Cover of Eeny Meeny Miney Mole by Jane Yolen

Eeny Meeny Miney Mole

Eeny and her sisters are moles, but the older two are conservative and nervous. Eeny is a young adventurer. Someone once described this book as “Beatrix Potter with a kink!” I’d tried writing this story in rhyme: “Once at the bottom of a deep, dark hole lived Eeny and Meeny and little Miney Mole.” But it just didn’t work. Then I wrote the first page and a half in prose, carrying it around with me for several years hoping inspiration would strike. It didn’t. One day visiting the Harcourt Brace offices in San Diego, I commandeered a free office and suddenly the rest of the story came out in a rush. I showed it to one of the young editors, Allyn Johnston, who bought it on the spot. In her excitement, she leaped up from the desk and ripped a piece out of her leg. So she bought the book while bleeding profusely. I never sold another book in quite that way. I discovered illustrator Kathy Brown when she came to a monthly workshop I ran and when I became an editor, I published her first book. EENY won a Bookbuilders West Honor Award, and was published in Japanese. Kathy and I are working on a sequel, EENY UP ABOVE.

What reviewers have said:

  • “Jane Yolen is a master at creating stories which are both entertaining and thought-provoking. She has certainly done this in this lovely picture book in which a little mole ignores the fears of her older sisters. Instead she chooses to take matters into her own paws, overcoming her own fears and seeking the truth. What she finds is more splendid than she imagined and she returns home richer and wiser from her experiences. Yolen gives her readers a sense of how wonderful and beautiful our “Up Above” world is when see through the eyes of one who has never seen it.”– Through the Looking Glass Book Review
  • “The pictures have drama and homey detail, with rich characterization and a mythical sweep.”–Booklist
  • “In its celebration of the duality and complexity of nature, Yolen’s inventive text abounds with wisdom and humor–her imagery and linguistic skills lift the tale far above the ordinary.”–Publishers Weekly starred review
  • “Yolen’s poetic narrative is expertly paced and has a nicely varied repetitive pattern, giving the familiar story of venturing forth into new territory a fresh flavor. . . .Perfect for sharing aloud.” Kirkus
  • “The text is carefully constructed , with thoughts building upon one another and reality clothed in poetic contemplation. This is also a book of opposites, of questions and astonishing answers. . .the illustrations lighten the overall effect. The characters have such full and individual personalities. . .that readers will be drawn into  each earth-brown picture.. . .A notable effort by both author and illustrator.”—School Library Journal

Out of print.