The excitement is building this morning on the #ala12 Twitter hashtag, as librarians, publishers, and other book lovers gear up for one of the biggest book events of the year: the American Library Association 2012 Annual Conference and Exhibition, held June 21–26 in Anaheim, California.

Click to view an Edelweiss catalog listing all the books that will be available at the convention.

While not all of Eerdmans will be attending this long weekend of books, books, and more books, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers will be there — and in a pretty big way.

At Booth #2453 (for the benefit of those lucky readers who may be going), EBYR representatives Anita Eerdmans and Gayle Brown will be offering an assortment of free posters, postcards, and bookmarks — as well a wide variety of great EBYR titles for sale.

While supplies last, they’ll also be giving away ARCs of two novels on our Fall 2012 list: Ulrich Hub’s illustrated chapter book Meet at the Ark at Eight and Hillary Hall De Baun’s effervescent debut novel Starring Arabelle.

Convention attendees who stop by the EBYR booth can also enter a drawing to win a complete set of 2012 titles from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

While at ALA Anaheim, EBYR will also be welcoming two picture book authors to booth #2453 for book signings:

Cynthia Grady
author of I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery
Saturday, June 23, 9:30–10:30 a.m. & 2:30–3:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 24, 2:30–3:30 p.m.
(The Sunday signing will be a benefit for the ERT Christopher Hoy scholarship fund.)

To learn more about I Lay My Stitches Down, check out a blog post by Cynthia Grady on EerdWord, the Eerdmans blog.

Michelle Markel
author of The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau
Sunday, June 24, 10:30–11:30 a.m.

To learn more about The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau, watch the book trailer.

Soldier Bear

Soldier Bear

The highlight of EBYR’s time in Anaheim, however, will undoubtedly come next Monday morning.

That’s when the 2012 Batchelder Award for Soldier Bear will be presented as part of the Association for Library Service to Children Book and Media Awards program planned for June 25 at 10:30 a.m. in the Anaheim Convention Center.

Once again, we offer our congratulations to author Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrator Philip Hopman, translator Laura Watkinson, and the entire team at EBYR for their remarkable achievement!

To learn more about Soldier Bear and the Batchelder, check out EerdWord blog posts by editor Kathleen Merz and translator Laura Watkinson.