Meet Jennifer

Today we meet Jennifer, who writes Snapshot.  She’s a Mom to two kids, ages 8 and  2, but somehow still manages to find time to judge in the MG/YA Non-fiction category. She answered our questions for us:

Q. When did you start blogging?

A. March 2006

Q. Why do you blog?

A. I first began my blog as a way to try to institute some discipline in beginning a new habit of writing. When people actually began reading my blog, I was floored. Even though I haven’t focused as much on the writing element of it since I got bitten by the blogging bug, I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts (on books, parenting struggles, etc) and receiving immediate feedback. I love the community, too, even though being a part of the kidlit community is creating a problem–my reading list is waaaay too long.

Q. What is it about kidlit that you love most?

A. I love reading with my third-grade daughter, and using her literature as a way to experience what she does and to gauge her reaction to certain situations (what she finds funny, what worries her, etc). However, especially with all the non-fiction I’ve been reading in preparation to judge, I have found that I really like how kids’ lit presents information in an easy-to-digest and interesting way, so I plan on reading many more biographies written for young people. I have also been reading a fair bit of fiction that is out of her age range, and I enjoy it for the same reasons (writing that is easy to read, yet high-quality and fun).

Q. What’s your favorite book that didn’t make the shortlist?

A. Because I’m relatively new to reading kids’ lit, I didn’t read that much that was released in 2006 before the nominations were out, so I have just been using the nomination and finalist lists as a great big reading list. I’m hoping to stay a bit more current in 2007, although that is not as important to me as reading what’s good.

Q. Do you and your kids ever disagree on reading choices? Tell us
about it.

A. Anyone with a two-year-old might have wondered why they love Goodnight Moon so much, and we deal with that here some, too, but for the most part I get to pick what he reads. I love Jane Belk Moncure for educational value, and Eric Carle for interesting text and pictures, and Sandra Boynton is just plain fun!

With my third grader, I stay in tune with what she’s enjoying (which, like most third graders, involves series). I try to suggest books that I think she would enjoy. Sometime she balks, not thinking that they look interesting, but my track record is almost 100%. If she reads what I pick out, she likes it. Other times she has to wait until a friend or a teacher recommends a book that I’ve already suggested.

Q. If you could have a fictional character visit you for a day, who
would it be and how would you spend the time together?

A. Maybe I would invite a literary supernanny to babysit my kids so that I could go off somewhere alone and read or browse a bookstore. I think that my kids would love to spend time with Mary Poppins or Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. Maybe I’d just get someone from the Babysitter’s Club? Or Willy Wonka? I’m not sure about his child-care skills, but if he brought candy, my kids would do anything he wanted.

Q. Send us links to two or three of your favorite blog posts from
2006 so we can showcase your writing on Cybils.

Family Book Club.
My Daughter’s Addiction Problem
Reading with a Young Child

Reviews of note:
Boxcar Children