The Yarn
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, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

Top 10 Episodes of 2018: Number 1: Colby & Travis


Travis: And the most popular episode of The Yarn in 2018 was . . .

Top 10 Episodes of 2018: Number 2: Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

Mac and Jon

Travis: And the 2nd most popular episode of The Yarn in 2018 was . . .

Top 10 Episodes of 2018: Number 3: Katherine Applegate


Travis: And the 3rd most popular episode of The Yarn in 2018 was . . .

Top 10 Episodes of 2018: Number 4: Kate DiCamillo

Louisiana's Way Home

Travis: And the 4th most popular episode of The Yarn in 2018 was . . .

Illustrating the Creation of the Universe with Ekua Holmes

The Stuff of Stars

How did Holmes go about illustrating the creation of the universe for THE STUFF OF STARS? It began with marbleized paper.

Our First-Ever Year in Review Episode


Travis: A couple nights ago, Colby and I did something we’ve never done before: with recorders running, we talked about the year in children’s books. I wasn’t sure how it would go – we usually put out short episodes that are edited and produced. Typically, aside from the intros and outros, you almost never hear […]

Fantasmagorical: Abby Hanlon Visits The Yarn


  Travis: Since the show began, one of the people I’ve most wanted to have on The Yarn is Dory Fantasmagory creator Abby Hanlon. It’s my favorite chapter book series right now, and to hear Hanlon talk about how it came to be was such fun. We hope you enjoy the episode.

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


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 […]