Kwame Alexander, Mo Willems to Keynote U.S. Book Show Children’s Books Day

Star-Studded Lineup Includes Award-Winning Authors and Top Editors
Kwame Alexander and Mo Willems
Kwame Alexander and Mo Willems

NEW YORK—May 12, 2022—Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander will present the opening keynote address on Children’s Books Day, May 26, 2022, at the U.S. Book Show, which is virtual and runs May 23–26, 2022. Then, Mo Willems kicks off the midday program in a keynote conversation with Tracey Keevan, editorial director of Union Square Kids, about his forthcoming The Pigeon Will Ride the Roller Coaster!

“The U.S. Book Show is thrilled to have these two acclaimed children’s book authors speaking on Children’s Book Day,” said Diane Roback, senior v-p and children’s book editor, Publishers
, which created the U.S. Book Show. “The breadth of talent represented by the authors and editors on the panels is inspiring to all those who care about children’s books and children’s education.”

Following Alexander’s opening keynote, Jon Scieszka, author of The Real Dada Mother Goose: A Treasury of Complete Nonsense and the first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, will moderate the PW Presents: Author Chats About Children’s Books panel featuring Chloe Gong (Foul Lady Fortune); Oliver Jeffers (Meanwhile Back on Earth); Justin A. Reynolds (Shot Clock); and Christina Soontornvat (The Tryout). The day’s Editors’ Picks panels feature
top editors discussing their selected Fall 2022 books, beginning with Children’s Picture Books.

Kwame Alexander is the New York Times bestselling author of the forthcoming The Door of No Return. His 35 other books include the Caldecott Medal– and Newbery Honor–winning picture book The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson; the Newbery Medal–winning middle grade novel The Crossover; Becoming Muhammad Ali, co-authored with James Patterson; and Rebound, which was shortlisted for the prestigious U.K. Carnegie Medal. Alexander is the executive producer and writer of The Crossover for the upcoming Disney+ series. He also co-founded LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program.

Mo Willems is a three-time Caldecott Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author of more than three dozen popular picture books. He has also won two Theodor Seuss Geisel Awards and five Geisel Honors for his Elephant & Piggie series. Willems began his career as a writer for Sesame Street, for which he garnered six Emmy Awards. He has two series on Cartoon Network and is developing new shows for HBO Max.

Editors’ Picks Panels – Children’s Books Day

Children’s Picture Books*: 11 a.m. ET, Thursday, May 26, 2022
Victoria Rock, Founding Children’s Publisher and Editor-at-Large, Chronicle Books, discussing Like by Annie Barrows and Leo Espinosa
Neal Porter, Vice-President and Publisher, Holiday House/Neal Porter Books, discussing I Don’t Care by Julie Fogliano and Molly Idle and Juana Martinez-Neal
Susan Rich, Editor-at-Large, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, discussing Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall (author/illustrator)
Luisa Beguiristaín, Assistant Editor, Roaring Brook Press, discussing The Coquíes Still Sing by Karina Nicole González and Krystal Quiles
Rosie Ahmed, Associate Editor, Dial Books for Young Readers, discussing Nana, Nenek & Nina by Liza Ferneyhough (author/illustrator)
Sydnee Monday, Associate Editor, Kokila, discussing Sam’s Super Seats by Keah Brown and Sharee Miller
Anne Schwartz, V-P and Publisher, Random House/Anne Schwartz Books, discussing Me and the Boss by Michelle Edwards and April Harrison
Paula Wiseman, V-P and Publisher, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, discussing On Her Wings by Jerdine Nolen and James E. Ransome
*Author listed first; illustrator(s) listed second.

Middle Grade Children’s Books*: 1 p.m. ET, Thursday, May 26, 2022
Reka Simonsen, Editorial Director, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, discussing Naomi Teitelbaum Ends the World by Samara Shanker
Dana Chidiac, Senior Editor, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, discussing Mihi Ever After by Tae Keller and Geraldine Rodríguez
Tracey Keevan, Editorial Director, Union Square Kids, discussing Nothing Interesting Ever Happens to Ethan Fairmont by Nick Brooks
Erica Finkel, Executive Editor, Abrams, discussing Marya Kahn and the Incredible Henna Party by Saadia Faruqi and Ani Bushry
Andrea Tompa, Executive Editor, Candlewick Press, discussing Undercover Latina by Aya de León
Mary Kate Castellani, Publishing Director, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, discussing The Vanquishers by Kalynn Bayron
Tricia Lin, Editor, Random House Books for Young Readers, discussing Futureland: Battle for the Park by H.D. Hunter and Khadijah Khatib
Stacey Barney, Associate Publisher, Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books, discussing The Dreams of Small Creatures by Gail Lerner
*Author listed first; illustrator(s) listed second.

Young Adult: 3 p.m. ET, Thursday, May 26, 2022
Ashley Hearn, Acquisitions Editor, Peachtree Teen, discussing Aces Wild by Amanda DeWitt
Mara Delgado Sánchez, Assistant Editor, St. Martin’s Press, discussing Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove by Rati Mehrotra
Maggie Lehrman, Editorial Director, Fiction, Abrams Children’s Books, discussing Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution by Kacen Callender
Kaylan Adair, Executive Editor, Candlewick Press, discussing Better Than We Found It: Conversations to Help Save the World by Frederick Joseph and Porsche Joseph
Polo Orozco, Editor, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, discussing How to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy
Sarah Alpert, Editor, Algonquin Young Readers, discussing Dead Flip by Sara Farizan

All presentations and panels are virtual. The full schedule may be viewed at

Booksellers and librarians are invited to attend the virtual trade show for free.

Booksellers, librarians and members of the media are invited to register for the virtual trade fair at no charge. Members of the media may apply for virtual press passes on the show’s press page.

High-res logos are available under the Images and Logos tab at

For more information, contact Christi Cassidy, +1-917-217-4269,

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