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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

ALA Fun in an hour

Only 55 minutes on Opening Day (Sat.) to race around the exhibit floor during ALA Annual Conference! How can I find any of the fun things in this HUGE room? I’m going to start posting some of these pictures and in-between board meetings I’ll add the description so it makes sense. I apologize for the word wrap and will fix this when I have time (about 2 a.m.).

There is a game occurring throughout the entire conference that focuses on teams working together to accumulate knowledge. It seemed to take some time for everyone to grasp the concept and realize how they could work together, but participants tell me they are very excited now that "they get it." Debbie Reese posted an interesting objection to this game on LM_NET this month if you’d like to visit an alternative view. Da Chen

What a great name! I couldn’t resist chatting with Chen Sying-Sheng. I appreciate Chinese calligraphy and the wishes for longevity and prosperity. Looking forward to reading the book, also. This is one autograph that I don’t want to lose.

You could see how many people visited Da Chen because we were all walking around with the book held open in our two hands and blowing gently to dry the ink. Reverence!

How many times have I begged and pleaded publishers for my books on rocks, minerals, soil, etc.? To the right are three books published by Jerry Wermund. One book – Earthscapes – includes photos from Jerry’s career in geology. The other two books I examined included lyrical verse and haiku. I have to have these books for my old elementary library. Jerry decided to write and publish these when he was visiting 1st grade classes and noticed the gaps in the libraries. We just do not have enough geology books in our libraries. Students want to see these books because they are "real" and grounded. They want to find an object and identify it. Thanks, Jerry.

Geology Books for Children

  1. The World According to Rock
  2. Focus on Minerals
  3. Earthscapes

Gaming! There are seats available and great games for free. Time to slip in before it gets crowded again. 

This was actually a very quiet booth as everyone was so focused while they played.

Here I am with my new camel. She is so cute and keeps poking out of my hidden snack bag. I believe she is eating my vendor chocolates and storing up in case there is a candy shortage.
The California Library Association and Nancy Carstensen were having great fun promoting their summer reading program. Love the hat. More games. There is something wrong with this picture, isn’t there? How many times are the students actually waiting patiently for their turn while adults play? Maybe I look easily intimidated but they usually jostle me out of the way. Loved watching this lady head the soccer ball. At first I saw her from a distance and couldn’t imagine what on earth was wrong with her neck.
I’m such a fan of Big Cats by Elaine Landau. What a surprise? Elaine actually reads this blog. How exciting? I was afraid I was talking to myself again. 

Hi Elaine!

First – time exhibitors were throughout the exhibit hall. 

Loved this exhibit for the horse books and also the German Shepherd books. The author brings her beloved dog to school visits. We were able to commisurate that our babies (the shepherds) were getting older and shared tips for enabling them to have great qualities of life. 

I saw the trend for cowboy / cowgirl / Western adventures / Native American experience books were appearing at many booths. Can’t wait til my friend Lynn Caruthers discovers this booth. You’ll be able to hear her delight from CA to TN.

Danger! Danger! Free advanced reading copies (ARC’s) ahead.
Beware, people, they put magnets in these books that attract librarians. 

What’s the weight limit on my suitcase? 50 pounds? 

Hmm… how many books does it take to weigh 50 pounds?

I love little critters. These guys (or are they gals) from Overdrive  jumped into my bag. I swear. I don’t know how they got there. They remind me of Peeps in the library. Beware! You never know where they’ll show up in my middle school. Pan Asian Productions and Sheng D. Chiu have new animated video of their unique products. 

My family watched the Monkey King Tales this summer and we couldn’t locate any stories in our local library. The Monkey King is an important part of Chinese folklore. My father-in-law had been in the Chinese opera as a young boy in China so I was excited to see information on White Snake. There was even a Chinese zodiac book of interest. 

Can’t wait to see the animations! About time we had more English-Chinese materials available to embrace the cultural historical aspects of over 1 billion people on this planet.

Great photo of palms outsde the convention center. 

Don’t you wish you were walking with us through the lush foliage of California?

Jim with EBSCO is holding one of the "coolest" vendor swag items – a stain removal pen. It worked on the coffee on my sleeve and the chocolate on my hem (don’t ask!)
This puzzle is addictive. I love manipulatives. I can see this working in schools, also. Set a timer and students have 5 minutes to create a puzzle. There are 200 possible solutions so far. You can photograph the puzzle when a student completes it, label it with that student’s name and then force others to find a different solution. Very creative. During the conference this puzzle is a BOGO (buy one get one) and I’ve decided I NEED two puzzles asap. Sorry I didn’t have more time during that section. I’ll try to slip away at for 5 minutes later to catch some of my favorite authors. Fortunately I have a couple hours on Sunday if I don’t need to eat at all.  I have great roommates and Allison has stuffed my bag with snacks so I don’t need to stop at all. 

Shh! This is a secret. During that one hour of exhibit time, I picked up 3 bags of books for a weight of 60 pounds. Shhh! I’m hiding those bags from my roommates so they can’t tease me.


  1. XRumerTest says:

    Hello. And Bye.