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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 scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

Listen to 2017 Caldecott and Newbery Winners on The Yarn!

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As luck would have it, we’ve recorded episodes with the 2017 Caldecott AND Newbery Medal winners. First up, author/illustrator Javaka Steptoe who takes us behind the scenes of his 2017 Caldecott Medal-winning book Radiant Child. Kelly Barnhill won the 2017 Newbery Medal for The Girl Who Drank the Moon. We interviewed Kelly about her previous […]

Throwback Thursday: Departing with Matthew Holm

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Travis: One of the most interesting parts of following graphic novel Sunny Side Up on Season 1 of The Yarn was the “departure” element of the book. Matthew and Jennifer Holm had become well known for Babymouse, but what would it be like for them to tackle a story that was very different from that well-known […]

‘There Is No Formula’ – Mo Willems Visits The Yarn

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  Travis: Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Today we have something special – an extended episode with Mo Willems. I interviewed him last June at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando. My questions focused on the Elephant & Piggie series and his answers were enlightening, funny, and honest. I think you’re gonna like this one. […]

Throwback Thursday: Comics Maker and Colorist Lark Pien (S1 E6)

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Travis: Our goal with the first season of The Yarn was to talk to people who were vital to making Sunny Side Up, but aren’t necessarily credited on the cover. You have to open the cover to learn that Lark Pien was the colorist for the book. Pien is also a cartoonist, creating the Long Tail […]

#34 Javaka Steptoe – RADIANT CHILD Unraveled

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Travis: With Radiant Child, Javaka Steptoe has created one of the best picture books of the year. On the latest episode of The Yarn, Steptoe talks about when he first discovered Jean-Michel Basquiat, the parallels in their lives, and how he created the stunning artwork in the book.   Here’s the episode:   Subscribe below to […]

#32 Kate & Cassie Beasley (S2 E3)

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Travis: The second season of The Yarn is all about the middle grade novel Gertie’s Leap to Greatness. Today, in episode 3 we head down to the Beasley farm in Georgia and hear from Kate Beasley’s mom and sister, Circus Mirandus author Cassie Beasley. If you missed the first two episodes of this season, here’s […]

#30 Kate Beasley and Jennifer Holm (S2 E1)

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Travis: Our initial idea for The Yarn: One Book, All Angles. In Season 1, we focused on the graphic novel Sunny Side Up: Season 2 of The Yarn kicks off today. This time around, we’re following Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by debut author Kate Beasley.   In this episode you’ll hear from Kate, but also […]

#3 David Levithan (S1 E3)

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Travis: Taking another walk down memory lane today as we post all our past episodes here at The Yarn blog. In this episode we talk to Sunny Side Up editor, successful YA author, and recent School Library Journal cover subject David Levithan. We hope you enjoy the episode. Click here to subscribe to The Yarn on […]

#2 Raina Telgemeier (S1 E2)

The view from our New York City hotel room after the first day of recording The Yarn

Travis: We’re taking another look back today as we continue posting all of the past Yarn episodes here on this blog. Okay, so – Colby and I (mostly Colby) had the idea for a podcast: multiple episodes focusing on the making of one book. We chose the book: Sunny Side Up by Jennifer and Matthew […]

#28 Lauren Castillo – NANA IN THE CITY Unraveled

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Travis: In the latest episode, Lauren Castillo talks about her book Nana in the City. We recorded this interview at Western High School in Parma, Michigan (the site of Nerd Camp) back in July. Here was the scene: This was the first high school classroom I’d seen with a record player: (and a fine collection […]