One Impossible Farewell Before Breakfast

h1 September 7th, 2022 by jules


Hey there, dear 7-Imp readers. It’s been an immensely rewarding 16 years of blogging here at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast (that makes the site downright elderly in blog years), but I’m here today to say I’m clearing the coffee mugs, wiping the table, and closing up the breakfast nook.

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 (and just keeping up with blog-related email became a lot like a full-time job). 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. (Also, there are more books I want to read. Ironically, blogging about reading takes time away from reading.)

Thank you to all of the authors and illustrators who have stopped by here to share their talents over the past 16 years.

Thank you to Blaine Danielson (whom editor Liz Bicknell once called “Mr. Jules”) for keeping up with 7-Imp’s behind-the-scenes maintenance here at WordPress (“Blaine, there’s another new plugin!”), for finding and then adapting this blog’s template, and for generally keeping it running.

A shout-out to Eisha Neely, who started this whole thing with me back in 2006 when I was at home with a baby, having stepped away from a school library position, and desperate to talk books again.

And the hugest, most sincere, and infinitely warmhearted shout-out of all to Jone MacCulloch, Little Willow, and Rachel Phillips who — for 15 years straight, nearly without fail — have visited here on Sundays to “kick” with me. Steadfast and true, those three. Even after most people stopped leaving comments at blogs and started leaving comments about blog posts at social media sites where posts are shared (this is a thing now), those three kept coming here, every Sunday, to share a bit of themselves. Lately, it’s consistently been just the four of us every Sunday, and I will miss that. I’m sorry to take away their kick space, but they will always be my friends. (As for kicks, there were some weeks it was hard to find some, but I always managed to. That was a good exercise in gratitude, which I believe can keep a person healthy.)

My favorite thing about blogging has been sharing art and illustration, but I’m also grateful for the people I’ve met because of it, the friendships I’ve made, and the opportunities it has provided me — jurying in Bologna in 2012 being my favorite. (I still miss the cappuccinos.)

I will likely share one more post. Sophie Blackall plans to stop by and talk about her beautiful new book. But that will be it for 7-Imp.

I raise my coffee mug to you, 7-Imp readers. Thanks for sticking with me.

p.s. I will still review picture books elsewhere. I’m not going away!

77 comments to “One Impossible Farewell Before Breakfast”

  1. Thank you so much, Jules, for being a bright light and a champion for so many of us and our books! What you did here is incredible and will be missed, but we couldn’t have asked for a drop more. Cheers, friend!

  2. Aw, sad to hear this; will definitely miss your posts. But THANK YOU for 16 years of blogging that truly set the gold standard for so many of us. You have created an incredible resource for all who love children’s literature, and I am grateful for the many, many illustrators I have “met” in this space. Good Luck on your next adventures. You are the BEST. xo

  3. Jules, you are an inspiration! Thanks for this body of thoughtful work, and for Wild Things, and for coming to Huntsville to speak for ALLA a day before you had planned in 2013…hugs and love and light!

  4. Thank you for all the wonderful posts. I will miss them, but I’m glad you’re getting more time for other things you love.

  5. I’m so glad we became friends, Jules. You’ve had a grand blog run and so many of us appreciate all of the care and passion you bring to your appreciation of children’s books. Here’s to you! Xoxo Farida

  6. So grateful for you, Jules, and for Eisha, and for Blaine, and for all the Imps throughout the years! Thank you for being a place filled with books and illustrations and connection and hope and kindness.

  7. We’ll miss you! Have loved your blog over the years and appreciate all the time and energy you gave to it. Thank you!

  8. You’re the best, Jules!

  9. Huge thank you for all your bookish insights over the years. Here’s to your next adventure, wherever it may take you. But first, a cup of coffee (or the beverage of your choice) and then maybe a nap.

  10. I have been so inspired over the years by the interviews and the art you’ve covered. Best wishes!

  11. So grateful for your voice and love of children’s books. Thank you. Onward to new adventures!

  12. Dear Dear Jules:
    Thank you for the many years of sharing a plethora of delicious, nutritious, and illuminating children’s book heart/art.

