s own picture story on her process in creating her class assignment sketches, here.

And check out the many finished pieces she produced post-class here. A sampling of her progressive experiments with one double-page spread from the above mentioned 32-page dummy follows, below . . .

rs_irestmylegsirml_red3irml_yellow1irml_blue1

rosie_1_72

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Holiday Tip:  Gift your favorite creative person with an Art Class!

Course title:  Illustrating Books for Children (ART 40011)
Instructor:  Joy Chu
Dates: January 7th – March 9th, 2013 (nine weeks)
Fees: $275  [early bird special: $250 if enrolled by 10 Dec 2012]
To register: 858-964-1051; ucsd.extension.edu

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More about my upcoming UCSD Extension Class!

Since I’ve been receiving numerous emails with questions about my upcoming online class at UCSD Extension (January 7-March 9, 2013), I thought it would be good to combine them here.

Q:  Can you give a little more info on how the class is structured?

Our goal will be to zero in on the book dummy itself, in terms of telling a story with utmost clarity.

We will explore the most effective ways of communicating story through images.

I must stress that this will not be a drawing class per se — in the sense that there will be no time to apply any drawing details, nor tight rendering.

In my experience, students (and many pros) have a tendency to focus lovingly on completing details and minutiae prematurely (before fully plotting the entire story), creating exquisite but static compositions at the expense of the whole. The story itself becomes incomplete.

By keeping our drawings simple, we will avoid becoming a stuck car tire, spinning mud.

From “Dies Kind Und Der Katze” by Bachér & Berner

Nailing key points like character creation; pacing, creating drama; graphic shapes and their importance; rhythm; making judicious use of white space. These are just some of the issues we will address.

Early study for Lydia, the protagonist in Matthew Cordell’s “hello! hello!”

We will be identifying art media (so many possibilities) used in today’s picture books, both traditional and digital. See a style you like? Ask about it!

And there will be plenty of sketching!

From “Bow-Wow Bugs a Bug” by Newgarden & Cash

The book dummy is the most important stage in the creation of picture books. Analogous to drawing architectural floor plans before building the house itself, this is the stage where all creative decisions on the picture book are made.

With your completed floor plan (the book dummy), you can move on to experimenting with the art media of your choice upon completion of this class.

This is why all drawings for our class must be done simply. We will complete three book dummies in nine weeks. In other words, stick figures are totally smart & OK!

All students are required to have an active library card. Everyone must borrow, read and share picture book selections, based upon a given theme for that week. Nowadays, any library book can be reserved online for later pick-up.

“Dancing figure” (above) © Christophe Niemann
“Librarian” (below) © Debbie Tilley

In addition, everyone will be required to have a  photo-sharing account, like Flickr , Picasa, or Photobucket to store images. This is where rough sketches would be uploaded. Students link images to display direct onto the class blog or discussion boards. This is to insure we do not over-tax UCSD Extension’s servers, as images take up far more memory than text.

All class participants will have access to:

(1) A Discussion Board, where everyone shares thoughts about the weekly theme, as well as technical tips (Example. Best ways to create low-resolution scans and PDFs; recommended links).

(2) A Group Blog, provided for this class only via UCSD’s Blackboard software. Students will be divided into critique groups. Each group will have its own Group Blog, to ensure ongoing feedback and support on works-in-progress.

(3) Class availability, 24/7. You can work on assignments anytime. Just remember that new lessons will be posted every  Monday morning!

Q:  Can you give a little more info on how the class is structured?

Every Monday, there will be a new Announcement summarizing the lesson plan plus assignments for the week. Assignments must be completed and uploaded every Sunday @ 11:59 pm. Each new class week begins on a Monday.

Q:  Will we get to share our work with other students?

Definitely! In fact, this is a must, and a major feature of this class! There will be critiques, discussions, and opportunities for feedback  throughout the course. Rules and guidelines for procedure and protocol will be distributed.

Q: Will you be giving feedback?

Yes!  I will be reading everyone’s comments —- with an eye towards encouraging everyone’s mutual support. And I will jump in as appropriate.

I will also list specific times when I will be online live to address immediate concerns.

Most importantly, students must have high speed internet to participate. To test your equipment, go here. To preview and sample our class’s online tools free, go here.

Questions? Post them below (‘Leave a reply’)! I look forward to meeting you, and building our Creative Online Community. Feel the buzz? Register here.

Think you can’t express anything with stick figures? You’d be wrong! Click here and enjoy!

hangman2

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Course title:  Illustrating Books for Children (ART 40011)
Dates: January 7th – March 9th, 2013 (nine weeks)
Fees: $275  (early bird special: $250 if enrolled by 10 Dec 2012)
To register: 858-964-1051; ucsd.extension.edu

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Seeking An International Community of Online Kid-lit Doodlers!

Hear ye, hear ye! If you draw or paint like this. . . .

[click to enlarge]

. . . you’ll fit right into my UCSD Extension / Winter 2013, 100% online class, Illustrating Books for Children.

If you have access to a high-speed internet connection, are willing to meet more folks who adore picture books of all kinds, join us!

