Hi guys! So if you've been anywhere in the book blogging world lately, you probably know that this week is Book Blogger Appreciation Week. As a part of BBAW, there is a book blogger interview swap. We're very excited to be interviewing Roberta from Wrapped in Foil. Roberta is a scientist, writer, and mother who reviews children's books. Her blog is great if you're a parent looking for good books for your kid or just someone who's a little kid on the inside. To visit Roberta's blog, click HERE. Roberta also has a science blog called Growing With Science. Make sure to stop by Roberta's blog to see her interview with us and find some great children's books. Also, stop by the BBAW Interview Swap Day pageto check out the rest of the interviews! Without further ado, let's welcome Roberta!
Okay, so we're going to start out with a really random but fun question. What is an interesting fact or two that not many people know about you?
I once helped build a boat out of cardboard that actually floated on a lake and carried people.
That's actually really cool. That must've been loads of fun! So, you review children’s books, what made you decide on that genre to review? What got you interested in it?
That is an easy question. When my son was born, I wanted to read to him every day like my mother had for me. As with many new parents, I wasn't knowledgeable about current children's books, so I had to start researching what was out there. Every year my son's interests and needs changed and I kept researching. The more I discovered, the more I became committed to promoting children's literacy.
Children's books remain appealing to me for a couple of reasons. I love the art in picture books, I'm definitely a visual person. I admire how children's book authors are able to distill a huge mound of information into a few perfectly chosen words. To me, that is more impressive than authors who chug out a series of books with thousands of words.Reviewing children's books has an added benefit: I can read a children's book quickly when I want to do a last minute review. I probably would give up book blogging if I had to finish a full length book each time. :-)
Besides children’s books, what are some of your favorite types of books to read?
I read a lot of adult nonfiction (science/nature), but I also read some fiction and I have been a mystery fan forever. This month, in addition to the review books, I have been reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett, books from the Mrs. Pollifax mystery series by Dorothy Gilman, and Words in a French Life by Kristin Espinasse. I especially like the last one because the book is based on her blog. I am always inspired by bloggers who get published. I will be adding Wither and a few others I was on your blog to my TBR.
Well we're glad you found some new books to add to your pile on your blog. Anyway, on your blog you mentioned that you started blogging as part of National Novel Writing Month, what got you interested in writing?
When you love books, it isn't much of a leap to realize you want to have your own out there.
That makes sense. We always thought it'd be cool to have a book of our own, too. Okay, now for another fun question. If you could meet any one person in the world, from the past or the present, who would it be and why?
When I was in graduate school, the building I worked in was named for a man and his wife. Her name was Anna Botsford Comstock. Intrigued, I looked into the story of her life. It turns out she was the first woman professor at Cornell University. She was an artist, teacher, prolific writer and outstanding naturalist. She wrote the Handbook of Nature Study in 1911, and it is still in press today. I would love to go back to her time and talk with her.
Why? Because she had so many diverse interests (similar to mine) and was successful enough to break barriers.
We always love to hear what someone’s favorite part about blogging is. So what is your favorite part about blogging, what gets you excited about it?
Blogging has so many benefits; some tangible, some not so tangible. I think everyone loves to hear comments about what they posted, to know someone read what they wrote and cared enough about it to reply. It is wonderful to get to know other bloggers, in particular, which is why I signed up to do the BBAW.
I really like the visual aspect of blogging, too. In some of my other blogs, I post quite a few photographs. Getting to play with images and color is fun, and it so easy using blogging software.
Yeah, we saw lots of those pictures not only on your book blog, but on your science blog. How does your love of science influence your reading and/or writing?
Being a science/nature geek definitely influences my reading, because I do tend towards science-related nonfiction. As for writing, I have to say because I learned how to do scientific writing first, it has probably been a hindrance to creative writing. Scientific writing is full of the passive voice, for example, which is a big no, no in English class.
You’ve been blogging for quite a while, how has blogging changed your reading tastes or your writing style, if at all?
Actually, I was hoping that blogging would improve my writing, but I find that readers give no feedback about the writing itself, and without feedback it is hard to improve. I do think it helped me with finding different voices, especially with the different blogs. I can probably gather my thoughts and get something down on paper more quickly, too.
Now for a last fun question. Both of us are kind of twitter fiends, and we love to find new and interesting people to follow. Who is one of your favorite people to follow on twitter and why?
After playing with lists and such, I decided the best way to treat my diverse interests was to have two Twitter accounts, @RobertaGibson for books/writing and @ScienceAntics for geeky science/nature stuff. In the children's book world, @FuseEight is definitely the person to follow.
Again, thank you to Roberta from Wrapped in Foil! Also make sure to follow all the fun happenings of Book Blogger Apreciation Week and check out all the other interviews to learn more about your follow bloggers.
xoxo and love always,
Shelbie and Amanda