Interview with Jen Robinson

Monday, December 17, 2007.

Jen RobinsonThere’s a feature of children’s books that’s often talked about, though a surprisingly high number of people are not willing to admit; you don’t have to be a child to enjoy one. In fact, you don’t even need to have a child to pick up a children’s book and read it.

Those who are in on that belief are passionate about children’s books in a way that’s near impossible to measure. Take, for example, Jen Robinson. In many ways, she’s redefining that passion. Her blog, Jen Robinson’s Book Page, is a showcase piece of the kidlitosphere, a community of bloggers and podcasters that promote children’s literacy, picture and young adult books and the people behind them.

On this edition of Just One More Book!, Mark speaks with Jen Robinson about her love of children’s books, the tools she uses to promote literacy and tackle literacy related issues, and a new children’s literature portal.

Photo: Jen Robinson’s Book Page


Comment by Jen Robinson

December 17, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

Thanks so much, Mark and Andrea! Mark, it was great talking with you. I actually enjoyed listening to the podcast, even though I’m generally quite self-conscious about listening to myself. That’s a strong statement about what a great job you do making people feel comfortable, and putting the podcast together in a technical sense. Thanks!

Comment by Erin

December 17, 2007 @ 6:01 pm

Great job Jen! I really enjoyed listening. I liked what you said at the end about letting kids read what they want to – I read TONS of Bobbsey Twins and Boxcar Children books when I was little and obviously that didn’t harm my reading tastes later on in life. 😉

Comment by christine tripp

December 18, 2007 @ 10:42 am

Very good interview Jen and now, having been introduced to your blog, I’ve book marked that for future reading. Of course, you can tell that Mark and Andrea are also two adults who love reading children’s books, but USE their girls as an excuse to do so:)
I am also a “hooked on kid lit” adult. Even if I was not making my living in this industry, I would still love reading YA novels and MG chapter books, plus, of course Picture Books. Not only are they a faster read then most of the adult fare, they are also, very often, better written IMO.
My children are all grown up but you will still find me in the children’s book section checking for the newest Junie B. Jones title, I have collected them all. Love the combo of Barbara Parks and Denise Brunkus. Honestly, I laugh out loud at these little books and haven’t done that with an adult book in years.

Comment by Lisa C.

December 18, 2007 @ 5:59 pm

Very fine interview, Mark and Jen! I especially liked the discussion of why children’s books appeal to adults. I’m looking forward to experiencing the Kidlitosphere portal when it’s ready!

Comment by Jen Robinson

December 18, 2007 @ 11:42 pm

Thanks so much for listening to the interview, Erin, Christine, and Lisa, and for taking the time to comment.

Clearly, Erin, your reading tastes weren’t harmed by anything that you read, and you ended up loving books, and coming an asset to the children’s book community.

Christine, I completely agree (obviously) about reading children’s books. And you raise a point that I didn’t think to mention in the interview – children’s books are just more fun to read, and filled with laughter. One of my personal favorites these days is Clementine – I can just hear her voice in my head, and she makes me smile.

Lisa, one of my earliest blog posts was called “Why You Should Read Children’s Books as an Adult.” I think you could relate. I’ll definitely be reporting about the portal one of these days, so stay tuned.

Thanks again to all of you, and to Mark and Andrea!

Comment by christine tripp

December 20, 2007 @ 8:08 am

Jen, I had purchased the first Clementine book about 3 months ago and had a bit of a hard time seperating her “voice” from Junie B, since I had read sooooo many of them. I wasn’t sure if I could accept Clementine for what she is and not constantly compare the two characters and the two writers. I had to read “Clementine” a second time to fully appreciate it and have it stand alone, and it did:)
(I also had to struggle to get over not being the illustrator for the books…. that is taking a little more effort and time on my part:)

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