Books by Jane Yolen

TRASH MOUNTAIN by Jane Yolen
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 1, 2015

"Though there's a suggestion the story is meant as fable, Nutley's adventure stands alone as a satisfying animal fantasy. (Fiction. 8-11)"
When young Nutley's parents are attacked and killed by the violent members of an invading "inferior race" living nearby, Nutley must leave his babyhood home and learn to make it on his own. Read full book review >
STONE ANGEL by Jane Yolen
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: March 3, 2015

"A different take on a difficult subject. (Picture book. 8-10)"
A young Jewish girl and her family must flee when the Nazis march into Paris. Read full book review >
YOU NEST HERE WITH ME by Jane Yolen
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: March 1, 2015

"As a whole, the book ably carries readers past many flying friends and lands with ease in a safe nest. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Nestling her young child in for the night, a mother shares in rhyme the many ways birds bed down to sleep. Read full book review >
HOW DO DINOSAURS STAY SAFE? by Jane Yolen
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"Don'ts and Do's in a familiar formula go down easily for fans and will provide a good conversation starter for parents. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Officer Buckle had Gloria, his police canine, to help his audience see the value of his safety lessons; Yolen and Teague have their dinos. Read full book review >
A PLAGUE OF UNICORNS by Jane Yolen
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Dec. 23, 2014

"Sweet and engaging but less than the sum of its parts. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
A whimsical fairy tale is stretched rather thin in this low-key novella. Read full book review >
THE LAST CHANGELING by Jane Yolen
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Nov. 28, 2014

"This flattish story needs more depth in both narrative arc and characterization to sparkle. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
Book 2 in the Seelie Wars fantasy trilogy moves the plot along…a bit. Read full book review >
CENTAUR RISING by Jane Yolen
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"This book stumbles right out of the gate. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
Fantasy master Yolen here offers a tale of a half-foal, half-boy. Read full book review >
HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY I'M MAD? by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 1, 2013

"Although no new concepts are introduced, not only will this title be a favorite at storytime, it may also serve as a discussion starter about feelings and how best to express and cope with them. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Yolen and Teague continue their best-selling series with a comic look at what dinosaurs might and then should do when they are angry. Read full book review >
ROMPING MONSTERS, STOMPING MONSTERS by Jane Yolen
Released: July 9, 2013

"Young ones will want to join in on this monster romp again and again, since it is all so silly, comforting and familiar. (Picture book. 2-4)"
The menagerie of monsters from Yolen and Murphy's previous pairing (Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters, 2011) returns for an adventure at the playground. Read full book review >
THE HOSTAGE PRINCE by Jane Yolen
Released: June 13, 2013

"This isn't the absolute freshest fantasy for this age group, but the prince's boldly impossible plan will carry readers forward to the next installment. (Fantasy. 8-11)"
Two standard character types—a spunky lower-class girl and a prince without a kingdom—reluctantly bond in a series opener that features colorful aspects mortared together with tired tropes. Read full book review >
B.U.G. (BIG UGLY GUY) by Jane Yolen
Released: March 21, 2013

"But there may be moments when readers scratch their heads and say: The golem is playing the drums? (Yiddish glossary) (Fantasy. 8-13)"
Some books are impossible to describe. Read full book review >
GRUMBLES FROM THE FOREST by Jane Yolen
Released: March 1, 2013

"The poets invite and may well entice readers to write their own fairy-tale poems. (Poetry/fairy tales. 5-9)"
An intriguing idea becomes a thought-provoking collection of short poems from characters readers only thought they knew. Read full book review >
JEWISH FAIRY TALE FEASTS by Jane Yolen
Released: March 1, 2013

"More valuable as an entrée to Jewish literature than as a cookbook, but the recipes are a nice bonus. (Folklore/cookbook. 7-10)"
Veteran storyteller Yolen and her daughter Stemple combine Jewish folklore with culinary tradition in this selection of tales and correlating recipes sure to enhance a Jewish family's celebrations. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2013

"Entertaining and eye-opening. (bibliography, index) (Collective biography. 12-15)"
Brief, breezy profiles of women who committed crimes, from Delilah to Catherine the Great to gangster moll Virginia Hill, with comic-strip commentary from the authors. Read full book review >
CURSES! FOILED AGAIN by Jane Yolen
Released: Jan. 8, 2013

"A mysterious prophecy of things to come at the conclusion results in raised eyebrows and impatience for Volume 3. (Graphic fantasy. 12 & up)"
En garde! Gear up for more sword fights and trolls as well as an appearance from Baba Yaga in this swashbuckling sequel. Read full book review >
THE EMILY SONNETS by Jane Yolen
Released: Dec. 15, 2012

"Overall, though, these poems, illustrations and substantial notes combine well to lend a rounded portrait of this American poet every young reader needs to discover. (Picture book/poetry. 10-14)"
A sonnet sequence encapsulates the biography of one of America's most intriguing poets, Emily Dickinson. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 8, 2012

"A graceful and absorbing look at a familiar villain. (Fairy tale/fantasy. 9-12)"
Despite its misleading cover image of Sleeping Beauty, this is quite a nice back story as to how and why that last fairy was late to her christening. Read full book review >
WAKING DRAGONS by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 16, 2012

