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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Answers to impossible things

My interview with Julie Danielson of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast fame. Julie and I conducted this through emails back and forth and one quick phone call. As an aside, I understand water color paint emergencies when you are on the phone. I hosted the only children’s painting parties in our building of Army housing when we lived in Germany as I was the only one who could tolerate ten-fifteen children ages 3-13 painting with watercolors and fingerpaints. The other moms would bake the cookies while I did the activities.

How many books a week do you read? — I have little windows of time in which to read; with two young children, I get nap time and after-bed time to blog and read, and that’s about it (since the day is filled with them and my part-time job I do from home and other Life Stuff). So, that’s a hard question to answer. I read as much as I possibly can. I read TONS of picture books weekly. I love the picture book format and would read them even if I weren’t sharing them with my daughters . . . I have a huge to-be-read pile, though; I’m never in need.
What is your goal for number of reviews to write in a week? — For my part (I’m answering all these questions for my part, but I co-blog with my best friend, also a children’s librarian, Eisha) — As I was saying, for my part, I try to make sure we have *some*thing posted at least every other day, but sometimes I get more done in a week. We pretty much stick to book reviews and interviews (and Poetry Fridays are great), as we figure many other blogs out there are covering the news in a thoroughly entertaining and informative manner.
Do your daughters agree with your favorites or do they have their own top 3 they insist you read before bed daily? — Oh heavens, that’s a tough one. My youngest cannot go to sleep without looking at and singing the picture book adaptation of ‘What a Wonderful World’ that Ashley Bryan illustrated (because the FABULOUS performers with The Wishing Chair Productions at the Nashville Public Library’s beautiful, main downtown library include it in their savagely wonderful story times every week). I’d say for the most part, generally, we three agree, though there have been some that I adore that they don’t care for. I am in love with Suzy Lee’s ‘The Zoo’ (published last year by Kane/Miller), but for some reason my three-year-old is a bit frightened by it (or something near fear that I can’t quite pinpoint).
Who are the top 7 authors/illustrators you wish you could spend an evening with?Haven Kimmel (whom we had the wonderful honor of corresponding with and interviewing —, and who has promised us dinner and a martini one day in the future); Maurice Sendak (happy belated birthday; his was yesterday, and I know that ’cause I’m a Super Sendak Nerd); Naomi Shihab Nye; M.T. Anderson (whom we also got to interview, and though he’s holding my disembodied head, I’ve yet to meet him —; Philip Pullman; John Burningham; Jacqueline Woodson; and Sonya Hartnett (whom we’ll be interviewing next week at 7-Imp). That’s eight — oops! Sorry. I am ambitious.
What are the top 7 impossible tasks librarians do that you admire most? — 
Number one, without a doubt, all the technological wizardry we are expected to know (the most challenging, that is, for me); 
number two, being experts on what each and every kid in the school likes to read or most wants to read (we are superheroes, you know); 
number three, knowing the curriculum as well as we do and meeting the teachers’ needs; 
number four, keeping up with all the wonderful new children’s lit titles; 
number five, all the professional development opportunities that are not-to-be-missed; 
number six, taking time to breathe during the day (whew); and 
number seven (last but far from least, and of *course* I’d say this), enjoy all the wonderful blogs out there in the kidlitosphere. They’re very informative and much fun, and they can make your collection development decisions — along with all those frequent catalogs you get in the mail — much easier.


  1. Chicken Spaghetti says:

    Julie is the greatest. Nice interview!

    7 Imp Fan

  2. Jules, your *some*thing is always quite something, and I want to be drinking a martini with Haven Kimmel too!

    Diane, I used to live in Army housing too, in Stuttgart. We had 11 kids living just on our half of the building, and when they couldn’t go outside…well, bless you for hosting those painting parties!