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.
This is the second book that my three children and I have done for National Geographic, the first being ANIMAL STORIES.
NG asked us to do the first book, we pitched the second. I made a rough outline and once NG gave us a contract for the book, we divided up who would do which sections.
My third and last (I swear) Holocaust novel, hung on the armature of Hansel and Gretel, about twins Chaim & Gittel who are 14 when the Holocaust begins and they and their parents are moved from a lovely cozy house with a front and back yard
My old friend (ex-student of mine, then a member of my critique group, winner of the Jewish Book Award among other citations—Barbara Diamond Goldin—and I decided to write a book that would be feminist, 21st century midrashim about the girls and women of the Hebrew Bible. That meant for most of them
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
Third rhymed picture for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology with pictures by my old friend Bob Marstall. Each one about a place and a resident kind of bird. In this one a boy on the beach works hard to rescue a sea star (starfish) from greedy gulls passing it around from beak to beak.
Son, Adam Stemple, and I wrote this second book of our graphic fantasy novel noir mystery trilogy. The first book, Stone Cold, set, as this one is also, in 1930s Edinburgh, Scotland. stars Silex, a talking gargoyle on top of a church in Scotland who works as a detective, assisted by a team of Scottish street urchins who do the grunt work.
Hard- hitting political poetry for adults. Remember—-I lean left. Far left. So Trump & Co. get no kudos from me. I began writing the poems slightly before the vote, Finished it in January when it was published. Wonderful intro by Bill Newman, head of the Western Mass ACLU, a writer himself. And Civil Rights lawyer.
My first book of short stories with Tachyon, a small San Francisco Press. (Think The Little Engine That Could because everyone there does double and triple duty—with full heart!) These fantasy stories are all about fantasy worlds (Wonderland, Neverland, Oz, Camelot)