"Morning-routine stories abound, but for the very young this one bounces with exuberance. (Picture book. 2-4)"
Normally you don't want to wake the dragon… Read full book review >
HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY HAPPY CHANUKAH? by Jane Yolen
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"Entertaining and loving, though the concepts and legend behind the annual weeklong winter remembrance are missing. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Yolen and Teague's rascally dinosaurs bring their mischief to the titular holiday, illustrating the many ways it is recognized and celebrated by similarly behaving children in American Jewish households. Read full book review >
HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS? by Jane Yolen
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"What child wouldn't love to grab all the presents and lick all the candy canes one by one? Those naughty dinosaurs have the most fun, and their fans will be waiting to see what they get up to next. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Yolen and Teague extend their dinosaur franchise with this rollicking romp of rampaging dinosaurs up to their terrible tricks throughout the Christmas season. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2012

"Some spry and inspired grave humor here, but weighed equally with some unimaginative efforts. (Picture book. 7-10)"
Cracked epitaphs from Lewis and Yolen. Read full book review >
BUG OFF! by Jane Yolen
Released: April 1, 2012

"A bug-themed companion to their previous collaborations. (Poetry. 5-10)"
Mother and son collaborate once more (Birds of a Feather, 2011, etc.), creating a group of poems and photographs that celebrate some well-known creepy crawlies. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2012

"T-winsome. (Poetry. 4-8)"
Veteran poets tap into the never-ending interest in twins with a collection of poetry dedicated to twosomes. Read full book review >
HOW DO DINOSAURS EAT COOKIES? by Jane Yolen
Released: Jan. 1, 2012

"Despite some glitches in the scansion and lack of originality, this outing goes down pretty easily. (Board book. 1-3)"
This familiar dinosaur series takes a look at a favorite treat. Read full book review >
POETRY
Released: Dec. 15, 2011

"This inspired collaboration adds a heightened poetic dimension to readers' understanding of Chagall's life and art. (Picture book/poetry/biography. 11 & up)"
U.S. Children's Poet Laureate Lewis and the prolific Yolen team up for a celebratory picture-book biography in verse of the 20th century painter and designer Marc Chagall (1887-1985) that may quickly become a favorite of art-loving families and museum docents. Read full book review >
SNOW IN SUMMER by Jane Yolen
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"A quiet and compelling story more closely tied to the classical fairy tale than the now-popular Disney version. (Fantasy. 9-12)"
Yolen spins an interesting variation of the classical Snow White story, setting it in a small town in West Virginia in the 1940s. Read full book review >
SISTER BEAR by Jane Yolen
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"This satisfying tale from a consummate storyteller will be popular with those who like Scandinavian settings, and many readers will wish for a companion like Sister Bear. (author's note) (Picture book/folktale. 4-8)"
Yolen's clever retelling of an old Norse folktale changes the main character from a boy to a brave, smart girl named Halva, a welcome addition to the roster of clever folk heroines who solve their own problems. Read full book review >
CREEPY MONSTERS, SLEEPY MONSTERS by Jane Yolen
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: July 12, 2011

"There's plenty in this scary-sweet book to please children all year round. (Picture book. 2-4)"
This brief lullaby-story provides just-right toddler-sized chills. Read full book review >
BIRDS OF A FEATHER by Jane Yolen
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2011

"This is a welcome companion to A Mirror to Nature and An Egret's Day (both 2009). (Informational poetry. 8-11)"
Striking photographs of birds that might be seen in the eastern United States illustrate this new collection of 14 poems in varied forms. Read full book review >
THE BAREFOOT BOOK OF DANCE STORIES by Jane Yolen
MUSIC AND THE ARTS
Released: Nov. 1, 2010

"Step lively! (Folktales. 7-12)"
Princesses, birds celestial and enchanted, trickster gods, sheep, birch fairies, goddesses and witches from Europe, the British Isles, Japan, Africa, the West Indies and ancient Egypt all dance in this attractive collection of eight tales. Read full book review >
HUSH, LITTLE HORSIE by Jane Yolen
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 28, 2010

"Simple and cuddly, but we've seen this before. (Picture book. 2-5)"
The opening stanza—"Hush little horsie, / Asleep on the farm. / Your mama is near / And will keep you from harm"—sets the tone for a soothing bedtime hymn featuring horses. Read full book review >
ELSIE'S BIRD by Jane Yolen
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 2, 2010

"This poignant and powerful picture book closes with an uplifting rising of prairie voices—music to Elsie's ears. (Picture book. 4-10)"
Elsie moves with her widowed father from bustling 19th-century Boston to the vast Nebraska plains, where she misses the hymns, play songs and hum of her Eastern city. Read full book review >
POETRY
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

"Best of all, the poetry's mild, steady rhythms will close little eyelids anywhere. (Poetry collection. Birth-5)"
From the traditional "Man in the Moon" and Vachel Lindsay's "The Moon's the North Wind's Cooky (What the Little Girl Said)" to Roger McGough's "First Rub of Dawn," this properly soporific companion to Here's a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry (2007, illustrated by Polly Dunbar) pairs 60 short, murmurous, night-themed poems or extracted verses to full-bleed, usually full-spread paintings awash in soft moonlight and gentle, dreamlike images. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2010

