mal">• Animal Train, illustrated by Doug Cushman, Little Simon, 2002. “Clickety-clack! Clickety-clack! The animal train goes down the track.” The text in this board book for Yolen’s littlest readers is tightly woven and bounces along at a clip that’s sure to get tiny heads bobbing. There are more than 30 flaps to keep little hands occupied.
mal">• Child of Faerie, Child of Earth, illustrated by Jane Dyer, Little Brown, 1997. This is the story of a human child and a faerie boy who try to decide whether they should live in the human world or the faerie world. The rhyme scheme Yolen invented for this book has an airy quality perfect for this magical tale, and the illustrations will transport readers.
mal">• Harvest Home, illustrated by Greg Shed, Silver Whistle, Harcourt, 2002. Yolen’s rich language is matched by Shed’s deep autumn colors in this celebration of harvest time on American farms. The line “Bringing the harvest home” is a poetic refrain that echoes through the story of this family working alongside each other to collect the harvest.
mal">• How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?, illustrated by Mark Teague, Scholastic, 2000. This story, about the kind of fit dinosaurs could pitch at bedtime if they had a mind to, mixes Teague’s hilarious illustrations of giant dinosaurs trying to cram into twin beds with Yolen’s crisp rhyme that kids will want to hear again and again. Watch for the sequel, How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? in 2003.
• Letting Swift River Go, illustrated by Barbara Cooney, Little Brown, 1992. This book tells the story of Dana,
• Off We Go!, illustrated by Laurel Molk, Little Brown, 2000. The rhymes in this book will stay in your brain like a catchy song. From mice tip-toe, tippity toeing, to moles digging deep, diggity deep, this book shows how all kinds of swamp animals make their way to Grandma’s house.
• Owl Moon, illustrated by John Schoenherr, Philomel Books, 1987. Winner of the 1988 Caldecott Medal for illustration, this poetic tale tells the story of a father taking his daughter out under the full moon to search for owls. The gentle verse is perfect for bedtime.
• Where Have the Unicorns Gone?, illustrated by Ruth Sanderson, Simon and Schuster, 2000. Sanderson’s breathtaking illustrations dance with Yolen’s gentle rhyme about how unicorns have taken refuge from humankind in the sea.
For Middle Grades and Young Adults
• Dear Mother, Dear Daughter: Poems for Young People, by Jane Yolen with Heidi E.Y. Stemple, illustrated by Gil Ashby, Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press, 2001. Yolen and daughter Heidi Stemple write verses as mother and daughter on subjects ranging from keeping the child’s room neat to getting in trouble at school.
• The Devil’s Arithmetic, Viking, 1988. On the evening of a Passover Seder, Hannah whines to her mother that she’s tired of remembering. But that night at seder, Hannah is transported to a Polish Jewish shtetl, hours before all the people living there are sent to a concentration camp. There, her memory of modern life fades as she experiences firsthand the horrors she swears she’ll remember forever.
• Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast, Harcourt Brace, 1997. This collection of 12 short stories showcases Yolen’s talents with fantastical elements – though some are downright scary. The collection includes “Lost Girls,” a story that turns the Peter Pan tale on its head and won the 1998 Nebula Award for Best Novelette. Best yet, notes at the end tell how each of the stories came about.
• Wizard’s Hall, by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, Harcourt Brace, 1991. Henry, a reluctant wizard, goes to Wizard’s Hall and quickly learns that he has to help save his friends and his school with his own brand of strong magical power. Though the similarities are striking, Wizard’s Hall was published eight years before The Sorcerer’s Stone.