Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Yarn Podcast - A Must-Listen for Educators, Readers, and Fans of Graphic Novels

Those of you who already follow #kidlit Twitter stars like Colby Sharp, Travis Jonker, or Book Whisperer Donalyn Miller have probably already binged on The Yarn, a new podcast from Sharp and Jonker which made its debut this August. The Yarn followed the genesis of Sunny Side Up, the newest graphic novel from brother/sister team Jenni Holm and Matt Holm, of Baby Mouse fame. I don't know that I've ever written a first paragraph so full of links, but it is fitting that a brief write-up of The Yarn would be jam-packed with them, given that the podcast itself was incredibly rich and managed to fill each of its seven episodes with big names and delightful details of YA literature. 

After an introductory episode explaining the premise of their podcast, Sharp and Jonker jumped right into their interviews, starting with graphic novel celebrity Raina Telgemeier. Telgemeier's books are perennial favorites in my 5th Grade classroom library, and to date they are the only books which prompted students to create a rogue checkout system in order to minimize the wait time for Smile, Drama and Sisters. Much like her books, Telgemeier's interview was captivating and immediately had me (and many others, judging by my Twitter feed) hooked on The Yarn. Subsequent episodes were equally enchanting. From interviews with Sunny Side Up's publishing team, cover artists, and colorists, to the final episodes in which we heard from the author and illustrator themselves, every episode of this podcast was a must-listen. I found myself thinking about the genesis of some of my favorite YA lit in a brand new way, and as someone who loves knowing "how things work," I was fascinated to hear the process of publishing Sunny Side Up dissected and approached from every angle. 

Upon the release of the final episode, Sharp and Jonker tweeted out a link to their Kickstarter, which they hoped would fund a second season of The Yarn. It came as no surprise to any of us on Twitter who were eagerly tweeting about this podcast that the Kickstarter campaign reached its goal within 24 hours. With 22 days left, the campaign has nearly doubled that goal, which leaves fans like me hoping that Sharp and Jonker will be making Seasons 2 and 3 of The Yarn.