"A bit opaque, yet handsome and useful. (Picture book/biography. 7-10)"
A sturdy picture biography of J.M. Barrie shines light before and beyond the wild success of Peter Pan. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: June 15, 2010

"A joyful and much-needed antidote to the precious pink pestilence that has infested picture books aimed at girls. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Mother-daughter team Yolen and Stemple get right to the point: "Not all princesses dress in pink. / Some play in bright red socks that stink, // blue team jerseys that don't quite fit, / accessorized with a baseball mitt / and a sparkly crown." Read full book review >
MY FATHER KNOWS THE NAMES OF THINGS by Jane Yolen
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 27, 2010

"There is time enough for kids to learn their parents have feet of clay—this breath of fresh air is just right until then. (Picture book. 2-5)"
"My father knows the names of things, / Each bird that sings, / Their nicknames, too, // He knows the names of dogs / And cheese // And seven words that all mean blue." Read full book review >
FOILED by Jane Yolen
by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mike Cavallaro
FANTASY
Released: April 1, 2010

"For fantasy lovers, this is an absolute must-read. (Graphic fantasy. 12 & up)"
Veteran fantasist Yolen introduces the utterly charming and sassy Aliera, a quirky tenth-grade loner who's both color-blind and an expert fencer, in this charming graphic novel. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: March 1, 2010

"An engaging artist's note describes his research, but there is no corresponding author's note to help young baseball enthusiasts parse legend from fact. (Picture book/biography. 6-10)"
Honus Wagner's life is often summed up in the story of his very rare baseball card. Read full book review >
AN EGRET’S DAY by Jane Yolen
POETRY
Released: Jan. 15, 2010

"A stunning combination of scientific and ecological knowledge offered through a graceful fusion of lyrical and visual media. (Informational picture book/poetry. 8-10)"
Poetry and short informative paragraphs combine to celebrate both the elegance and the natural history of the American egret. Read full book review >
COME TO THE FAIRIES’ BALL by Jane Yolen
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 15, 2009

"Those satisfied by lavish settings won't mind the ephemeral story. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Out go the urgent invitations to a fairy extravaganza: "Don't be late!" Read full book review >
THE SCARECROW’S DANCE by Jane Yolen
FICTION
Released: Aug. 25, 2009

"A conversation-starter for parents interested in discussing the meaning of sacrifice or who wish to explore Christian faith with their children. (Picture book. 5-8)"
One autumn's eve, the forlorn scarecrow watching over the cornfield is magically freed. Read full book review >
DRAGON’S HEART by Jane Yolen
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: May 1, 2009

The Pit Dragon Trilogy (reissued 2004) becomes the Pit Dragon Chronicles with the appearance of a fourth volume that takes up the tale right where number three left off. Read full book review >
MY UNCLE EMILY by Jane Yolen
Released: May 1, 2009

"Carpenter's nostalgic, pastel-hued pen, ink and digital-media illustrations capture the atmosphere of late-19th-century Amherst as well as Gil's special relationship with his famous aunt in this poetic vignette. (Picture book. 6-8)"
A six-year-old boy stalwartly defends his spinster aunt in a touching incident based on an event in poet Emily Dickinson's life. Read full book review >
A MIRROR TO NATURE by Jane Yolen
POETRY
Released: April 1, 2009

"Italicized captions on each poem's page add information about the pictured animal, making this a good volume—along with other titles by this mother-son team—for teachers wanting to connect science and poetry. (Poetry. 10-12)"
The title of this volume comes from Hamlet's instructions to the players that the "purpose of playing" is to mirror nature. Read full book review >
MAMA’S KISS by Jane Yolen
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 2009

"Sweet—but not saccharine—good-hearted fun. (Picture book. 3-6)"
When Mama throws her curly-headed little girl a handful of kisses, "Most land right, but one kiss misses. / Mama says she'll throw another, / It sails off toward Baby Brother." Read full book review >
JOHNNY APPLESEED by Jane Yolen
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"Chapman's life. (Picture book/biography. 6-9)"
Yolen wants it both ways: Johnny Appleseed the legend and John Chapman the somewhat fruity ("There is no doubt Johnny is strange") Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2008

"Young pirate princesses (and princes) will be dazzled. (Nonfiction. 9-14)"
Piracy wasn't pretty, but sometimes it was sanctioned. Read full book review >
SAD, MAD, GLAD HIPPOS by Jane Yolen
Released: July 1, 2008

"One of three hippo books from this duo out this month."
A flock of hippos runs the emotional gamut from morose to mirthful in this offering from one of children's literature's most prolific authors. Read full book review >
NAMING LIBERTY by Jane Yolen
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2008

"The two Atlantic crossings come together in one New York Harbor view of the copper Statue, symbolizing the unifying themes of new ideas, freedom and the opportunity for a fresh start. (Picture book. 6-9)"
Gitl, the youngest in her Jewish family, looks forward to escaping the pogroms and persecution of Czarist Russia. Read full book review >
THE ROGUES by Jane Yolen
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