    I confess I let out a sigh of relief when you closed with “…I will still review picture books elsewhere.”

    “You better you better you bet!”, as the song goes!

    Here’s to your generosity and wisdom. I look forward to spotting you here and there and everywhere I go.

    Warmest wishes,
    Joy Chu

  13. Dear Jules
    Thank you so much for all the years you have dedicated to this wonderful place and picturebooks. I have always admired your unique way of talking about picturebook making way and shall miss your it very much.
    Take care

  14. You are one of my blogging heroes. I totally understand your reasons for moving on especially the part about regaining time for reading but I will miss your work. I’m in Australia but I often talk about US books on my blog and then link to your pages. Huge thanks for your insights and generosity. Best Wishes.

  15. One last comment on the blog. One last thank you. See you in another form. Hugs

  16. Thank you for years and years of wonderful posts and fantastic book finds. Your blog has literally shaped our bookshelf and changed the way we use our library – constantly requesting books we might never have heard of otherwise to share in our home and in our communities. Can’t wait to find your reviews in other locations, but this will be surely missed!

  17. Thank you so much for your consistent blog on new illustrators and seasoned illustrators. I have learned so much from each entry; how they approach the script, how they generate their art, and how they’ve revealed their ups and downs. Your posts were a treat for me as I navigated the world of children books as an amateur illustrator. Surely will be missed.

  18. Thank you so much for all the art and insight and generosity and kindness over the years-wishing you so much joy always!

  19. I’ve been a steady reader but not a commenter, but I will be sad to see you go. It’s hard to step away after doing something for so long, but it is absolutely true that writing about reading takes time away from reading. I hope that you enjoy your extra time and have many fond memories of your blogging years. Best wishes!

  20. Dear Jules,
    You have been an inspiration and a bright light in our days! Thank you for all your work and generosity in bringing such beauty and insight – it’s been a joyful wonder and magical nourishment for the spirit! I will miss you and your guests so very, very much, but wish you all the best adventures and happiness!

  21. Jules, You are one of my favorite humans, and I’m always excited about the new projects you get up to. I raise my mug to all the work you’ve done and the community you’ve built as well as to what’s to come for you!

  22. Thanks for your kindness, Jules. All the best to you.

  23. Thank you for this blog! It was a regular part of my weekly blog reading and it will be greatly missed! Thanks to your blog I’ve learned of so many phenomenal authors, illustrators, and topics. Many, many thanks!

  24. What a magnificent footprint you have left in the digital strata, Jules. But it extends into physical reality, and feels timeless. Thank you for all you gave (and undoubtedly will continue to give) to the kidlit community. Championing books, their creators, and showing a peek behind the curtain at all that goes into bringing a story into today’s world.

    Raising my mug of tea to you and with you from afar.

  25. I’ve read Seven Imp for years and there will be a hole now that it’s gone. But I’m so thankful to you, your husband, and everyone else involved that you invited us more deeply into the world of children’s books and their creators. I wish you all the best in your upcoming ventures and adventures!

  26. Dear Jules, Thank you so much for your years of hard work, insightful reviews, thoughtful interviews, and for your love of the art of the picture book! You’re a hero in your own time. Best wishes on the next steps!

  27. Thank you thank you thank you a Million!

  28. Thank you for so many wonderful posts for 16 years!

  29. Congratulations on your “retirement” and a HUGE thank you for all you have given us in your rich and fascinating posts for so many years! I’m glad the archives will still be available because they provide a beautiful model and resource for the study, appreciation, and celebration of children’s literature, especially the art of the picture book. Well done! Now go have fun doing other new, amazing things!

  30. Thank you, Jules. I learned so much from this blog and look forward to your future nuggets of wisdom, whereever they may be.

  31. A chapter has closed in the Kidlitosphere indeed.
    It’s been such fun; you and Eisha were some of our first blogging friends Way Back in the Day, and the shape of things has changed so much since then – in children’s lit AND in our lives – but I’m glad some things never change, and that there will always be the books – and the friendships.

