The Big Easy played host to librarians, publishers, and writers who ventured to New Orleans June 23-28 for the ALA's annual conference. Library Journal reported that attendance was down this year, with 20,186 attendees and vendors at the show, but there was no shortage of excitement for children's books. The Newbery-Caldecott banquet bestowed top honors on Clare Vanderpool, winner of the Newbery Medal for Moon Over Manifest, and Erin Stead, who was awarded the Caldecott for A Sick Day for Amos McGee.

In her acceptance speech, Vanderpool said winning the Newbery is "like having a baby if you didn't know you were pregnant. There are no months of preparation. No pre-Newbery vitamins to build up for the big event. And no book called What to Expect When You Win the Newbery to guide and instruct." Accepting the Caldecott, Stead said, "The news of winning was overwhelming. I'm not sure if it was a faulty speakerphone or my own shocked ears that added static to your voices. After we hung up, I called my editor and made him repeat everything. Slowly."

Read on for our photo-gallery of the authors, events, and festivities. It's just like being there (minus the Sazeracs and seafood)!