I'm celebrating 400 episodes of All The Wonders: The Children's Book Podcast by sharing the top episodes across the history of the show. Check out my Top 10 Picture Book Episodes HERE, my Top 10 Graphic Novel Episodes HERE, and my Top 10 Middle Grade Episodes HERE. I'll leave you with one last list of podcast episodes that is by far the most self-indulgent list I've made to date.
Every now and again I'll be asked which of the All The Wonders podcast episodes is my favorite. I usually lie, like a parent when asked about his favorite child, and remark that I don't have a favorite. That is, of course, unequivocally false. Of course I have favorites. There are interviews that I leave feeling like time passed in a blink, or that the guest and I felt like old friends. Sometimes I anticipate an interview so much so that having it behind me feels like a major accomplishment. And sometimes I feel like the interview carried itself and I just got to spectate. But, in truth, my favorite part of any of the now over 400 episodes is the time I spend with guests prior to recording. Those moments are just ours and they feel sacred.
The episodes in this Top 10 were speaking out to me at the time of writing this post. I tried to indicate in some small way why each conversation is special to me. I hope you'll enjoy. And if one of your favorite episodes didn't make the Top Ten, why not share it in the comments below to let others know what episodes they should be sure not to miss?
Bring this list to your local library or independent bookstore and add your own favorites in the comments below!
MATTHEW'S FAVORITE EPISODES OF THE ALL THE WONDERS PODCAST:
The one where ED YOUNG talks about being a children's book author before that was even really a thing. (Listen to Episode 318 with Ed Young)
Ed Young, author illustrator most recently of The Cat From Hunger Mountain, stops by the podcast to talk about being disciplined as an architect, walking the book, and celebrating that stories are for everybody.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal (@missamykr), author most recently of I Wish You More (@ChronicleKids), illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld (@tlichtenheld), stops by to talk about her love letter to those that she loves, how Amy's a person who likes to make things, and how sometimes "you just have to begin".
The one where MATTHEW CORDELL shares the letter to his unborn child that became his book about making a wish. (Listen to Episode 128 Matt Cordell)
Matthew Cordell (@CordellMatthew), author illustrator of Wish (@DisneyHyperion) and illustrator of Special Delivery(@MacKidsBooks) by Philip C. Stead, stops by to talk about satisfying two vastly different audiences, throwing lines away if they don't look spontaneous enough, and the immortal work of Fred Rogers.
Molly Idle (@MollyIdle), author illustrator most recently of Flora and the Peacocks, and Caldecott honor winner for Flora and the Flamingo, returns to the podcast to talk about wanting to be liked best, exploring the dynamic that happens when you have more than one friend, and struggles to maintain balance.
David Jacobson and Toshikado Hajiri, author and illustrator of Are You An Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko, stop by the podcast to talk about the life and works of Misuzu, her sense of vulnerability in her poems, and the universal nature of her words, written 100 years ago.
The one where SALINA YOON shares something from her childhood that causes me to see my students differently. (Listen to Episode 224 with Salina Yoon)
Salina Yoon (@SalinaYoon), author illustrator of Be A Friend, stops by the podcast to talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve, her childhood struggle with reading and writing in English when Korean was the only language spoken at home, and a focus on the universality of art.
Kwame Alexander (@kwamealexander), author most recently of Surf’s Up, illustrated by Daniel Miyares (@danielmiyares), and winner of the 2015 Newbery Award for The Crossover, stops by the podcast to talk about the economy of words, the spiritual journey through the white space left on the page, and the joy and power of reading.
Monique Gray Smith (@ltldrum), author of Speaking Our Truth and You Hold Me Up, stops by the podcast to talk about moral courage, living with what you learn, and the gift of the wind.
The one where SEYMOUR SIMON, the man whose books made me a reader, tells me he's proud of me. (Listen to Episode 48 with Seymour Simon)
Seymour Simon (@SeymourSimon), author of nearly 300 books for children, talks about writing photo essays, StarWalk KidsMedia, and his journey from membership in the Jr. Astronomy Club to beloved science teacher to award-winning author.
Jessixa Bagley (@JessixaBagley), author illustrator of Laundry Day, Before I Leave, and Boats for Papa, stops by the podcast to talk about art as a mirror of her life, creating a world through illustration, and the city that took her best friend away.
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