How do children’s librarians keep up with the rapid publishing of children’s books? We read on the bus, listen to audiobooks while we clean, keep track of starred reviews in journals, and talk to each other. Podcasts are another exciting avenue for learning about buzzing titles, getting to know authors, and understanding the creative writing process. Here are seven of my favorites:
Publisher’s Weekly PW KidsCast
Esteemed book reviewer Publisher’s Weekly interviews contemporary authors of youth and young adult materials to talk about their upcoming and well anticipated book. In 20 minutes or less, each author talks about their latest work, weaving in tales from their own lives, and the events that led to their books. Out of all of the podcasts listed here, PW KidsCast is especially great because they publish new material frequently, almost weekly. Guests have included Maggie Stiefvater, Rick Riordan, and Brian Selznick.
The Guardian’s Children’s Books Podcast
The Guardian is a British daily newspaper that also produces fun programs and podcasts, such as this one that focuses on current kids’ and teen books. The creators of buzzing juvenile books often make an appearance, talking about their latest work and inspirations, sometimes diving deeper into their own childhoods, issues with society, causes that they are fighting for, and more. On occasion, the creators will read passages from their book. Celebrated authors and illustrators Jacqueline Wilson, Sally Gardner, Jeff Kinney, and David Leviathan have made appearances.
Ranging from picture books to teen titles, The Yarn goes behind the scenes to interview authors and illustrators, unraveling their creative processes and inspirations in this short podcast. Most titles are contemporary, or to be released! Authors that they have talked with include Jennifer Holm, Raina Telgemeier, Salina Yoon, Chris Grabenstein, and Rebecca Stead.
The Picturebooking Podcast
Focusing on picture books, this podcast mostly interviews creators, discussing their latest book, their artistic techniques, their career, culture, and more. This podcast also dives into the publishing process, giving amateur writers guidance. Author-illustrators Molly Idle, Dan Santat, and Peter Brown have spoken here.
Scholastic, a well-known publishing company of books for children and teens, launched this podcast in 2015 to talk about the world of children’s books, literacy, and libraries. Episodes have ranged from talks with literacy experts about enhancing summer reading programs, to prestigious art and writing awards, to literary campaigns. This is a great podcast to learn about emerging trends in culture and activism concerning books and youth.
Kids on Comics: Father and Son Comic Book Talk
A father and son discuss kids’ comics and graphic novels in this endearing podcast. The duo prefers superheroes and popular graphic novels, and together they give listeners a synopsis of their chosen read, sharing their likes and dislikes. The father asks his son questions to help him develop his critical thinking skills, and it’s always fun to hear a kid’s perspective in an atmosphere where we heavily rely on professional reviewers for our selections. Father and son have talked about titles such as Dogs of War, Cardboard, X-Men, and Zita the Spacegirl.
The Split: A Young Adult Book Review Podcast for Readers and Writers
For readers who love young adult books, this podcast passionately reviews the new, popular, and buzzing titles to be released of teen literature. Creators talk about their new work in 30 to 60 minutes, with an interviewer asking thought provoking questions. I only hope that this podcast will come out with new episodes, since it was last updated in December 2015.