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Cover of It All Depends by Jane Yolen

It All Depends

I worked on this little rhymed book while we traveled for nine months through Europe, before we had children. But even then I knew the kind of mother/child catechisms of big and little, loud and soft–and how-much-do-you-love-me. Bolognese’s drawings of an African-American family were way ahead of their time.

Cover of The Longest Name on the Block by Jane Yolen

Longest Name on the Block, The

A very New York City book fueled by our recent European trip and the Prince spaghetti commercials of the day in which a young Italian boy is summoned home by his mother’s shouting. This book is about a boy whose name is so long it’s a botheration.

Cover of Greyling by Jane Yolen


This is the story of a selchie, human on land and seal in the sea, who is adopted by a fisherman and his childless wife. They raise the boy, Greyling, and keep him from the sea, fearing that if he turned back into a seal he would never return. And then one fateful day, Greyling dives into the sea to

Cover of WORLD ON A STRING: The Story of Kites by Jane Yolen

World on a String: the Story of Kites

This book includes everything I ever found out about kites through my father’s involvement with them. Actually the first book I ever wrote was one I ghosted for my father–The Young Sportsman’s Guide to Kite Flying. I had to write it the way he wanted me to–as well as to fit into the series of

Cover of The Emperor and the Kite by Jane Yolen

Emperor and the Kite, The

This story about a Chinese emperor who is saved by his youngest and most insignificant daughter won a Caldecott Honor Book in 1968 for illustrator Ed Young. It was the first of three books that I have done with him. (The others: Seventh Mandarin and The Girl Who Loved the Wind.) He used a

Cover of Isabel's Noel by Jane Yolen

Isabel’s Noel

A Christmas story in which the hapless little witch Isabel (named after my beloved mom, Isabelle) ends up helping Santa on Christmas. This sequel to “The Witch Who Wasn’t” followed the editor from Macmillan to Funk & Wagnalls. Roth’s deliciously

Cover of The Minstrel and the Mountain by Jane Yolen

Minstrel & the Mountain

This small sized book is an original folk tale, about two warring kingdoms and how a minstrel teaches them about peace. It is dedicated to my cousin Honey Knopp who was a longtime peace activist.

Cover of Trust a City Kid by Jane Yolen

Trust a City Kid

This novel was written with my best friend in New York City. It was inspired by a comic strip in which two boys find an overturned truck carrying horses to the glue factory. In fact this book is about a Fresh Air child, an African American boy, who goes to the farm of a Quaker couple and their

Cover of The Witch Who Wasn't by Jane Yolen

Witch Who Wasn’t,The

A silly tale of a little witch named Isabel (not my mother, Isabelle who was never a witch) who cannot spell correctly. That is–her spells go all wonky. In the end she learns that being different makes the difference. Something kids still need to know! Roth’s quirky, pun-filled illustrations seemed ahead

Cover of Gwinellen: The Princess Who Could Not Sleep by Jane Yolen

Gwinellen: The Princess Who Could Not Sleep

My very first (and over long) fairy tale, a romp about a princess who can’t sleep and how her father the king tries everything in his power to help her. But of course it takes a gifted outsider to tell her what she needs. This story was fueled by my interest in James Thurber’s fairy tales