I’m amazed that you blog nearly every day. (I find it hard to keep up with the every Friday posts here on the SCBWI-MI blog.) Now that you’ve started third grade, is it getting harder to keep up?
Well, kind of but I am not too sure. One reason it is not hard is because I am always reading. Picture books are short so when I don’t have a lot of time, I can do the picture books. I also read a chapter book fairly fast – if I like it, I have a hard time putting it down. Interviews help fill posts too – sometimes we keep those until we need to fill days. In fact, I could use more people to interview.
Question for Bridget's mom, Melissa: I know you supervise all of Bridget’s communication and posting. How have your duties changed/increased as the blog continues to grow?
As the blog has grown in readership, the engagement on Bridget’s posts and social media has also increased. We once had a day we received responses from 30 librarians interested in being interviewed. That was a busy email night. Thanks to smart phones, I can stay on top of everything where ever I am (which is very helpful as I balance this with my full-time job that involves regular business travel).
Annoying Little Brother and I are both quilters. We have our own machines. I am trying to improve my sewing skills to include clothing and other items. Mom helps us experiment but she doesn’t usually let us help on her projects.
I also like to draw, ride my bike, play with dolls and use legos. I like to go hiking and I recently got into geocaching. I also ran my first race this fall. I like running.
I don’t accept all offers because I just can’t read all the books. We also made a rule that the book has to be available online or in a bookstore.
Reviewing books can be the funnest thing but it does take up a lot of time.
How do you choose which books to review and which authors to interview?
As for authors and illustrators, if I review their book and we can connect with them online, we ask if they would be interested in an interview. Newer authors and illustrators are more likely to say yes. I try to highlight new authors and illustrators because they usually don’t have a lot of people who know about them.
I do illustrators because I want to see how creative they are. I think people forget about them sometimes but without them, the book isn’t the same.
You’ve interviewed many authors and librarians, and met many of them in person. Are there any memorable moments you’d like to share? Maybe someone said something especially nice or funny or gave great advice?
- Nick Tapalansky tweeted I was his favorite literary critic.
- I was live on air with Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas and I told Guy he was wrong about something. I love Guy!
- I was interviewed on TV and recently, I interviewed an author for the local cable channel.
- I was able to help bring Salina Yoon to my school and town. It was really fun to share one of my favorite authors with my classmates. Did you know she helped launch my blog by sharing about it with her author and illustrator friends?
That's wonderful! What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be an author, illustrator, penguinologist, architect and artist. Ok, I might have to only be a few of these but I don’t know yet.
Is there anything else you'd like us to know? Or is there a question you wish I would ask?
A question for Mom, from Bridget: why do you let me do this?
Mom: Bridget needed an outlet to express her voice. I saw she loved reading and was very curious about everything. She was asking to do a vlog, but I knew that wasn’t feasible. I suggested a blog since I had previously managed a few and knew we could manage the time.
As we have been doing this, I am seeing the positive impact it is having on Bridget and her communication skills (as well as confidence). I also finding out how valuable her voice is to the kidlit realm. We really do need to let kids have more say in how they engage with books. I have noticed adults encouraging books that don’t fit the kid or discouraging things like graphic novels as not good enough. Kids need to be able to read whatever interests them.
We let Bridget and her brother pick what they want to read. Bridget has never been too interested in Dr Seuss, so we don’t push it. A lot of people are encouraging her to read Harry Potter right now, but she isn’t interested in it. I wasn’t a fan of Harry Potter, so I understand her hesitance. Her brother leans towards non-fiction which can be a little harder with a 6 year old but we make it work.
Bridget: First, I really really really want to meet Mike Mahaick (author of Cleopatra series), Aimee Bissonette (fingers crossed we will in March), Nick Tapalansky and Grace Lin. I would like to do an interview for TV with Vordak the Incomprehensible.
We hope your wishes come true, Bridget!
Keep up with Bridget and the Books here:
Coming up on the Mitten blog: the making of a book trailer, a picture book idea turned art installation, create your 2018 marketing plan, and much more!
Have a great weekend!