Sunday, April 18, 2010, the 7th annual Western Regional Conference on Jewish Literature took place in Los Angeles. This year, the conference, cosponsored by AJLSC, SInai Temple Blumenthal Library, and American Jewish University, piggy-backed on the Skirball Cultural Center's
exhibit, "Monsters and Miracles-- a Journey through Jewish Picture Book Art."
With about 70 participants, the conference brought together Judaic and non-Judaic librarians, teachers, authors and illustrators as they all joined in their appreciation of the art of illustration in children's books. Panelists Richard Michelson
(Sydney Taylor Award winning author and gallery owner Eugene Yelchin
(illustrator and member of the Jewish Artists Initiative), and Joni Sussman
(publisher of KarBen Books
) shared their views on putting picture books together. Joni also read manuscripts of hopeful authors and gave advice on how to ready these manuscripts for publication. A silent auction and book sale allowed conference attendees to bid and purchase some picture book art for themselves. The highlight of the program was a talk by exhibit curator, Tal Gozani, and visit to the exhibit at the Skirball. Everyone left asking when the next conference will be!