Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Yarn


If you have not had a chance to check out Colby Sharp's and Travis Jonker's new podcast series, The Yarn, you must check it out!!!

I am not a good listener so I have never paid a whole lot of attention to podcasts.  I have tried a few but never got that interested in anything. I liked to SEE things while I listened. I have several friends who have recommended podcast series but I just didn't get it. They all seemed a little long and boring to me.

But then last week, Colby Sharp and Travis Jonker released their first season of their new podcast series THE YARN.  If you go to their Twitter page (@theyarnpodcast), this is described as: "A narrative of adventures. Travis and Colby go behind the scenes of children's literature in this narrative style audio show." The podcasts are produced by BkPk.Media, a site that shares narrative style podcasts centered around education.

I have to admit, I only listened to the podcast because Colby is my friend.  I knew it would be good, but remember,  I didn't like podcasts. And I had to learn how to subscribe to and play podcasts on my phone. It was big work.  But SOOO worth it.  I was expecting to like it because Colby and Travis are incredible,  but I wasn't expecting to LOVE LOVE LOVE it! The podcasts are GENIUS. I had no idea what was possible in a podcast until I listened to the first episode. Not only are they packed with fascinating information--the story behind the book told in such a distinct and brilliant way--but these podcasts are entertaining and powerful all at once.

The first season of The Yarn focuses on the new graphic novel, Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm and Matt Holm. I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of this at the Scholastic Reading Summit and it is an incredible read. The podcasts add more to the story, give the reader more to think about and are just really fun to listen to.  It's like you are hanging out with Travis and Colby and all the cool people they talk to.

I had to listen to the first podcast twice because I was blown away by the way that it was crafted. I kept thinking it was a genre or something that was totally new to me--a type of story I have never experienced and one that I am totally hooked on now.  After I listened to it twice, I made my husband listen to it. He loved it. Then we went to dinner with friends (Tony Keefer, Julie Keefer and Katie DiCesare) and we spent the first 15 minutes of dinner talking about how amazing the podcast was! 

Not only did I enjoy the podcasts as a listener, but as a literacy teacher, the whole digital creation piece was fascinating to me. I couldn't help but think about what an amazing mentor this would be for young writers.  And I can imagine the power of sharing these episodes after reading Sunny Side Up. 

So, you've heard enough from me! Now, if you haven't already started listening, you'll want to do that right away! You can access/subscribe to the podcasts on iTunesStitcher and Travis's Blog.
And if you get totally obsessed with these podcasts like I did, you can read a bit about the launch of the series and learn about the episodes in this season at School Library Journal's blog.  You can also get lots more information about the series by listening to the podcast on Let's Get Busy where Colby and Travis talk about the origins of The Yarn (another amazing site filled with brilliant podcasts by Matthew Winner at The Busy Librarian blog that you'll also want to check out.)

And I just found out that we, as listeners,  have the chance to support more seasons of The Yarn by donating at their Kickstarter site. Check out what Colby has to say about the podcasts and the Kickstarter and think about giving a bit for them to continue this great venture! 



2 comments:

  1. I'm totally with you Franki. I've never been a listener of podcasts but I fell in love with The Yarn.

    I agree with you about it being its own genre. Have you read the book Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone by Cathy Fleischer and Sarah Andrew-Vaughan? According to them, genre is much more expansive than we tell students. Anything with a structure and conventions can be a genre. A restaurant menu can be a genre of writing. An author bio is a genre of writing. So yes, I would say The Yarn has created its own new genre of writing. :)

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  2. Thanks for letting me know. Not sure how I missed it. It's now on my Stitcher.

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