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The Last Robot (and other science fiction poems)

I had been writing poems for a science fiction magazine in Scotland. (I have a house in Scotland that I spend a lot of the summer at, so it’s not as big a stretch as you think.) Because they had already published a lot of my sf poems, they asked if I would like to do a small paperback book of sf poems and I was delighted to be asked.

Something New for Rosh Hashana

This little board book just kind of wrote itself, and the wonderful first Jewish publisher I showed it to fell in love with it and brought it out swiftly as a board book.

Black Dog Poems

Peter and I had dated for two months in college. He was known as the Williams College Poet at that time, and I as the Smith College Poet and someone (neither of us remember who that was!) thought it was a good idea to have us meet. We spent the entire two months discussing poetry,

Big Bold Beautiful Me

My first-born granddaughter Maddison and I had written a book called “When Nana Dances With Me” when she was ten and was a young ballerina in Amherst Mass. As I had been at Balanchine’s School of American ballet in NYC years and years ago. And we loved to dance together in my kitchen.

Giant Island

All books have a back story and this is a fun one. An editor I did not know (who has become a dear friend) asked me for her publisher (of a company I did not know then) if I could help edit/rewrite a picture book. They had gorgeous illustrations that told the story, but the illustrator’s writing skills were not up to his artwork. That sort of thing is always a stretch.And can be a spiderweb of good intentions that ends up killing everyone involved.

Cover of Knowing the Name of a Bird by Jane Yolen

Knowing the Name of a Bird

This began as an interesting quote I read in a birding magazine, moved on to a poem (I write a poem a day and send them out to over 1,000 subscribers) and at last-with some additions and fiddling– a picture book with my favorite publisher of truly elegant books, Creative Editions.

Cover of Arch of Bones by Jane Yolen

Arch of Bone

So, twenty years or so ago, I had an idea to write a kind of middle grade sequel to MOBY DICK in which a fourteen year old boy in 1860s Nantucket hears a knock on the door early in the morning. His mother, who has been sick on and off all winter is still sleeping. His father is first mate on a whaler that is overdue. The boy opens the door and sees a stranger standing there.

Cover of When Nana Dances by Jane Yolen and Maddison Stemple-Piatt

When Nana Dances

Written with my ten year old granddaughter, Maddison Stemple-Piatt, and sold ten plus years later. (She is now in law school!) And the publishing company who bought it–Magination Press–hadn’t been running yet in its current form. Both Maddison and I were young ballet dancers and dancing remained in both our lives…

Cover of How Do DInosaurs Say Goodbye by Jane Yolen

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodbye

Originally written when my editor Bonnie Verberg (who started the Dino-sty as I call it) was let go by Scholastic. It was to be the last book in a multi-million copy world-wide series of picture books. My granddaughter Maddison, then age 24 wailed, “That’s my entire childhood, gone….!” Then cooler heads prevailed at Scholastic and so it is no longer the last of the dinos.

Cover of Eeny Up Above by Jane Yolen

Eeny Up Above

After the first book came out–Eeny Meeny Miney Mole from HAacourt, the company itself changed hands. Editors (including mine) left, and no one wanted the second book. But years later, (20 Years maybe?) it has found a new home. The two books are about the three mole sisters who live in a deep dark hole. I have now written a third book abut them. Hope it doesn’t take that long to get it out!