Center for Continuing Studies - Innovative Leadership for Lifelong Learning

Center for Continuing Studies - Innovative Leadership for Lifelong Learning - St. Cloud State University

Children's literature workshop

35th Anniversary of the Children's Literature Workshop!


  • School Library Media Specialists, K-8
  • Classroom Teachers, K-8
  • Reading Specialists, K-8
  • Children’s Librarians
  • Library Assistants
  • Parents
  • University Students
  • Children's Literature Enthusiasts

When: Monday, June 16 and Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Times: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on Monday, June 16 (Check-in at 8:00 a.m.)

            8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 17

Where: SCSU Atwood Memorial Center

              651 First Ave South

              St. Cloud, MN 56301

Workshop Flyer (PDF)


Keynote Presenters

Peter Brown


Peter Brown has always loved telling stories. Growing up in New Jersey, he drew pictures to tell stories of whimsical characters and scenes from his imagination. Then as a teenager, he fell in love with writing, and told his tales with words. While studying at Art Center College of Design, Peter’s love of both words and pictures led him to take several courses on children’s books. And before long he knew he’d found his calling.

After graduating from Art Center Peter moved to New York City to be closer to the publishing industry. He was working on animated TV shows when he was hired to write and illustrate his first picture book, Flight of the Dodo. Peter quickly signed up his second and third books, and his career as an author and illustrator of children’s books was under way.

Peter’s books have earned him numerous honors, including two E.B. White Awards, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book award, a Children’s Choice Award for Illustrator of the Year, two Irma Black Honors, and four New York Times bestsellers. He is also a recipient of a 2013 Caldecott Honor for Creepy Carrots!, written by Aaron Reynolds.


David Almond (Via Skype)


David Almond is the author of Skellig, Kit’s Wilderness, My Name is Mina, The Boy Who Swam With Piranhas, The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean, and many other novels, stories and plays. His work is translated into over 40 languages, and is widely adapted for stage and screen.

His major awards include The Carnegie Medal, the Michael L Printz Award, and The Eleanor Farjeon Award. In 2010 he received The Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world’s most prestigious prize for children’s authors. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, Distinguished Writing Fellow at Newcastle University, and Artistic Director of The Bath Festival of Children’s Literature.

Forthcoming works include two novels, a short story collection and an opera libretto. He lives with his family, the sculptor/ceramicist Sara Jane Palmer, and their daughter Freya, in Northumberland, UK. 


David LaRochelle


A former elementary school teacher, David has been writing and illustrating children’s books for the past twenty-five years. With over twenty-five books to his credit, his titles have won numerous awards, including the Arizona Grand Canyon Reader Award, the Sid Fleischman Humor Award, and in 2005 and 2013 the Minnesota Book Award for Children’s Literature. His book The Best Pet of All was read by Reese Witherspoon at the White House Easter Egg Roll. In 2013 David had three new picture books published: How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans, Arlo’s ARTrageous Adventure! (a story inspired by trips to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the first book where he was both author and illustrator) and the one-word picture book Moo! (illustrated by Minnesotan Mike Wohnoutka). He is a popular “visiting author” at schools around the state.

When he is not visiting schools or creating books, David loves to create elaborate jack-o-lanterns and has appeared on national television shows with his creations. You can view David’s unique pumpkins at his website, He lives in White Bear Lake


Máirtín de Cógáin, Storyteller/Musician


Máirtín de Cógáin is a singing, dancing, story-telling bodhrán player who also is a noted playwright and actor. He performs in his native Ireland and all over the U.S…. and between and beyond, too! An infectious personality, Máirtín pleasantly commands the attention of any collection of people, from a concert hall to an intimate porch.

Descended from a long line of storytellers and with two CCÉ All-Ireland's for Storytelling under his belt, Máirtín gets no more joy out of life than the telling of stories.  If you are lucky enough to catch him spinning a few yarns, you are in for a treat. 


Julie Reimer


Julie is an elementary library media specialist and reading specialist in the Mounds View School District who loves to share books with readers. She is fortunate to read to and with children and teachers each day, and she enjoys extending her knowledge about books to other teachers and librarians through workshops and her book blog, Extended Shelf Life.

Julie's Blog 


Concurrent Workshop Presenters

Mary Losure


Alchemy 101:Transforming Historical Fact into Children's Narrative Non-fiction

Narrative non-fiction for children is getting a lot of attention these days, especially given the Common Core standards.  But how does a work of children’s narrative non-fiction come to life?  What makes a work of non-fiction READ as though it’s fiction?  In this session, the author of THE FAIRY RING and WILD BOY tells how she finds her stories and shapes her stories.  She will also offer suggestions for classroom use, and include time for questions and discussion.

Mary Losure writes creative (but still entirely true) non-fiction for children. Her books are aimed at kids who read not because they have to, but because they like to. The Non-Required Reading List of books by Mary Losure includes:



ISAAC THE ALCHEMIST, will be out in 2015 from Candlewick Press. Its hero is the world’s greatest alchemist, Isaac Newton.

She’s also the author of a middle grade fantasy, BACKWARDS MOON, to be published this fall by Holiday House.

Before she began writing for children, Mary Losure worked as an on-air reporter for Minnesota Public Radio. She and her husband live in Saint Paul. For more information, please visit her website at 


Ilene Christian

What’s New in Multicultural Children’s Literature?

 The concept of multicultural children’s literature has been around for decades.  Together we will discuss the latest thinking about multicultural children’s literature, the new books, the awards, and the controversies.  A handout will be provided.


Maria Burnham


Adult Titles for Young Adult Readers - Maria Burnham

Tired of only recommending dystopian trilogies to your YA readers? Looking for some options to give teen readers that are a bit outside the box and might stretch the reading comfort level? This session will provide a list of books marketed for adults but that are also appropriate for many YA readers.  Both fiction and non-fiction titles will be discussed.  


Donna Ohlgren


Donna Ohlgren is the Library Media Specialist at Rush Creek Elementary.  Prior to becoming a media specialist she taught fifth grade.  She is the current co-president of MEMO (Minnesota Education and Media Organization). 

Skyping: Learning Beyond the Walls of the School

Connecting with authors and classrooms will allow your students to make connections and learn beyond walls of your classroom and school. Skype is a tool that allows teachers to connect with others outside of school. Learn about how a media specialist uses Skype to connect with authors and classrooms. You will learn the logistics of doing a Skype session and tips and tricks.

This workshop can be taken for credit or continuing education units (CEUs).

To enroll in IM 445/545 for credit, please click one of the links below:

Click here if you have a university ID

Click here if you do not have a university ID 

The chart below shows the cost for this 1 credit course.

  IM 445 IM 545
Tuition - resident $259.60
Tuition - nonresident $474.20
Course fees (approximate) $37.36

To receive CEUs please register at the registration desk

Online  (pay with credit card - click on appropriate link below)

Students/Retirees/Homeschool parents: $100

Professionals:  $225

5+ Registrants - Non Early Bird$190/each

Registration Closes: 4 p.m. on 06-09-14

Paper Registration (PDF - pay by check or purchase order)

Registration form

Cost includes parking fees

Workshop Flyer (PDF)

Accommodations Information





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For more information contact Gail Ruhland at or 320.308.5759.