End of an Era: Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast Hangs Up Its Hat
There is surprisingly little difference between writing in memoriam for a blog and for a friend. In our current day and age, when I see that someone has left the children’s literature world, either figuratively or literally, one of the first things I do is go through old emails to see what my first correspondence with that person might have been. Today, I looked at my communication with Jules Danielson, the creator of the most successful children’s book illustration blog to date, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. The very first email written between us was when Jules reached out to myself and some other bloggers on January 4, 2007 asking for advice regarding blogging and ARCs/galleys. As such, I like to think that we’ve been friends for 15 years. That’s a good chunk of time. And then yesterday Jules posted One Impossible Farewell Before Breakfast. She writes:
“Blogging here at 7-Imp has always been a labor of love, my hobby on the side. But I find that I have simply run out of the bandwidth to post. It has truly been a struggle lately to find the time. But honestly, I’m also interested in reclaiming some of that time, the hours that go into keeping up (what I hope have been) high-quality posts. There are other things I’d like to get back to doing, new things I want to try, and people I want to spend more time with.”
In the history of children’s literature blogs, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast (or, simply, 7-Imp) stood out. It was originally started by Jules and her friend Eisha Neely, and then by Jules alone. Throughout the years, the site didn’t simply highlight some of the finest illustrated books for kids out there but conducted in-depth interviews, featured preliminary sketches from books, and sometimes highlighted up-and-coming artists that needed a little spotlighting. When Jules and I wrote Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature together with Peter Sieruta (another blogger) I was honored that someone with Jules’ range of knowledge was willing to work on such a project with me.
It’s a little scary when someone you’ve known for so long moves on to other things, but that’s simply the way of the world. 7-Imp changed the landscape of the children’s book world in its own way. I’ll have a little 7-Imp shaped hole in my soul from here on in, but I’m happy that Jules will be out there trying new things, reviewing in other places, writing books, and generally being awesome.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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