Cover of The Bird of Time by Jane Yolen

Bird of Time, The

This is a straight-forward original fairy tale in which a miller’s son, who has the gift of understanding the speech of animals, finds a bird that can speed time up or slow time down or stop time altogether. With the bird’s help, he rescues a princess from a wicked giant. Interestingly, I began writing the

Cover of The Seventh Mandarin by Jane Yolen

Seventh Mandarin, The

An original fairy tale set in Thailand and based on a line in my kite research which said that the king had kite mandarins who flew his kite at night to keep his soul above the terrors of the night. The story, written during my Quaker phase, is about speaking truth to power no matter what the cost.

Cover of Hobo Toad and the Motorcycle Gang by Jane Yolen

Hobo Toad and the Motorcycle Gang

A bouncing adventure with a rhyming trucker, a hitchhiking toad, a motorcycle gang, and a young hero. The book began when there was a toad migration and friends had an uncomfortable time driving along the road squishing toads. They made up a song which I used with their permission.

Cover of The Wizard of Washington Square by Jane Yolen

Wizard of Washington Square, The

A boy, a girl, a dog, an inept wizard, a nasty antiques dealer, a walking table, and a great white alligator. I set this in New York City’s Greenwich Village where my husband and I met and we lived for the first years of our marriage. It is a complete romp.

Cover of The Inway Investigators by Jane Yolen

Inway Investigators, The

My first real mystery for kids, based on the little town–Conway, Massachusetts–where we then lived. There had been a rash of pet thefts and this was my take on it. Allan Eitzen who did the cover and some interior illustrations would later illustrate my poetry anthology

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