10 episodes

Rooted in the belief that our world needs the magic of children’s literature now more than ever, the Reader’s Heart podcast captures conversations with authors and illustrators about children’s literature as a vehicle for empathy and joy in a dark world.

The Reader’s Heart Podcast Jennifer LaGarde

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 20 Ratings

Rooted in the belief that our world needs the magic of children’s literature now more than ever, the Reader’s Heart podcast captures conversations with authors and illustrators about children’s literature as a vehicle for empathy and joy in a dark world.

    The Reader's Heart | Guest: Chris Baron

    The Reader's Heart | Guest: Chris Baron

    In this conversation, Chris Baron chats with Jennifer about the power of children's literature in shaping readers' hearts and helping them navigate tough situations. Chris shares his own experiences as a reader, giving a shoutout to his 3rd grade teacher, and how books became a stable presence in his life. They also discuss the influence of comics on both their readers' hearts. Chris shares the inspiration behind his book The Gray and its themes of mental health, self-acceptance, and the role of technology. Chris talks about the importance of empathy and storytelling in connecting with young readers. He also shares his upcoming projects, including an anthology of passover stories for middle grade readers.


    Show notes and other information related to this episode (including a discount code from Bookelicious) can be found here.







     
    Chapters:
    00:00 Introduction and Roles as a Reader and Writer
    04:23 The Power of Children's Literature
    11:36 Discussion of The Gray
    23:00 Themes in Chris Baron's Books
    31:43 Upcoming Projects
    34:32 Conclusion and Gratitude

    • 36 min
    The Reader's Heart | Guest: Chris Barton

    The Reader's Heart | Guest: Chris Barton

    In this conversation, Chris Barton joins Jennifer to chat about his reading habits, research process for nonfiction books, and the importance of balancing serious topics with joy in children's literature. They discuss the role of personal experiences in writing and the impact of books in helping children cope with tragedy. Chris shares his love for book dedications and the inspiration behind his webcast on the topic. They also touch on upcoming projects.


     



    Show notes and other information related to this episode (including a discount code from Bookelicious) can be found here.
    Chapters
    Chapters
    00:00 Introduction and Fan Moment
    00:54 Connecting Story to a Reader's Heart
    01:37 Chris Barton's Reading Habits
    03:03 Setting Reading Challenges
    04:27 The Research Process for Nonfiction Books
    06:34 Balancing Serious Topics with Joy
    08:34 Making Historical Events Relevant and Safe for Kids
    09:48 Personal Experiences and Writing for Young Readers
    11:39 Children's Literature as a Guide Through Life
    13:11 The Influence of Personal Experiences on Writing
    14:14 The Role of Reading in Coping with Tragedy
    17:23 Meeting Favorite Authors
    18:27 Recommendation for Jennifer Ziegler's Book
    19:16 The Importance of Joyful Reading
    20:41 The Power of Graphic Novels and Personal Reading Preferences
    23:34 Nonfiction as a Joyful Pursuit
    24:46 The Fascination with Book Dedications
    29:51 Working on Multiple Books Simultaneously
    31:43 Upcoming Books and Projects
    34:46 The Book Dedications Podcast
    38:19 Conclusion

    • 37 min
    The Reader's Heart | Guest: Corinna Luyken

    The Reader's Heart | Guest: Corinna Luyken

    In this episode, author/illustrator Corinna Luyken joins Jennifer to discuss her lifelong love for reading and the influence of her early library experiences. She shares how her passion for language and poetry led her to become a picture book author and illustrator. Corinna emphasizes the power of picture books in fostering connection and inclusivity, and the importance of asking better questions. She also discusses her book ABC and You and Me and the inspiration behind it. In this conversation, Corinna and Jennifer discuss the importance of movement in learning and how it can be incorporated into educational settings. They also explore the power of inclusive illustrations in children's books and the impact they can have on readers. Finally, they touch on Corinna's upcoming projects, including a book about a community of people who are very good at arguing and an ocean-themed book.
    Show notes and other information related to this episode (including a discount code from Bookelicious) can be found here.
    Chapters
    00:00 Introduction and Personal Connection
    01:19 Early Love for Reading and Library Experiences
    02:18 Influence of Language and Poetry
    05:22 Connection Between Read Aloud Experiences and Becoming a Picture Book Author and Illustrator
    08:49 The Power of Picture Books and the Golden Age of Picture Books
    11:21 Themes of Connection and Inclusivity in Picture Books
    15:29 The Importance of Connection and Asking Better Questions
    20:36 The Book 'ABC and You and Me'
    27:50 The Inspiration Behind 'ABC and You and Me'
    32:42 The Importance of Movement in Learning
    36:16 Creating a More Inclusive World Through Books
    37:40 Upcoming Projects

