The "Five Questions" (actually more like 7-10 questions) format gives panelists an opportunity to discuss general industry trends, as well as their individual preferences.
When considering a manuscript, what makes you stop reading?
"I have a big problem with books written in the first person present tense. It's difficult to do successfully."
What are you looking for?"
"I want to acquire books that are fun to read, that you want to keep reading."
What can never get enough of?
"The thing you think has been done a hundred times and then it's done a new way.
What are common weaknesses/pitfalls?
"Telling--side effect of the first person present tense. Sometimes you do want to tell--but can you show it? This is something that writers learn over time."
On working on revisions with an author.
"I try to find the best method of working. It can be totally different with each book."
What do you think is the most important skill or attribute that a children's book writer/illustrator can possess?
"Respect for the reader. You can tell immediately if a person writing for a teen or middle grader if they think their experiences are trite just because they are younger. It's something that you can tell immediately."