"A good finish to the quartet, with echoes of Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped to savor. (Fiction. 11-13)"
Yolen and Harris conclude their planned quartet of Scottish novels with this tale of the 18th-century Highland Clearances. Read full book review >
SHAPE ME A RHYME by Jane Yolen
POETRY
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

"Very enjoyable, and allows for much exploration. (Poetry. 6-9)"
Indefatigable author Yolen and her photographer son make another foray in an extremely engaging series. Read full book review >
BABY BEAR’S BIG DREAMS by Jane Yolen
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2007

"She fills her illustrations with clever details, such as a stuffed bee toy carried by the little bear (instead of a teddy bear), and her exuberant style is well-matched to the young bear's playful antics and confident personality. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Yolen captures the universal wish of young children to be older and more grown-up without giving up the protective care and admiring love of their parents. Read full book review >
HOW DO DINOSAURS GO TO SCHOOL? by Jane Yolen
DINOSAURS
Released: July 1, 2007

"The standard-sized schoolyard and show-and-tell provide plenty of opportunities for giant lizards to be acrobatic, misbehave and generally cause a ruckus, but each of these dinosaurs earns top marks and works well with others. (Picture book. 2-7)"
Off to school with our prehistoric pals from the popular How Do Dinosaurs . . .? series, in which familiar scenes are made riotous by the scale-skewing enormity of elementary school-student dinos. Read full book review >
SLEEP, BLACK BEAR, SLEEP by Jane Yolen
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2007

"A good read-aloud for a particularly cold and frosty night, it's just too bad the busy artwork with hidden meanings works against the gentle lullaby. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Mother and daughter's latest collaboration is a wintry lullaby for hibernating animals. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2006

"Notes on the stories and on the recipes fill sidebars, and these are clear, accurate and engaging to both young and older readers. (Fairytales/cookbook. 8-14)"
For a really nice idea wonderfully fulfilled, Yolen retells very familiar tales in versions lively, brief and energetic: Little Red Riding Hood, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella and a number of others. Read full book review >
DIMITY DUCK by Jane Yolen
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2006

"Braun, with his gumdrop colors, creates a sweet fluffy duckling and a silly funny frog, as well as flowers, insects, pondscape and ribbons galore. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A minor tome from a major author recounts a day of play between duck and frog. Read full book review >
THIS LITTLE PIGGY by Jane Yolen
NONFICTION
Released: March 1, 2006

"If comprehensiveness is a consideration, this is a must for a collection. (Picture book. 1-5)"
Divided into the types of games parents and children can play as they read these rhymes, this collection focuses on lifting, bumping, wiggling, clapping and pantomiming motions. Read full book review >
COUNT ME A RHYME by Jane Yolen
NUMBERS AND COUNTING
Released: Feb. 15, 2006

"Many, no doubt, will memorize the enchanting verse. (Picture book. 10-12)"
Mother-and-son team Yolen and Stemple follow up Color Me a Rhyme (2000) with this engaging counting book. Read full book review >
SOFT HOUSE by Jane Yolen
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"Not only excellent for sharing such a construction with a whole reading audience, but for its sly lesson about how 'you can't be scared when you have a little brother to take care of.' (Picture book. 4-8)"
Who better to illustrate a tale with this title than Halperin? Read full book review >
HOW DO DINOSAURS EAT THEIR FOOD? by Jane Yolen
DINOSAURS
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"A humorous, highly palatable read-aloud primer on table etiquette for the preschool dining set. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Dynamic dinosaur duo Yolen and Teague team up again, this time tackling the touchy topic of table manners. Read full book review >
BABY BEAR’S CHAIRS by Jane Yolen
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"A cozy and comforting send-off to slumber. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A wee bruin extols, in sly Goldilocks fashion, the virtues of the various sized chairs in his house. Read full book review >
MEOW by Jane Yolen
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2005

"Best where folktales are popular. (Picture book. 3-9)"
She-who-needs-no-introduction here retells several folktales from around the globe and sprinkles the collection with sayings and nursery rhymes all focusing on our feline friends. Read full book review >
FANTASY
Released: July 1, 2005

"Brass Rat's 'lyrics' are included. (Fiction. 11-14)"
Who captivates kids more than a mesmerizing rock star? Read full book review >
FANTASY
Released: May 1, 2005

"Strictly additional. (Short stories. 11-15)"
Opening with the opinion that a separate literature for teens is superfluous, but heigh-ho, here's an addition to it, Yolen proceeds to offer, with Hayden, 11 tales written by a mix of veterans and rising stars. Read full book review >
GRANDMA’S HURRYING CHILD by Jane Yolen
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 2005

"A sweet addition to the genre. (Picture book 3-7)"
"Tell me about the day I was born." Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2005

