As a child, I loved to read anything I could get my hands on. I was a weekly school library and public library visitor, spent my birthday money on books, and had full shelves of beloved series I read again and again. I would have loved the opportunity to sit down with my favorite authors (though truthfully, I probably would have been too shy to do so) and hear about how their stories came to be. While that wasn’t a possibility, today’s young readers have the world of podcasts at their fingertips, which bring favorite authors right into their homes and vehicles. Here are five of my favorite children’s literary podcasts for your listening pleasure.
The Children’s Book Podcast with Matthew Winner
Hosted by elementary library media specialist and webcomic author Matthew Winner, this podcast feels like you’re listening in on a chat between good friends, where one of the good friends just happens to be the author of your favorite book. The conversations range from the serious to the silly, with Winner expertly navigating the path between professional and personal stories. Perfect for both elementary and middle grade listeners, this was one of the first podcasts I listened to, and remains one of my favorites.
A podcast dedicated entirely to picture books! The podcast used to be part of the All the Wonders website and has recently moved to its own new home. So pardon their dust, but don’t miss out on all the past and future podcasts showcasing such names as Aaron Reynolds (Creepy Pair of Underwear), Patrick Wensink (Go, Go, Gorillas), and Dan Santat (Rodzilla).
Books Between is exactly what it sounds like: a home for “between” readers, ages 8-12. This middle grade area can be murky. Readers are seeking more complex characters and plot, while still too young for some of the content found in young adult novels. Books Between guides listeners, showcasing the best that middle grade has to offer with author interviews, literature roundups, and trending topics in middle grade literature.
Book Club for Kids
A mix of primarily middle grade (some of my favorite titles!) and young adult books, this is a great listen for those who are in transition between the two targeted age groups. Each episode features a different book, ranging from classics like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Old Yeller, to contemporary favorites, such as Wonder and Crenshaw. The accompanying website is also a fantastic source of information, including blog posts, resources for parents and teachers, and title recommendations from readers.
Ever wonder how your favorite story came to be? The Yarn has everything you need to know. Episode by episode, librarian Travis Jonker and teacher Colby Sharp, both well-known in the world of children’s book literature, dissect your favorite books, from idea to publication, and beyond. It’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at everything that goes into a story. The podcast is housed at the School Library Journal website, and the blog also contains bonus content and links to other interviews and happenings in the children’s book world.
What have you been listening to lately?