    Cheers and thanks for all the breakfasts.

  32. Jules, you brightened my world with your posts and I will truly miss reading you. BUT you earned this, Girlfriend! Life is short (and fragile). Be you. And know you made a difference to a LOT of readers, children and adults! Brava!

  33. Cheers on so many wonderful years of sharing with your devoted readers! Your blog has been a completely invaluable resource for me as I began my change of careers to illustration and children’s literature. I was absolutely ravenous for the amazing interviews you shared here. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  34. Thank you for this gift you’ve given to the world of children’s books and illustration over the years! Enjoy your retirement, and may your archive live on and on and on ❤️

  35. Dear Ms. Danielson,

    I want to thank you for your contribution to the worlds of kid lit and librarianship. I started working as a Youth Librarian 7 years ago and have been following your blog for that long and have always ALWAYS loved your focus on illustrations, lifting up and bringing to light fresh, new and marginalized illustrators. Thank you for creating this space – it has been an honor to check it every week and then make my holds list impossibly long with all the finds. You and your class on picture books is the primary reason I looked into and enrolled in UTK’s MLIS program, which I began this fall. Best of luck with all your new/ongoing endeavors and enjoy the extra time – I look forward to continuing to read your work in The Horn Book and hopefully one of these days you’ll have me in your class.
    Thank you again and again!

  36. Dear Jules, You and everything 7 imp will be dearly missed and I fear you will most certainly leave a void that no one else can fill. Your blog has been a daily stop for me since the moment I stumbled across it year ago and always feel a little extra joy when there’s a fresh new post. I wish you all the best in whatever comes next! Cheers to you, fellow book lover!

  37. Jules, I have started many a morning reading your insightful book reviews and being introduced to numerous illustrators and their wonderful art. I will miss this experience that you generously made possible for all of your readers. It’s bittersweet when it’s time to move on but other things are calling you. Wishing you the best.

  38. Best blog ever! Thank you for this wonderful resource. It is a gift to anyone interested in the art of book illustration. Happy reading, Jules!

  39. Dear Jules,
    Whenever I have wanted to get the best information on picture books, this is where I come. Time after time, I have linked to your site when I write about a book. You always have the best insights and your knowledge is wide and deep. I have missed coming here on Sundays, but I am glad that trio remained steadfast. We all should be looking for kicks each week. I understand many of your reasons for retiring from blogging. Thank goodness for your archives. I, even though my blogs are far from as thorough as yours, have been struggling to maintain any kind of consistency in posting. The hours it takes to write and research a post do take away from reading. I started out blogging every day and now it is hard to blog two or three times a week. I wish you all good things. And like I said in a tweet. I would love to see you again and chat with you about books. Much love and best wishes, Margie

  40. Hoorah hoorah! So many hours of delight you have gifted us all! What you created is epic. This entire Archive is a treasure. Thank you for connecting us with gorgeous art, grand stories, and remarkable creators. Thank you Jules for all the good you put into the world.

  41. It has been a pleasure reading all the back “issues” of your blog up to present (now that *I* have time)! Best to you filling your newfound (new-taken?) hours. Looking forward to seeing you elsewhere both online and in person. All best, Alice

  42. Wow—the end of an era for sure. Your blog coincided with the birth of my children and pretty much the beginning of my picture book career. Now, we are all teenagers of sorts and I am feeling so much gratitude for your early encouragement and cheerleading and inspiration and so much more. I am glad you will continue to be a voice in our community—wishing you all the very best. xoxo

  43. THANK YOU!!! I’m sad to see you move on, but I’m beyond grateful for your presence here. From your amazing picture book class at UT (summer of 2008? ) to reading your blog, your thoughts at Calling Caldecott, etc., you’ve been a refreshing voice in my head.

  44. You’ve been an amazing resource since I first started out in children’s librarianship, many *cough* many years ago. Thank you for everything!

  45. Aw, say it ain’t so! The effervescent one is leaving the breakfast table! Thanks for all these years of great posts and promoting new talent. I wish you all the best.