"Very well-imagined and -integrated. (Picture book/biography. 7-10)"
From the ugly duckling to the emperor's new clothes, Denmark's 19th-century talespinner has brought us some of the most enduring stories and vibrant metaphors in Western culture. Read full book review >
PRINCE ACROSS THE WATER by Jane Yolen
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"While the history and lore are compelling, Duncan and his family never quite become living folk to readers, but serve mostly as mechanisms to deliver the story. (Historical fiction. 10+)"
The third in a projected quartet of historical novels about Scottish history takes as its tale that of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Battle of Culloden in the mid-18th century. Read full book review >
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"While this may have lots of appeal for the nascent investigator, it may be less than satisfying for young historians, who will wonder how Yolen and Stemple know what they say they know. (Picture book. 7-10)"
In the fourth offering in the Unsolved Mystery from History series, the curious little girl invites readers to 1692 and Salem, Massachusetts, to examine the hysteria of the witch-hunts. Read full book review >
LEAST THINGS by Jane Yolen
NATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"A solid addition to the poetry of science, and the science in poetry, for younger fans of both. (Picture book/poetry/nonfiction. 5-8)"
Poetry and natural history mingle in this mother/son collaboration, as it has in its six predecessors. Read full book review >
THE FLYING WITCH by Jane Yolen
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

"A good-humored remake, featuring a kinder, gentler witch than the general run of Baba Yaga tales. (Picture book/folktale. 7-9)"
Yolen crafts an original, updated tale from characters and elements found in traditional ones. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: July 1, 2003

"As an account of the lost colony, this is adequate; as a true mystery from history, it misses the boat. (bibliography, Web sites) (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)"
A gimmicky "mystery from history" is presented with the true detective work leached out of it and replaced with a phony framework meant to simulate clue-tracking. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2003

"A stellar read-aloud volume as well as just right for independent readers. (Folktales. 8-12)"
Yolen introduces a grand collection of 14 tales with a letter to her sons and grandsons. Read full book review >
HOPTOAD by Jane Yolen
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2003

"The youngest listeners will need the pun at the heart of the story explained to them, but everyone will root for this warty, new hero. (Picture book. 2-5)"
A turtle, toad, and a lizard take off across a wide desert road. Read full book review >
SWORD OF THE RIGHTFUL KING by Jane Yolen
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: May 1, 2003

"Although the prolific Yolen usually supplies more action, those who can't get enough of Arthur and his court will likely enjoy the different slant on his rise to power. (Fiction. 11+)"
Political intrigue dominates this new version of how Arthur came to pull the sword Excalibur from a stone. Read full book review >
MY BROTHER’S FLYING MACHINE by Jane Yolen
BIOGRAPHY
Released: April 1, 2003

"For a better treatment of Katharine's story, see The Wright Sister, by Richard Maurer (above). (Picture book/biography. 7-10)"
Though the Wright brothers both credited their sister Katharine as a partner in their grand enterprise, she seldom emerges from the biographical shadows. Read full book review >
ATALANTA AND THE ARCADIAN BEAST by Jane Yolen
ADVENTURE
Released: March 1, 2003

"An afterword discusses which elements come from Greek literature and which the authors created for this entertaining adventure with its strong heroine. (Fiction. 9-13)"
In their third entry in the "Young Heroes" series, Yolen and Harris (Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons, 2002, etc.) craft another fast-paced historical novel set in ancient Greece. Read full book review >
HOW DO DINOSAURS GET WELL SOON? by Jane Yolen
DINOSAURS
Released: Feb. 1, 2003

"This salutary combination of savvy advice and sidesplitting art belongs next to every sickbed. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Repeating the winning formula of How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? (2000), Teague supplies art for Yolen's sprightly ditty on proper behavior while under the weather. Read full book review >
THE SEA KING by Jane Yolen
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Dec. 1, 2002

"Lots of folkloric elements neatly combined and pictures bright enough for group reading create a nice addition to Yolen's huge canon both singly and with collaborators. (Picture book/folktale. 6-9)"
Combining several elements of Russian folklore, the authors create an engaging tale using old motifs in new ways. Read full book review >
GIRL IN A CAGE by Jane Yolen
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"Fans of Karen Cushman's Catherine, Called Birdy (1994) and Matilda Bone (2000) will welcome this new tale of a strong-minded young woman coming of age and holding her own in a hostile medieval world. (Fiction. 11-13)"
Yolen and Harris (Queen's Own Fool, 2000) once again dish up an intense drama drawn from Scottish history. Read full book review >
HARVEST HOME by Jane Yolen
by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Greg Shed
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"Instructions for making a harvest doll are also included. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Yolen (Girl in a Cage, above, etc.) focuses on family, tradition, and the fruit of the earth in her latest effort, illustrated in golden tones by Shed (I Loved You Before You Were Born, not reviewed, etc.). Read full book review >
THE FIREBIRD by Jane Yolen
Released: May 1, 2002

"The double set of illustrations is somewhat detrimental to the folk tale, but will serve well as an introduction to the ballet. (Folktale. 5-8)"
The Firebird is a character in several Russian folktales as well as the title character in the famous ballet choreographed by George Balanchine to music by Stravinsky. Read full book review >
FANTASY
Released: March 1, 2002

Zena fans take heed: Yolen and Harris draw a minor figure from old Greek tales front and center for an edifying, as well as action-filled, encounter with quarreling gods, monsters, rival Amazons, and—ugh—men. Read full book review >
WELCOME TO THE RIVER OF GRASS by Jane Yolen
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

