Authors, illustrators, and teachers of children’s literature will gather for the 18th annual Hubbs Children’s Literature Conference on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the University of St. Thomas. The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the university’s O’Shaughnessy Educational Center. 

Chris Raschka

Chris Raschka

  • A featured speaker is award-winning children’s book illustrator and author Chris Raschka. His Yo! Yes? (Scholastic, 1993) was named a Caldecott Honor book and listed as one of “100 Books That Shaped the Century” by School Library Journal. His Hello, Goodbye Window (Michael Di Capua Books, 2005) won the 2006 Caldecott Medal, the top prize given by the Association for Library Service to Children to illustrators and artists of children’s books. His 1992 book, Charlie Parker Played Be Bop (Orchard Books), was named a Notable Children’s Book by the American Library Association and a Year’s Best Book by Publishers Weekly. His Mysterious Thelonius (Orchard Books, 1997), about African American jazz musician Thelonious Monk, and A Poke in the I (Candlewick Press, 2001), an anthology of poems for children, were named Best Illustrated Books of the Year by The New York Times. A graduate of St. Olaf College, Raschka lives in New York City. 

    Phyllis Root

    Phyllis Root

  •  Also featured: Phyllis Root, whose books number more than 30, lives in Minneapolis. Her first, Moon Tiger, was published by Henry Holt & Co. in 1985. Aunt Nancy and Old Man Trouble (Candlewick Press, 1996), an original tale about a female trickster, won the 1997 Minnesota Picture Book text award. What Baby Wants (Candlewick Press, 1998) was cited as a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Big Momma Makes the World (Candlewick Press, 2002) won the 2003 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for picture books. Among topics of the variety of other sessions at the daylong conference: a librarian’s review of the year’s outstanding books for children, improvisation for writers, marketing picture books, teaching poetry to elementary-school children and other  tools for teachers and children’s book authors and illustrators.
  • Cost, including lunch and refreshments, is $60. Students may attend for $20. Register online at www.stthomas.edu/education/events/. Registration is encouraged by Friday, Feb. 19. For more information call Sonja Runck, (651) 962-4431.

    The annual Hubbs Children’s Literature Conference provides an opportunity for parents, teachers, students, librarians and others interested in children’s literature to share information and learn how to better meet the educational needs of youth. Sponsored by St. Thomas’ School of Education in the university’s College of Applied and Professional Studies, it is supported by an endowment from Margaret and the late Ronald Hubbs, who were advocates for literacy in Minnesota and provided funds for the St. Thomas libraries’ children’s literature collection. Ronald Hubbs was president of St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. from 1963 to 1973 and retired as chairman of the board in 1977. He then devoted his time to a variety of educational, civic, cultural and philanthropic organizations. He was a longtime champion of adult literature programs and also was instrumental in establishing a Chinese language program in the St. Paul school district.

    Coinciding with the conference is an exhibit, “Minnesota Made: Through the Eyes of the Children’s Book Illustrators Guild of Minnesota,” in the Lobby Gallery of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center. It features 30 works by 20 Minnesota artists.