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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.

Throwback Thursday: Playing Fact or Fiction with Jennifer and Matthew Holm

Early draft of SUNNY SIDE UP by Jennifer and Matthew Holm

Travis: We had it all laid out. The first Season 1 of The Yarn was supposed to be eight episodes. I made four. Colby made four. We were all set. But as we were listening to the tape of Jennifer and Matthew Holm interviewing each other (for episode eight) an additional episode emerged – one […]

‘Do You Want to Hear My Joke?’ Betsy Bird’s FUNNY GIRL

Image Credit: Amy Ignatow

Travis: Betsy Bird is funny. It only makes sense that she would want to help bring funny into the lives of young readers. Last spring I sat down with Bird at the Evanston, IL public library to talk about her all-female humor anthology Funny Girl. In this episode Betsy shares how it all went down: from […]

Listen to New Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarita Engle on The Yarn

ME

Travis: How’s that for timing, folks? Last week we released our episode with Margarita Engle and then the Poetry Foundation goes and names her Young People’s Poet Laureate. If you missed the episode, you can listen below. Subscribe below to catch every episode of The Yarn. Click here to subscribe to The Yarn Newsletter

Throwback Thursday: Jennifer and Matthew Holm Interview Each Other

Early draft of Sunny Side Up by Jennifer and Matthew Holm

Travis: It was the summer of 2015 and we were all set up to record an interview with Jennifer Holm for the final episode of the first season of The Yarn (we weren’t sure if we would continue past that first season at the time). We did the interview and we were set. We thought. […]

Only In Dreams: Jon Klassen (Part III)

We Found a Hat Spread

Travis: This is the third and final installment of our podcast trilogy with Jon Klassen. Click here for Part I Click here for Part II When I first read We Found a Hat, I was struck by how it managed to feel different from the first two books in Klassen’s hat-themed trilogy, yet still clearly […]

More Hat: Jon Klassen (Part II)

This Is Not My Hat

Travis: Today is part two of our three-part series with Jon Klassen. Last time he was talking about I Want My Hat Back. Today’s episode is all about This Is Not My Hat. This Is Not My Hat has become one of my all-time favorite read alouds. I read it with students every year at […]

Talking About Hats with Jon Klassen (Part 1)

I Want My Hat Back

Travis: Do you remember reading I Want My Hat Back for the first time? I bet you do. With a combination of unique execution and a daring ending it quickly became the “have you read this yet?” picture book of 2011. Its affect on the world of picture books is still being felt today. Two more hat-themed books would […]

Duncan Tonatiuh Talks FUNNY BONES

Funny Bones

Travis: Funny Bones is one of those books that’s garnered so much critical acclaim I feared they might run out of places to put all the awards. I had a great time talking to Funny Bones creator Duncan Tonatiuh about the process of becoming an artist who makes books for kids, and the inspiration behind […]

*NO SPOILER ALERT* Minh Lê Visits The Yarn

Finish

When I found out Minh Lê was writing picture books, it made me happy. I’d been following him online for years and knew he was a creative guy. In his debut book, Let Me Finish! (illustrated by Isabel Roxas) Le pours that exuberant creative spirit onto the page with wonderful results. Also, it smells good. […]

Listen to 2017 Caldecott and Newbery Winners on The Yarn!

Radiant

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 […]