Writing in a form that falls somewhere between free verse and rhymed prose, Yolen continues her tour of world ecosystems (Welcome to the Green House, 1993, etc.) with a catalogue of flora and fauna in Florida's Everglades. Read full book review >
THE WOLF GIRLS by Jane Yolen
COLORS
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

"But it is accessible and fascinating, and fans of unsolved mysteries will enjoy turning back and forth through the pages of this one. (bibliography) (Fiction. 8-13)"
In the early 1920s, newspapers throughout the world reported on two orphaned girls in a village in India who, it was alleged, had been raised by wolves. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2001

"Despite frequent references to earlier episodes, the story stands alone, and is rich enough in ghosts and magic to please readers of Susan Cooper's Boggart tales, or younger Betty Ren Wright fans. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Third entry in the "Tartan Magic" series (behind Wizard's Map and The Pictish Child, both 1999), this carries vacationing American twins Peter and Jennifer into a Scottish graveyard for encounters with not one ghost, but three. Read full book review >
WILD WINGS by Jane Yolen
POETRY
Released: April 1, 2001

"Recently hatched ornithologists and fans of Yolen's Bird Watch (1990) hoping for more of the same will warble over this fresh gathering of words and images. (Poetry. 7-11)"
In their fifth mother-son collaboration (Color Me a Rhyme, 2000, etc.), Stemple's bird photos spark 14 poems from the prolific Yolen, with added captions for all but the final pairing folding in snippets of natural history. Read full book review >
ODYSSEUS IN THE SERPENT MAZE by Jane Yolen
FICTION
Released: March 31, 2001

"Young Hercules' novelization, while giving readers a taste of what awaits them in The Odyssey. (Fiction. 10-13)"
Yolen and Harris (Queen's Own Fool, p. 726) open a promising series dubbed "Young Heroes" with this tale of the teenaged Odysseus encountering storms, pirates, creatures both natural and supernatural—and a wise, practical young woman to take some of the air out of his inflated ego. Read full book review >
COLOR ME A RHYME by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"A multicolored gem for the poetry shelves in most school and public libraries. (Poetry. 9-13)"
The ubiquitous Yolen (Sherwood, p. 806, etc.) has previously collaborated with Stemple on three books of nature poems illustrated with photographs. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2000

Prolific Yolen (Not One Damsel in Distress, 2000, etc.) proffers eight tales that further embroider the legend of Robin Hood, by a mix of new and veteran authors. Read full book review >
QUEEN'S OWN FOOL by Jane Yolen
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: May 1, 2000

"Based deeply in fact and full of detail both luscious and sordid, the story's length will not discourage any reader who picks it up and begins to be enthralled. (Historical fiction. YA)"
With a handful of historical facts and a great deal of research, the prolific and marvelous Yolen has teamed with a Scottish maker of a fantasy board game to spin a historical tale of great immediacy and impact. Read full book review >
HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOODNIGHT? by Jane Yolen
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: April 1, 2000

"Verse and illustration are beautifully matched in these bedtime scenarios familiar to all parents of young children. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Huge, fanciful dinosaurs confront their parents at bedtime in this playful romp. Read full book review >
OFF WE GO! by Jane Yolen
by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Laurel Molk
Released: April 1, 2000

"Pick this up, lickety split. (Picture book. 2-6)"
Little ones know that Grandma's house is best! Read full book review >
NOT ONE DAMSEL IN DISTRESS by Jane Yolen
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: March 1, 2000

"The book is strengthened even more by Yolen's extensive 'Notes on the Stories' and an excellent bibliography for those who want more, making it a useful reference tool for classroom or library. (Fiction. 8-12)"
In her introduction, the author states that the 13 stories in this book "have always been around, hidden away in the back storeroom of folklore." Read full book review >
THE ONE-ARMED QUEEN by Jane Yolen
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Nov. 10, 1998

"An all-singing entry in this waterlogged and insipid series."
Third of Yolen's fantasies (White Jenna, 1989, etc.) about the matriarchal land of the Dales, where women trained in mirror-magic can call forth dark twins who appear by moonlight or candlelight. Read full book review >
RAISING YODER'S BARN by Jane Yolen
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"The details of barn construction are passed over, but the central place a barn occupies on an Amish farm is clearly established. (Picture book. 6-8)"
A celebration of the Amish spirit of community summoned for a one-day barn raising. Read full book review >
ARMAGEDDON SUMMER by Jane Yolen
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"Jed and Marina have epiphanies great and small, and they emerge whole, still searching for belief in its myriad aspects, and for each other. (Fiction. 12-15)"
The format—a story told from alternating viewpoints, with a few letters, radio and e-mail transcripts, and other realia thrown in—is becoming familiar, but two practiced writers employ the tactic and run with it in this page-turner. Read full book review >
O JERUSALEM by Jane Yolen
Released: April 1, 1996

"Otherwise, this is an uplifting companion to Karla Kuskin's Jerusalem, Shining Still (1987). (Poetry. 9-13)"
In honor of Jerusalem's upcoming 3000th anniversary, Yolen (Here There Be Witches, 1995, etc.) offers a series of poetic meditations on its history, people, and symbolic meaning. Read full book review >
HERE THERE BE WITCHES by Jane Yolen
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