There will be drawing warm-upsStory sequencing. And book dummies, oh my!

You’ll be able to take this class on your schedule, within a 9-week format, from anywhere in the world!

I’m seeking an international community of doodlers!

It’s a fully accredited course (3 units). You can also elect to take it as a noncredit self-enrichment class.

Space is filling quickly, so sign up soon as you can!

And in the meantime enjoy this video, and remember that November is Picture Book Month

 

My Class is Coming Online!

Illustrating books for children:  The 100% online web-based version, taught by Joy Chu at UCSD Extension. 9 week session begins January 7, ends March 9, 2013. Enroll now! goto ucsd.extension.edu. 858-964-1051. Register for ART 40011. $25 discount if enrolled before December 10, 2012.

(click to enlarge and print out)

I’ve been away working with UCSD Extension to customize lessons plus on-line tools for the online version of my UCSD Extension class.

I’m very excited about meeting new as well as seasoned illustrators and authors; seeing both old and new friends! It’s an opportunity to get together virtually to tell story with pictures, share our passion about it, and get our creative juices flowing.

Course title:  Illustrating Books for Children (ART 40011)
Dates: January 7th – March 9th, 2013 (nine weeks)
Fees: $275  (early bird special: $250 if enrolled by 10 Dec 2012)
To register: 858-964-1051; ucsd.extension.edu


Special Bonus:  For more about on-line learning, including free tutorials on what’s involved, take the course tour here. Find out beforehand if on-line learning is for you! You don’t need a password for this feature. Just click directly on the links in the right-hand column.

In addition, every UCSD mobile class features additional free mini-tutorials to optimize your individual online experience. Yes, it’s that easy! Technical assistance is also available to all students.


Questions? You are welcome to write in the comments section below.

So much to see, so much to ♥

The American Library Association’s annual convention came and left Anaheim last week. It was a great opportunity to get a preview of  upcoming children’s book treasures.

. . . . . . . . . .

Spotted at the Macmillan/Roaring Brook booth:

Jacket of FROM A GOOD MOUNTAINAny book by James Rumford is an event! His early Peace Corps experiences imprinted a lasting curiosity about different cultures, and international themes.

From the Good Mountain: How Gutenberg Changed the World Concise text is written as a series of intriguing riddles, with corresponding illustrations rendered in the style of an illuminated manuscript. Example:

What was made of rags and bones, soot and seeds? What took a mountain to make?

For the answer, Rumford lures us to the fifteenth century, when books were made by hand, and a man named Johannes Gutenberg invented a way to print books with movable type.

[click any image to enlarge]

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See more about his creation process behind the making of From The Good Mountain here.

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At my recent UCSD Extension illustration class, we marveled at the variety of style Rumford applied to each of his books.

While experimenting with different media, he remains consistent and focused, in terms of technique, within the framework of each book’s own theme.

Jacket from "Silent Music", by James Rumsford

In Silent Music, Ali is a schoolboy with a yen to play soccer and listen to loud music. Sound familiar? No surprises there.

[click any image to enlarge]

from "Silent Music" by James Rumsford

Now consider that Ali is a contemporary Iraqi boy who lives in Baghdad, and has everyday acquaintance with most aspects of the war, and occupation.

from "Silent Music" by James Rumsford

Like his hero, the famed calligrapher Yakut, who wrote through the destruction of Baghdad in 1258 (“he shut out the horror and wrote glistening letters of rhythm and grace”), Ali turns to calligraphy, creating inked brush-strokes during the bombing of Baghdad in 2003. It’s Ali’s salvation.

from "Silent Music" by James Rumsford

“Writing a long sentence is like watching a soccer player in slow motion as he kicks the ball across the field, as I leave a trail of dots and loops behind me,” says narrator Ali.

from "Silent Music" by James Rumsford

In an eloquent ending, he discovers that while the word “war” flows easily, the pen “…stubbornly resists me when I make the difficult waves and slanted staff of saalam peace.

Rumford shows us how iconic Arabic calligraphy is, from rhythm of Ali’s life, the flow of his movements, his everyday environment, to his family’s garments, in loving detail.

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In Tiger and Turtle, Rumford bathes his backgrounds with vibrant color and Persian textures (an abstract effect that almost smells exotic), setting the stage for his two characters, rendered simply with calligraphic brush strokes.

[click any image to enlarge]

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And what are Rumford’s thoughts about future of the printed book?

Check out the author bio on the back flap of From the Good Mountain (coming 9/18/2012 from Roaring Brook Press/a Neal Porter book):

Back flap author bio, FROM THE GOOD MOUNTAIN


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Check out Jama Rattigan’s interview with James Rumford here.
Jama also reviews Silent Music here.

An early preliminary jacket sketch for “Silent Music”

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I’ll post more images of what grabbed my attention on the ALA Exhibit Floor over the next several days. Stay tuned…

A chance encounter between the photogenic Olivia and a lucky group of San Diego SCBWI members, on the ALA exhibit floor in Anaheim.