This year’s Children’s Literature Hawaiʻi (CLH) conference was fantastic! As I mentioned in an earlier post, Graham Salisbury and Steve Jenkins were featured guests. Activities kicked off downtown at the Tenney Theatre with the Honolulu Theatre for Youth (HTY) offering dynamic performances based on Salisbury’s Calvin Coconut series and a medley of Jenkin’s work. This was a fun event for all ages, which was followed by a lively Q & A.
During his keynote on the first day of the conference, Salisbury discussed his work and offered some words of wisdom to those of us working with young people – including the title of this post. He also encouraged us to embrace our passion and write about what we want to know. Finally, he reminded us that writing is a wonderful activity for developing understanding, whether we publish or not.
Jenkins’ keynote the second morning was beautiful, literally beautiful. He shared many creations from his books including some unpublished works, talked about visual literacy and discussed his passion for making science accessible.
In addition to the opening and the keynotes, 25 sessions featuring diverse content were offered – everything from writing poetry to illustrating nature to dystopian books to the Nēnē Award. My favorite session was A5 – Deaf Poe, Ed Chevy Interpreting Poe in ASL.
Chevy is a talented storyteller who recounted Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher. In addition to his magnificent performance, which was translated into spoken English by Kevin Roddy, Chevy discussed his process of preparation including visualizing, imagining the context and characters, and learning about the author. He also talked about incorporating facial expression, body language, and signs harmoniously to make stories come alive.