"Following series format, Wilgus's detailed and extremely polished pencil drawings are included, but this time appear somewhat staid in the midst of Yolen's happy-go-lucky structure. (Anthology. 12+)"
The third entry in the series that spawned Here There Be Unicorns (1994) and Here There Be Dragons (1993) has 17 stories, clever poems, rousing parodies, and short pieces in diverse genres about different varieties of witches and wizards, including the hags from Macbeth, Baba Yaga, Pythagoras, an Arapaho Indian shaman, Merlin, and an assortment of others. Read full book review >
THE WILD HUNT by Jane Yolen
Released: May 1, 1995

"The language can't sustain the book's dreamlike qualities, and its few bright flourishes get buried. (Fiction. 10+)"
A gruesome fantasy, as cold and disturbing as a blood-stained suit of armor in a field of wildflowers. Read full book review >
AND TWELVE CHINESE ACROBATS by Jane Yolen
Released: April 19, 1995

"A book radiating family warmth, in words, art, and remembrance. (Fiction. 7-10)"
A colorful episode from the history of Yolen's family—her grandparents and their eight children—marinaded in Old World nostalgia. Read full book review >
XANADU 3 by Jane Yolen
Released: Jan. 1, 1995

"With the quantity and variety of its entries, this is more an assortment to sample than to devour whole."
With fairy-tale fragments, a noticeable feminist presence, and a few dips into humor to lighten its generally somber tone, the third entry in Yolen's fantasy anthology series offers a mixed bag of 34 stories and poems from veteran writers, such as Terri Windling and Tanith Lee, as well as newcomers, such as Michelle Stone and Jeremy Beckett, whose first published work appears here. Read full book review >
THE GIRL IN THE GOLDEN BOWER by Jane Yolen
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Dyer's illustrations, however, are enchanting. (Fiction/Picture book. 4-8)"
Another original fairy tale from the apparently bottomless imagination of Yolen (Here There Be Unicorns, p. 1546, etc.). Read full book review >
OLD DAME COUNTERPANE by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 19, 1994

"Yolen is always worth reading aloud, and given a spirited enough performance, kids will lose themselves in the verse. (Fiction/Picture book. 3-7)"
A well-turned take on Genesis in which Old Dame Counterpane picks a thread, sews a scene, picks another thread, and sews on until all is created for that day. Read full book review >
HERE THERE BE UNICORNS by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 17, 1994

"The unicorn deserves better. (Stories/Poetry. 10+)"
The prolific Yolen (Old Dame Counterpane, p. 1419, etc.) follows her collection of stories and poems about dragons, There Must be Dragons (1993), with this similar collection about unicorns. Read full book review >
GOOD GRISELLE by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Told with language as precise — and illustrated with watercolors as delicate — as the 'miracles of lace' the heroine creates. (Fiction/Picture book. 7+)"
In old Paris, a wager is placed between stone angels standing tall on a cathedral wall and stone gargoyles squatting precariously on cathedral ledges. Read full book review >
BENEATH THE GHOST MOON by Jane Yolen
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Happily, adults will be glad to comply. (Fiction. 4-8)"
From award-winning author Yolen comes this effervescent Halloween poem. Read full book review >
GRANDAD BILL'S SONG by Jane Yolen
Released: May 12, 1994

"An unusually sensitive and carefully wrought evocation of the impact of a death on a loving family.(Picture book. 4-8)"
Jon asks a question of the others who were close to Grandad too: "What did you do on the day Grandad died?" Read full book review >
ANIMAL FARE by Jane Yolen
Released: March 1, 1994

"As she did for Yolen's Raining Cats and Dogs (1993), Street provides pen-and-watercolor spreads in bright, airy colors; her raffish visualizations of such useful concoctions as the 'Giraft' ('periscope necks fore and aft') and the 'Hippopotanoose' are a hoot. (Poetry/Picture book. 4-8)"
In the tradition of Lear, Carroll, and Seuss, pure nonsense: 16 deftly fashioned rhymes about newly imagined animals. Read full book review >
XANADU 2 by Jane Yolen
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"With the emphasis on craftsmanship rather than originality, the upshot is pleasing rather than memorable."
A second volume of original fantasy, comprising 17 stories and nine poems—though in several cases (most notably, Delia Sherman's investigation of the life of an obscure French Impressionist painter), the fantasy element is at best minimal. Read full book review >
SLEEP RHYMES AROUND THE WORLD by Jane Yolen
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

From 17 peoples on five continents, 21 lullabies, with colorful illustrations by artists from each country of origin, in contrasting styles: Italian folk designs; an Afghan painting recalling manuscript miniatures; a serene Abenaki landscape in oils; a Nigerian family group in watercolors, boldly limned in black. Read full book review >
HERE THERE BE DRAGONS by Jane Yolen
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Inviting. (Fiction. 10+)"
New, reworked, or reprinted—13 stories and poems. Read full book review >
WHAT RHYMES WITH MOON? by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 27, 1993

