This mammoth collection was my first song book. Babbie Green is a good friend and professional musician. (Her father, Johnny Green was a Hollywood composer and arranger.) We had a ball working on this. I picked all the songs, found the written music or sung it into a tape recorder and
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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