Skip to main content

My Three Minutes, Twenty-One Seconds of Fame

Based on my review of Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid books that posted on 10/12/09, I was asked to participate in an interview with Michele Norris, one of the hosts of the NPR show All Things Considered. First, Jeff Kinney was interviewed and fielded questions from kids, then I came on to talk about some of the aspects of the books parents might find unsavory. It was an amazing experience. I was so nervous I thought I was going to vomit, but Michele put me at ease right away and I was quickly rambling on like we were sitting at a Starbucks chatting over a cappuccino, which is exactly what she suggested I envision at the outset of our conversation.

I have my local public radio station on all day when I am home and all the time in the car and have for all of my adult life. It has been a surreal, amazing, incredible experience to be asked to come on to this show that I have great respect for and speak knowledgeably about an aspect of my passion, children's literature. And I made Michele Norris laugh!!!

So, now you can hear what I sound like by clicking this link.


Wow! Congratulations! And well-deserved. I love our site and love your reviews. I have very often bought books based on your recommendation alone and have never been disappointed.
nopinkhere said…
Wow! Congrats!
I've found a number of books I've enjoyed based on your site and I'm glad you had the chance to share your expertise with a different audience!
Mom Unplugged said…
I heard you on NPR this evening without knowing you would be on there. At the end of your interview when they said the name of your blog I thought, OMG I know her!!! I know that blog!!! She's on my links!!!

I thought you did an AMAZING job. I would have been terrified, but you sounded great and I have to say that I totally agree with your opinion of the Wimpy Kid books.

It must not be easy playing devil's advocate after an interview with a best selling author, but you pulled it off with grace and intelligence. Very impressive!

CONGRATULATIONS! I couldn't wait to rush over here and say that!
rob.schapiro said…
Heard you on NPR. Great job.
I will follow your advice and
check out the books.
It's always been a fantasy of mine
to be interviewed on NPR, too.
Tanya said…
Thanks to everyone for listening and writing in to me! It means so much to know you are out there and that I'm heading in the right direction!!
Jeremy said…
That's too awesome. You sound extremely bright and likable -- just like your written voice.
Kelly Day said…
I had no idea you were doing this- what a great tool for parents! I've read your reviews and (also by chance) heard you on NPR - amazing! I always thought kids/teen books were your niche, but not to this level of depth and commitment.
So very very cool.
Samantha said…
I heard the piece last week on NPR and came looking for your blog. Glad to have found you and congrats. I’m with you re. the Wimpy Kids books but my reluctant reader six-year old boy loves them – so what can a mom do? Well, actually we have been reading Roald Dahl for the past couple of weeks, first The Fantastic Mr. Fox in anticipation of the movie and now Matilda, but I ramble. Looking forward to reading your blog!

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…