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.
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.
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
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.
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.