  46. Thank you for sharing your time, wisdom, humor and expertise! Thank you for allowing me to be on your blog! It’s been an honor. Best of luck, and enjoy! 🎉🤗

  47. What they said. I can’t express it any better than these wordsmiths in their outpouring of admiration and gratitude.While I will sorely miss your virtual presents and presence, my infinite kicks are that I get to see you in person!

  48. Thank you for everything you’ve contributed to the world of children’s literature. Having maintained a blog for 13 years, I know how much time and dedication it takes, and I understand why you’ve decided that it’s time to move on to new things. Best wishes for the next chapter!

  49. Thank you for this blog and for all your work in the field of Children’s Literature that have the changed the lives of so many of us! I have loved your blog for years, and while I have often not commented, I have enjoyed reading it so much. I so admire your tireless work, your endless kindness to everyone who writes to you, and your dedication to excellent writing and even more excellent children’s literature and art. Wishing you the best and most satisfying moves forward. You will be missed here!

  50. You’ve brought us so much joy, inspiration, comfort, and connection through your insights, interviews, and kicks over the years. Your love of and appreciation for picture books is incredibly contagious and uplifting. Thank you for all your dedication and hard work, and for sharing so much of yourself. Clinking coffee mugs with you—here’s to many more fantastic adventures! *clink*

  51. Thank you so much for these many years of a serious labour of love. I have been following you on and off since, I think, your second year, and I feel so grateful for all the wonderful books and authors I’ve learned about, and also your more personal reflections. I’m very unchatty, so I’ve hardly ever commented, but please know how much I appreciate all the years, and how much I totally understand the ending of it.
    Thank you for many happy years of weekly, or monthly check-ins!

  52. Thank you all for the kind comments. They mean a lot.

  53. Jules! Ahh! I have loved 7 Imp for absolute centuries. Thank you for creating 7 Imp, sharing things to us that (changed my life), and also sharing my work (changed my life). This is a richly deserved sit down. I am mourning but of course applauding. You are the best.

  54. Jules, The space you have created here— for the celebration and elevation of picture book art— is my favorite space online. (George Saunders’ Story Club being second.) I have lost count of how many times you’ve shared a book or illustrator that became a source of joy and inspiration in my life and career. I have treasured the deep dives into picture book process that you’ve shared. In my early years of wanting to be a book illustrator, it was a significant part of my education. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You will be missed. And I wish you all the best in your next adventures!

  55. You have been stalwart, wise, and joyful for the past sixteen years and I will miss your deep dives into books I care about. But I am also glad for you to have a break, to broaden your horizons, to have TIME. Thank you for all you have done and for everything to come, whether you choose to share it widely or not. I’ll always be grateful.

  56. You and 7-imp will be sorely missed! And yet I look forward to seeing your new adventures and iterations! Thank you for these past 16 years of endless inspiration, of generosity and support, of sneak peaks into the studios and the creative process of book makers I love and admire. 7-Imp has been an incredible resource and an act of love. Thank you so much! Carin

  57. You and 7-imp will definitely be missed. I have stopped by every couple of weeks for close to 11 years to read and catch up on your posts. You have been a true source of inspiration and I am now sorry for the few comments I have left over those years. Thank you for your dedication in sharing so many books and stories with us.

    Best wishes on all things you choose to do going forward and I hope we get to read about some of them!

  58. Hi Jules! I will miss your posts, your reviews, your humor – everything about 7-imp! I wish you the best in your new endeavors. I will still look out for your reviews! Thank you for focusing on my favorite genre – picture books! I am hoping your website will still be available so we can still access your content. Happy Reading!!

  59. Jules! Your work here has been an incredible gift to us all. I started reading your blog many, many years ago. (My up-and-coming illustrator feature was in 2013!? How can it have been so long already?) I’ve learned an incredible amount reading and looking at all the wonderful things you’ve shared on here. And of course, found my wonderful agent through being featured. Thank you so very much for all of this! I’m so grateful. I’ll miss visiting here and finding new art and books, but hope you find some wonderful new ways to fill that time! Thank you, thank you!

