100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

12 Randomly Random Facts About BLUE FLOATS AWAY

Blue Floats Away, written by me and illustrated by Grant Snider, arrives today. I hope you get a chance to read it (it makes a great Earth Day read aloud). It received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. Parents magazine said “Who would have thought that learning about the water cycle could give you all the feels?

You can find it at these locations:

McLean & Eakin | Bookshop | Amazon

Just for fun, here are some random facts about the book:

  • The title has changed over time. It began as Bergy, then Calder, then Little Blue Floats Away, and finally Blue Floats Away. Here’s the first draft:
  • I hung this little picture up on my wall while I was working on the story:
  • The idea to call the main character Blue came from the book Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni.
  • A key moment in Blue Floats Away was inspired by this important moment in Little Blue and Little Yellow:
  • My dedication in Blue Floats Away is a Little Blue and Little Yellow homage. My son’s name (Colin) is in blue and my daughter’s name (Lina) is in yellow. When the two names overlap, it makes green.
  • There were a few things that inspired the story. One was the comic I made for The Creativity Project called Grandpa Marius, which was based on a photo prompt from Bob Shea.
  • Ever since I saw this his comic called On the Beach, I was hoping Grant Snider would illustrate Blue Floats Away.
  • Grant Snider “borrowed” construction paper and glue sticks from his kids to help make the illustrations:
  • I’ve met Grant Snider once in person.
  • Blue Floats Away took almost exactly 4 years to go from first draft to pub date.
  • This was my first time writing an author’s note. In it I explain the water cycle and climate change:
  • The book was given a March release date because of Earth Day.

Thank you Grant Snider, Stephen Barbara, Courtney Code, Pamela Notarantonio, and all the wonderful art, design, marketing, and publicity folks at Abrams.

Now that the book is out in the world, I’d LOVE to see how you’re using it. Let me know on Twitter or Instagram.

Thank you!

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. Denise Poshard says:

    Congratulations! So excited for this – it’s in my next book order for our library! Also your author’s note looks spot on for the age level of kids reading your book. So many times I see author’s notes that contains too many large words and details – yours looks wonderful!

    • Travis Jonker says:

      Hi Denise – thanks! I definitely tried to write the author’s note to kids, so thanks for noticing that! Also, Abrams did a nice job of presenting the note in large text and Grant made some nice accompanying artwork

  2. Angela Moore says:

    Travis, I finally got a copy! I love it so much!