    • 36 min
    The Reader's Heart | Guest: Saadia Faruqi

    The Reader's Heart | Guest: Saadia Faruqi

    In this conversation, Saadia Faruqi joins Jennifer to chat abouther journey as a reader and writer, as well as the importance of representation in children's literature. They also delve into Saadia's books, including Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero and Saving Sunshine, and the inspiration behind them. Saadia shares her experiences as a writer and the impact she hopes to make with her stories. The conversation highlights the need for diverse voices and perspectives in literature and the power of storytelling to create understanding and empathy.
    Show notes and other information related to this episode (including a discount code from Bookelicioius) can be found here.
    Chapters
    00:00 Introduction and Building Relationships Online
     
    02:08 Saadia's Journey as a Reader
     
    03:28 Saadia's Journey as a Writer
     
    05:44 Writing Books for Underrepresented Readers
     
    11:06 Yusuf Azim Is Not a Hero
     
    18:07 Saving Sunshine and Writing a Graphic Novel
     
    24:14 Upcoming Books and Projects
     
    26:19 Importance of Saadia's Work
     

    • 27 min
    The Reader's Heart | Guest: Jasminne Mendez

    The Reader's Heart | Guest: Jasminne Mendez

    In this conversation, Jennifer chats with Pura Belpré honor winning poet Jasminne Mendez, They discuss Jasminne's reader's heart and the power of children's literature. They also delve into the inclusion of chronic illness in Aniana del Mar Jumps In and the importance of poetry in conveying the story. Jasminne talks about the power of storytelling, and her future projects including a YA novel in verse centered around theater and activism. 
    Show notes and other information related to this episode (including a discount code from Bookelicioius) can be found here.
    Chapters
    00:00 Introduction and Pura Belpré Win
    03:18 Jasminne's Reader's Heart
    07:20 Reading with Her Daughter
    11:49 The Power of Children's Literature
    15:17 Inclusion of Chronic Illness in 'Anayana Del Mar Jumps In'
    20:21 The Shame and Complexity of Chronic Illness
    25:19 The Importance of Poetry in 'Anayana Del Mar Jumps In'
    29:02 Crafting the Novel in Verse
    30:41 Upcoming Projects
    32:14 Writing and Publishing Process
    34:22 The Power of Storytelling
    35:23 Future Projects

    • 37 min
    The Reader's Heart | Guest: Lisa Fipps

    The Reader's Heart | Guest: Lisa Fipps

    This week, Lisa Fipps joins Jennifer to discuss the power of children's literature and its ability to shape hearts and offer survival tools for readers. Lisa shares her early reading experiences and how books allowed her to escape her challenging childhood. They discuss Lisa's book And Then, BOOM! and how it reflects her own experiences of poverty, abandonment, and hunger. They also explore the importance of representation in children's literature and the need for books that address topics like dementia. The conversation concludes with a discussion on the importance of asking for help and giving back.
    Show notes and other information related to this episode (including a discount code from Bookelicioius) can be found here.
    Chapters
    00:00 Introduction and Friendship
    02:04 The Power of Children's Literature
    02:23 Lisa's Early Reading Experiences
    03:20 The Impact of a Book on Lisa's Childhood
    04:16 Lisa's Desire to Explore the World
    05:12 Using Books to Escape
    07:00 Lisa's Childhood Hiding Spots
    08:26 Finding Hope in Books
    09:52 Authors Lisa Admires
    10:44 Lisa's Writing Process
    12:49 Writing for One Person
    13:41 Lisa's Book 'And Then Boom'
    19:10 Reflecting Personal Experiences in And Then, BOOM!
    23:24 The Importance of Representation in Children's Literature
    24:17 Recognizing the Commonality of Childhood Experiences
    29:10 The Impact of Poverty on Children
    32:42 The Importance of Asking for Help and Giving
    36:48 Lisa's Future Projects
    39:26 Conclusion and Book Recommendations
     

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

InAHollowTree ,

Great new kidlit podcast

I was excited to see a new kidlit podcast with a diverse guest list of incredible authors. The interviews have been great! Looking forward to more.

Gradyryan1 ,

Jerry Craft

Just listened to the Jerry Craft interview and really thought about “how often does a little white kid aspire to be a black character?” And the importance of telling just regular stories not always trauma based stories with people of color. Great interview and very sorry to hear about his son. 😞

Becalzada ,

The Reader’s Heart: a must-listen!

The Reader’s Heart is a podcast for anyone who loves kidlit! Jennifer LaGarde’s passion for literacy, the power and impact of books, along with her attention to the nuances of storytelling allow her the opportunity to have in-depth conversations with incredible authors that readers need to know about. You won’t want to miss out on these episodes!

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