  60. A bouquet of gratitude for gifting us your fine quality blog these 16 years. I will miss 7 Imp!!! It has been a rare space for illustrators like me. (Will there be continued access to that wonderful archive?)
    Sending my best wishes as you rest and refresh and redirect.
    Thank you.

  61. Thank you.

  62. Many, many thanks for all of the beautiful posts and amazing artwork shared — it’s been a joy to read.

  63. Thank for a WONDERFUL run and a treasure trove of archives! May this open up more space for whatever you need and want it to. <3

  64. I just had the chance to read this post! Thank you so much for the time you have given over the years. I followed your blog religiously in the beginning of my time working for public libraries, and it was such a gift- both as a library worker and as a writer. May the hours you are gaining be full of sweet memories.

  65. Hello, Jules! I totally understand your decision. I can only imagine how time-consuming this thoughtful and gorgeous labor of love has been. I’ve loved visiting over the years, knowing I’d be inspired by the beautiful artwork (and creation stories) I’d find here. THANK YOU! I hope your daughter loves college and that you, too, can begin a new and happy adventure! ♥️

  66. Thanks again. Everyone. I really appreciate it.

  67. I want to be the “Julie” of Julie and Julia but books instead of recipes-I aspire to go back and read every one of your lovely posts, Jules. Thank you for your dedication all these years, it is a gift.

  68. Jules, I’m grateful you have spent the hours and effort over so many years to create this amazing resource. It will remain for future generations and thousands upon thousands of future readers to enjoy as they explore the art and minds of so many talented artists and writers, including you. Your skillful writing is like a good friend: genuine, humorous and supportive. Thank you.

  69. Thank you for this gift Jules! Your blog has been such an important part of my education as a book maker and an invaluable resource for me as an educator. I wish you good spirits, health, and peace as you turn your attention to other endeavors. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  70. My school year has been such that I’m just now reading this farewell! Your blog has been a go-to resource for getting the inside scoop, and bringing the people and the processes of picture bookmaking alive for kids. Getting a glimpse behind the curtain has deepened the experience for so many of us. I am sad to see you go, but totally understand your reasons. Thank you so much for the years you’ve devoted to 7-Imp!

  71. Well, that’ll teach ME a lesson — never again to wait so long to think, “Hey, I wonder what’s up at 7-Imp…?” 😉

    This has surely been one of the most spectacularly successful runs which any blog anywhere has ever had, fulfilling the promise of what it means to communicate (one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-many) week after week after week (and often 2 or more times a week!). I found 7-Imp early in my own blogging run and found inspiration here more often, and more predictably, than you could ever imagine. This — and you (and Eisha, and I guess Blaine too!) — are, well, avatars.

    (I hope Blaine has archived all the content here???)

    While we didn’t work out a crossing of paths IRL during my (and The Missus’s) 2-year road trip, now that we’ve settled within reasonable proximity, I hold onto the hope that it’ll still be possible someday…

    Best to your fam and of course especially to you, Jules — with deep gratitude for what you (and the Imps and Kickers!) wrought, so consistently, over the course of so many years!

  72. You will be missed! You’ve been a key part of my collection development choices for years and years. Thank you. Your book discoveries and reviews have always been stellar. I wish you the best in your next endeavors.
    ~ Anna

  73. Thank you, everyone!

  74. I’ve so enjoyed reading over the years. I completely understand reclaiming time. You will be missed.

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    Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

  76. […] imps. If you read my official farewell post — in which I announced that I’m finally going to sit down for some breakfast (which is, […]

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    out of curiosity He walked over and asked the mahout that was in the area. “Why does the elephant just stand there? Don’t you plan to run away?”

    The mahout then replied: “When they were still young. It was tied with the same size rope. And at his age it was considered tight enough. Even as they grew older, this thin rope still bound their legs. causing them to still not think of running away Because their hearts already believed That this thin rope makes it impossible to escape anywhere.”

    The only reason why the elephant didn’t run away That is, the heart believes that there is no way it can be. that it can escape

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