Resources for Owl Moon from Scholastic — Grades Prek-k, 1-2, 3-4, 5
I was in my final year of college when the Rocky and Bullwinkle fractured fairy tale show was on so never watched it. (And my dorm had no tv.) The next year, living in New York City in 1960, working as an editor, again no television. By 1962 I was selling my own picture books and as far as I knew, invented my own kind of fractured fairy tales.
The Yolen-Stemples are a family of birdwatchers. (I must admit I am the least of them.having been a city girl the first fourteen years of my life.) My late husband David Stemple grew up in the mountains of West Virginia. And our three children began early, because David (“Pa” in OWL MOON) taught them how to bird.
This verse novel began as a bunch of different poems about Baba Yaga,my culture hero. I’d read a bit of a blog in which the author purports to be Baba Yaga as a love columnist. The columns were particularly snarky and strong. So I wrote a poem about Baba Yaga as a love columnist and then branched out into writing poems about her in general: having tea with Kostchai the Deathless, (When he kisses the Baba on the cheek, “it leaves a scar.”) or how she feels about her cousin the witch from Hansel in Gretel.
It took Heidi and me close to fifteen years till this book finally came out. I tried it as a picture book, a middle grade novel, an easy-reader. When Heidi signed on and we did it together as a picture book (MUCH better than my first feeble attempt) we actually had a book. Scholastic bought it and put the very inventive John McKinley