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Inside The Yarn

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

Everything Is Upside-Down: The 2008 Newbery and Caldecott Medals

childrensawards

Travis: Before we even made the first episode of The Yarn podcast, we’ve wanted to do an episode on the 2008 Newbery and Caldecott medal winners, and unforgettable year that challenged assumptions about what kinds of books could win the most prestigious awards in children’s literature. In today’s episode, Brian Selznick and Laura Amy Schlitz […]

Not on The Yarn: Matt de la Peña and Loren Long

Not on The Yarn

Travis: Matt de la Peña and Loren Long were recently on NPR’s All Things Considered, reading from and talking about their just-released picture book, Love. It isn’t that often that a picture book author and illustrator sit down and talk about the making of a book together, so this was a treat. Click here to listen.

Our Top 10 Most Popular Episodes of 2017

Top 10

Travis: It’s the last day of 2017, which seems like a good day to share our 10 most popular episodes of the year. Let’s count them down from 10 to 1: 10. Melissa Sweet – SOME WRITER! Unraveled: 9. Angie Thomas – THE HATE U GIVE Unraveled: 8. Margarita Engle – LION ISLAND Unraveled 7. […]

A Conversation with the Ambassador: Gene Luen Yang

naypl_feature_gene_yang

Travis: In just a couple weeks, a new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature will be named. It seems like the perfect time to chat with Gene Luen Yang, the guy who currently holds the title. A few things covered in this conversation: How Gene’s career began with some indirect help from the Teenage Mutant […]

‘The Book Started Probably When I Was in Elementary School’ Jack Gantos Visits The Yarn

Jack and I

Travis: I sat down with Newbery Medalist Jack Gantos last July at Nerdcamp. His passion for turning kids on to writing is on full display in his latest book, Writing Radar. In this episode, Jack talks about his first experiences as a writing teacher, and as a new author visiting schools for the first time. […]

Tom Angleberger on the Evolution of the Origami Yoda Series

Origami Series

Travis: Doing a podcast with a friend is fun. One reason is because Colby and I both usually record our interviews solo. So I get to listen to interviews Colby has done and they are totally new to my ears. This episode is a perfect case. Colby talked to Tom Angleberger all about his Origami […]

A Note from The Yarn

Yarn Note

Angie Thomas Goes Behind the Scenes of THE HATE U GIVE

The Hate U Give

Travis: It was such a pleasure to talk with Angie Thomas about her bestselling YA novel The Hate U Give, one of the true must-reads of 2017. We hope you enjoy the episode. Subscribe below to catch every episode. Click here to subscribe to The Yarn Newsletter

Not On The Yarn: Philip and Erin Stead on NPR

Not on The Yarn

Travis: Picture book makers Philip and Erin Stead have a new book out – one co-written with Mark Twain. The story of how this book came about is fascinating stuff, and NPR captured the whole thing on audio. Click below to listen.

A LIVE All-Star Bonus Mega Special Picture Book Maker Episode: Kuo, Cordell, Pizzoli, Santat, Collier

Picture Book Panel

Travis: This was fun. At the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago this past summer, I moderated an all-star panel of picture book makers – Julia Kuo, Matthew Cordell, Greg Pizzoli, Dan Santat, and Bryan Collier. It was a blast. I’m pleased to say we recorded the whole thing. It’s full of humor, wisdom, snack […]