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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
A concept book in rhyme–“See this little line/it’s mine … “–about drawing. My very first picture book. Alas, I never liked the sans serif type or the orange and purple colors. It’s difficult not to like your own first picture book.
Non-fiction about women pirates, including Anne Bonney and Mary Read (see Ballad of the Pirate Queens), this was my very first book. But it wasn’t the first time I’d written about women pirates. In fact I’d included two of them (Bonney and Read) in a little book I wrote in 7th grade. The greatest