Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen was born in New York City in 1939. Both of her parents were writers and so were most of their friends. While still in preschool, Jane composed her first poem. "I love to recite my first poem to kids when I talk to them – because it was so bad that I tell them that, clearly, they're writing better poems than that."

Yolen's writing did improve throughout her school years. In the first grade, she wrote the class musical. In high school, she won a Scholastic poetry contest. At Smith College, Yolen won awards for her poetry and journalism. After graduation, Yolen moved to Manhattan to work in the publishing industry. Soon thereafter, at age 22, she sold her first book, Pirates in Petticoats.

Since then, Yolen has published over 250 books, including folktales, fairytales, science fiction, poetry, informational books, picture books, young adult novels, and more. Yolen's books have won numerous awards, appeared on bestsellers lists, and some have been converted into movies. Yolen has also played an active role in literary organizations such as the Science Fiction Writers of America, the Western New England Storytellers Guild, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Jane Yolen and her husband divide their time between western Massachusetts and St. Andrews, Scotland.

Books by This Author

My Uncle Emily

Illustrated by: Nancy Carpenter
Age Level: 6-9
Thomas (aka Gib) Gilbert's aunt, Emily Dickinson, gave him a poem and a dead bee to share in school. Because no one understands it, Gib defends his aunt (who jokingly tells him to call her "uncle") and gets into a fight. Gib learns, however, to tell the truth, "but tell it slant…" This engaging glimpse of a poet and her family is based on actual events revealed in free verse and delicate illustration.

Naming Liberty

Illustrated by: Jim Burke
Age Level: 6-9
The story of a Russian family's emigration to the United States parallels the travel from Paris of Bartholdi’s statue of Lady Liberty. Both tell moving sagas and intersect in a unique way. poignant illustrations make this a memorable presentation.


Illustrated by: Anne Hunter
Age Level: 3-6
A mother and son celebrate the gentle coming of nighttime as they walk in the countryside. Textured illustrations are as poetic as the simple text.

Owl Moon

Illustrated by: John Schoenherr
Age Level: 3-6
A father and daughter go out "owling" on a cold, snow-filled evening with only moonlight to guide them. An introduction by the author to this edition opens the now-classic, luminously illustrated story in which hope "…flies on silent wings under a shining Owl Moon."

Sleep Black Bear Sleep

Illustrated by: Brooke Dyer
Age Level: 0-3
The long, cold nights of winter are the time when bear, frog, and a host of animals hunker down for sleep. Soft watercolors illustrate the drowsy text as the animals await spring and hibernate. Humorous touches augment the tone of the lullaby as everyone — including the listener — settles down.

Sleeping Ugly

Illustrated by: Diane Stanley
Age Level: 6-9
What is beautiful and how beauty is demonstrated is the subject of this funny and rather surprising Sleeping Beauty parody. Comic illustrations augment the humor and satire.