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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.

‘This Book Changed My Life’ Derrick Barnes Visits The Yarn

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Travis: Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut was one of my favorite picture books of 2017. I wasn’t alone. In this episode, I talked with author Derrick Barnes about how one of the most beloved picture books in recent memory came to be. We hope you enjoy the show. Subscribe below to catch every […]

‘Every book is a conversation’ Kate DiCamillo on LOUISIANA’S WAY HOME

Louisiana's Way Home

Travis: Louisiana’s Way Home is Kate DiCamillo’s first middle grade sequel (or more accurately in this case, companion novel). It also marks a return to first-person writing – something she hasn’t done since Because of Winn Dixie. It was a pleasure to talk with her about how these two things came to be. We hope […]

A Debut Author in His Own Words: Travis Jonker on the Path to The Very Last Castle

The Very Last Castle

Travis: Get ready for a different sort of show. It’s about The Very Last Castle (my book with Mark Pett), but it’s also about creativity, perseverance, and self-doubt. I say stuff in this episode I’ve never said to another human. All the internal stuff that people fight through when trying to make something and share it with […]

LIVE with 2018 Pura Belpré Award Winners!

Pura Panel

Travis: This one was a pleasure. Today we have a special LIVE episode with a panel of 2018 Pura Belpré award winners: Ruth Behar (Lucky Broken Girl), Pablo Cartaya (The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora), Celia C. Pérez (The First Rule of Punk), and Juana Martinez-Neal (La Princesa and the Pea). It was recorded at the […]

‘I don’t know if I could have written this novel five years ago’ Cynthia Leitich Smith on Hearts Unbroken

Cynthia L. Smith

Travis: It was a pleasure to talk with writer (and Cynsations mastermind) Cynthia Leitich Smith about her latest book, Hearts Unbroken: In the episode, Cynthia talks about the real-life experience that inspired the story, her typical writing day, and the benefits and challenges of having your mom as your superfan. We hope you enjoy the episode: […]

Not on The Yarn: Minh Lê on All Things Considered

Not on The Yarn

Travis: The title of this post doesn’t exactly fit – Minh Lê has been on the show before: But he was also recently on NPR’s All Things Considered talking about his book with Dan Santat, Drawn Together. Lê shares how he drew inspiration from his own life for the book, a story of communicating across […]

Not on The Yarn: Thi Bui on NPR’s All Things Considered

Not on The Yarn

Travis: I really wanted to add a (Yet) to the title of this post – we would love to have Bui on a future episode. But at least we have this appearance on All Things Considered. In it, the Caldecott Honor winner (A Different Pond) focuses on her Eisner Award-nominated graphic memoir, The Best We […]

Coming Soon(ish) on The Yarn

Travis: Here are a few of the children’s book creators who will be appearing on the show in the coming months: Coming soon . . . pic.twitter.com/d0SBNba2rG — The Yarn (@theyarnpodcast) July 14, 2018

Collaborators: Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

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Travis: Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen have worked together to make some of the most indelible picture books of the last decade. Colby sat down with the duo at the NCTE conference to discuss their work and how they make books together. We hope you enjoy the episode. Subscribe below to catch every episode. Click […]

Kat Yeh on Writing with Emotional Honesty

The Way to Bea

Travis: Colby interviewed Kat Yeh last fall at the NCTE conference. She takes us behind the scenes of her sometimes challenging writing process for her middle grade novel, The Way to Bea.  It was a great conversation. We hope you enjoy the show. Subscribe below to catch every episode. Click here to subscribe to The Yarn […]