100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes



If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s food.

Food is good.

While entire meals are great (fantastic, even), there’s another category of food that is just as near and dear to my heart. The snack.


I’ve always imagined that snacks are very important to children’s book creators. For one thing, they are often at home a lot – easy access to pantry/fridge. And if they’re anything like me, they know a snack can also be a great motivator (“I’m going to eat this potato roll with butter and get some things DONE.”)

Snacks unite us. Snacks excite us. Snacks allow us to do things we don’t really want to do.

So I decided to ask the 2015 Caldecott class to name their favorite snack. I heard back from most. Their answers were nothing short of enlightening.

(Note: All illustrations by me)


Lauren Castillo

Raw almonds and European dark chocolate are my go to’s.

PS. The salt is an art supply, not a snack.

Castillo Snacks

Almond and Chocolate


Sam and Dave

Mac Barnett and John Klassen


MAC: Hello, Jon!

JON: Hello Mac!

MAC: So T Jonks has invited us onto his blog to talk about snacks.


JON: I’ve never felt so suited to anything in my LIFE

MAC: Everybody keeps asking us about the ending of Sam & Dave, and we are

like, you should really be asking us about SNACKS.

JON: We really like snacks.

MAC: When I am at my desk and turn my head to the right, I have a direct

sightline to a tall pantry, which is where I keep all my snacks.

JON: That’s a good setup.

MAC: What is your snack setup?

JON: I do a lot of walking TO snacks.

MAC: Like you leave your house for snacks.


JON: It depends – I have a studio downtown and there are some snacks in there,

but usually i get a hankering for something that is not in there, and then i have to

take the elevator down to the street and cross the road to The Scary Downtown

CVS and get the snack I thought of.

MAC: That would be a good inspirational poster: COMMITMENT, and then a

picture of you walking to get some Swedish fish.

JON: It would need some sort of small caption underneath explaining why a

picture of me crossing the street is a really strong example of COMMITMENT,

but once that was figured out, I think you’re really right.

MAC: So it is 11:28 in the morning and here is the big question: Have you

snacked on anything today?

JON: I have had my breakfast, which is also exactly like a snack I make for

myself at other times of the day: An english muffin with peanut butter and flax

seeds on it.

I know flax seeds don’t sound like the kind of fun snack ingredient people

probably signed on to hear about, but they are very useful.

MAC: I had an English muffin with a fried egg for breakfast, which is also a snack

I make for myself a lot.

I will also confess that I am one of the people who doesn’t really want to hear

about those flax seeds.

JON: i would’ve had an egg if the frying pan wasn’t in the sink with stuff on it.

kind of an impossible situation.

MAC: Been there.

Love of eggs versus hatred of washing up.

Hate trumps love.

JON: Anyway, i really do like swedish fish.

Last year while we were on tour for Sam & Dave I was about to have gall bladder

surgery so I wasn’t allowed to eat any fat and it was awful until I figured out that

Swedish Fish were a fat free food.

Kind of a gross anecdote, but useful here.

MAC: I remember that.

I have diabetes so it was really hard resisting all those Swedish fish.

JON: Oh man.

I guess we were both going through things on that tour.

MAC: It’s all right, though, a Swedish fish every now and then is allowed.

In fact, I had a fake Swedish fish from Whole Foods right before this interview. I

think it’s called a Real Fruit Squishy Fish.

It’s not very good.

JON: How are we just having this conversation now when we spent like 90 hours

in a rental car together with me eating Swedish Fish like, 80 percent of the time.

MAC: You were so happy to find a snack that worked with your gall bladder thing.

I didn’t want to mess with that.

So I just gripped the steering wheel real hard and drove on.

JON: oh man.

MAC: Good tour though.

JON: Yeah! Lots of good snacks.

MAC: It’s true, there were a lot of good snacks.

English Muffins


Viva Frida

Yuyi Morales

My favorite snack! I love this.

Ok, It is chunks of pineapple dipped in yogurt with a spoonful of peanut butter and sprinkled with chile powder. If you use Miguelito chile powder (which is one of the main ingredients of the famous Mexican chamoys) the better! I run my creative engine with this kind of snack. I think that is why my work feels to me all sweet and sour and spicy.



The Right Word

Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet

Melissa Sweet:

My snack of choice is a Macoun apple with peanut butter.

Apple and PB

Jen Bryant:

I love this idea!

In fact,  I am just NOW reaching for my favorite snack: a Pennsylvania-made soft pretzel. My preferred kind is “with salt, but plain” . . . but I also like to eat them with peanut butter.



This One Summer

Jillian and Mariko Tamaki

Jillian Tamaki:

Butter tarts (ed. note: Her love of these pastries is well-documented here.)

Butter Tart

Mariko Tamaki:

The smoothie.




Dan Santat

Buffalo wings.



Thank you to all the authors and illustrators who shared.

While writing this post, I came across something similar – Snacks of the Great Writers.


About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Well, that was an utter delight. Thank you! Read this while drinking my AM latte (from a 22-year-old temperamental racecar-esque Rancilio Silvia espresso machine that only my husband and I can operate) and I expect my reading for the day will be all downhill from here.

    Also, I would pay to see a staged version — I’m seeing two tall kitchen stools and a black box theater — of Klassen and Barnett doing a 2000-Year-Old-Man-like convo.

  2. Brilliant idea! Well done on asking a question different and intriguing enough to get such fine responses.

  3. Super fun post, Travis! Thanks for starting my day off with a smile.

  4. Kathy Ishizuka says:

    Travis, my friend, you are truly insane. I can’t help but smile back at the snacks – I favor the buffalo wing. What a cutie. Mac and John, they do go on, don’t they? Here’s to changing up the tenor of our comments, if just for a day.

    • Travis Jonker says:

      Ha! I’ve never taken “insane” as a compliment before, but that’s what I’m going to do. Thanks for your comment, Kathy!

  5. As a fan of snacks, picture books, Jillian, Mac and Jon, and Dan, and everyone else here, this post is fantastic. I also love your snack drawings, Travis – excellent work!

    I think Wendy MacNaughton deserves to be credited for her drawing of snacks, too – I’m a fan of her work, but it took a minute of digging to figure out if this was hers or Grant Snider’s (another excellent drawer of funny things).

  6. Oh my goodness, so cute so awesome! Now I’m hungry!