It is no secret that I am a huge Emily Dickinson fan. I already published THE EMILY SONNETS (Creative Editions), MY UNCLE EMILY (Philome Booksl) and loads of poetry about her and a short story which won the Nebula for short stories, “Sister Emily’s Lightship”. (Tor). However, This is the first time my plot revolved around Emily as a child.
The publisher says: “Jane Yolen is an award-winning author, poet, and teacher. She has written more than 365 books, including What to Do with a Box, illustrated by Chris Sheban, and the Caldecott Medal—winning Owl Moon, illustrated by John Schoenherr. The Educational Book & Media Association honored her
So I had a brilliant idea. Humorous poems about stinky animals. Lots of back matter. You know–skunk, stink bug, mink, ferret,. Had a moment’s doubt that there wouldn’t be enough. Google set my mind at rest. Talked to daughter Heidi about doing the book with me.
This board book began years ago as a poem in a collection called DRAGON NIGHT & OTHER LULLABIES. From there it became a song with music by Lui Collins, a wonderful folk singing friend of mine with who I’d written many songs both for children and adults.
This 6 book series, coming out two books a year for three years, began as a single book as part of a collection of board book manuscripts I had written under the collective title WATER BABIES. That collection of board books has yet to find a publishing home, but Jeff Salane, one of my editors
A lyrical book about a little boy, his obsession with the moon, and how he becomes an astronaut who gets to walk on the moon. And though the book is dedicated to Neil Armstrong, it’s not about him. It’s about desire, dedication, and hard work. In fact, the very things that created the book itself.
So, I got an email asking for a short story for a new dragon anthology and thought: I am SO done with dragons. But no sooner had I said that aloud, then my traitor mind responded: “The tsar’s dragons were harrowing the suburbs again.” The next three or four sentences spun out quickly.
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.