For the second consecutive year, ABA’s Children’s Institute kicked off with a Welcome Reception and Children’s Book Character Costume Party, in which booksellers, authors, and other members of the publishing community showcased their creativity and love of children’s literature. Those brave enough to parade onstage in their costumes competed for a number of prizes before a panel of judges. Read on for a selection of highlights from the night’s festivities, featuring beloved backlist and frontlist characters of all kinds.
Author, co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, and Ci7 keynote speaker Ann Patchett leads a group of Parnassus booksellers as the picketing animals from her picture book Lambslide. Photo: Alex Green.
The friendly duo from Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White: Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider
A bookseller dressed as the Princess in Black, inspired by the series by Shannon and Dean Hale and LeUyen Pham.
Anastasia McKenna from the Twig Book Shop in San Antonio as the havoc-wreaking llama in Llama Destroys the World by Jonathan Stutzman and Heather Fox.
Holiday House’s Neal Porter paid homage to The Word Pirates by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Steven Kellogg; alongside Sydney Smith as Anne of Green Gables; and Jerry Pinkney, illustrator of A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation (Holiday House/Porter), who was dressed as one of MLK’s advisors. Photo: Diane Roback.
Molly Weasley from the Harry Potter series makes an appearance.
Judges (from l.) Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver, Sergio Ruzzier, and Innosanto Nagara take a moment to deliberate. Photo: Alex Green.
Best Group Costume went to the crew from Powell’s Books in Portland, Ore., who dressed as the Lumberjanes, here with Winkler.
Philipp Goedicke of Community Bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y., took home the honor of Best Animal Costume for his portrayal of Richard Scarry’s Lowly Worm. Photo: Alex Green.
Best Solo Costume went to Joan Trygg of Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, Minn., who dressed as Robert Sabuda’s Believe: A Pop-Up Book of Possibilities (Candlewick). Photo: Alex Green.
Dressed as Julián from Jessica Love’s Julián Is a Mermaid (Candlewick), Avery Peregrine of Third Place Books in Seward Park, Wash. was awarded the grand prize. Photo: Alex Green.
In a surprise announcement, the judges also awarded a special prize to Charlie Vlahos, son of Tattered Cover’s Kristen Gilligan and Len Vlahos, the only young person to go up on stage—who was dressed as Harry Potter. Winkler presented him with a $20 bill, his autographed badge, and a signed copy of his forthcoming book Alien Superstar (co-written with Lin Oliver). Photo: Alex Green.
See you next year!