"An appealingly cozy offering, just right for bedtime sharing. (Poetry/Picture book. 4-9)"
The ever fluent (and prolific) Yolen offers 19 poems, written over ten years, on a single, well-worn topic—proving that there's always more to say about this near neighbor, potent image, and spur to the imagination. Read full book review >
RAINING CATS AND DOGS by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"A pleasure. (Poetry/Picture book. 4-10)"
It's hard to know which end's up when it's "raining cats and dogs." Read full book review >
HONKERS by Jane Yolen
by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Leslie Baker
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"A lovely, beautifully crafted book. (Picture book. 4-8)"
With Mama in bed waiting for the new baby, Betsy is sent to her grandparents. Read full book review >
WELCOME TO THE GREEN HOUSE by Jane Yolen
Released: April 21, 1993

"Unlike the plethora of contrived or sentimental books on the subject, this one is simplicity itself—eloquent and effective. (Picture book. 4-9)"
Taking as her text a sentence from Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle—"The land is one great wild, untidy luxuriant hothouse, made by nature for herself"—Yolen lyrically compares a house to the rain forest ("...no roof in the green house,/only the canopy of leaves") and notes its animals ("the quick-fingered capuchin/make their slow-quick ways/from room to room...a splash of golden toad,/a lunge of waking lizards,/a plunge of silver fish") and their sounds. Read full book review >
MOUSE'S BIRTHDAY by Jane Yolen
Released: March 24, 1993

"The humorous, large figures of Mouse's friends dominate Degen's brightly colored illustrations in amusing contrast to the appealing little Mouse. (Picture book. 2-6)"
It's Mouse's birthday, and—one by one—his friends (cat, dog, cow, horse, farmer) squeeze into the tiny, well-appointed straw house where Mouse lives in a quiet corner of the barn. Read full book review >
WEATHER REPORT by Jane Yolen
edited by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Annie Gusman
Released: March 11, 1993

"Visually unsatisfying, though the poetry is superior. (Poetry. 5+)"
Fifty-plus excellent poems—ranging from Mother Goose and Shakespeare to Mark Van Doren and Theodore Roethke and including a few of Yolen's own. Read full book review >
XANADU by Jane Yolen
edited by Jane Yolen
Released: Jan. 1, 1993

"A strong debut for what promises to be an interesting series, especially if Yolen can continue to get strong work from outside the normal ranks of fantasy writers."
Yolen's latest is billed as the first of a series of fantasy anthologies showcasing original work by today's leading writers, including a number not usually identified with the genre. Read full book review >
BRIAR ROSE by Jane Yolen
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"Prolific YA and children's writer Yolen (White Jenna, 1989, etc.) had a good idea here, but didn't follow through."
The latest in the Fairy Tales series begins with a provocative premise: retelling the story of Sleeping Beauty as a Holocaust memoir. Read full book review >
LETTING SWIFT RIVER GO by Jane Yolen
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"A lovely book about reconciling necessary change with the enduring value of what is lost. (Picture book. 4+)"
The bittersweet story of Quabbin Reservoir, made by flooding a valley—and several towns—in central Massachusetts between 1927 and 1946. Read full book review >
STREET RHYMES AROUND THE WORLD by Jane Yolen
Released: April 30, 1992

"A grand resource for preschool caregivers or older children. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-10)"
Sixteen countries plus the Native American Cheyenne are represented in this attractive oversize collection of counting rhymes and other traditional games, each with a double spread that includes two or more rhymes illustrated by an artist who still lives in the country. Read full book review >
EENY, MEENY, MINEY MOLE by Jane Yolen
Released: April 1, 1992

"Perfect for sharing aloud. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Eeny, a tiny mole who lives with her big fat sister Miney and tall pointy sister Meeny, has heard astonishing rumors: "Up Above there is both day and night." Read full book review >
ENCOUNTER by Jane Yolen
Released: April 1, 1992

"O mores! (Picture book. 9-12)"
A poignant account of Columbus's landfall in the Americas, from a Taino boy's point of view. Read full book review >
HARK! A CHRISTMAS SAMPLER by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 17, 1991

"Like the happiest of Christmas mornings, an inviting treasure trove of the familiar blended with the new. (Nonfiction. 3-11)"
Fifteen carols plus two new songs with music by Yolen's son, Adam Stemple, who also did the arrangements; a baker's dozen of Yolen's appealing poems; nine legends, retold with disarming simplicity; comparative information on several kinds of Christmas traditions (food, plants, animals, carols, gift-giving); even a brief verse play—all appropriately introduced by the ninth chapter of Luke. Read full book review >
WINGS by Jane Yolen
adapted by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Dennis Nolan
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"A thoughtful, attractive presentation of the themes underlying classical tragedy, as exemplified by a particularly resonant myth. (Mythology. 7-12)"
A clear, well-balanced retelling of the tale of Daedalus, focusing on the loss of his son Icarus, who flew too close to the sun while the two were escaping from Crete, melted the wax that held feathers to his wings, and fell into the sea. Read full book review >
THE DRAGON'S BOY by Jane Yolen
Released: Sept. 30, 1991

"For large collections."
Young Arthur, again: Artos is the scrawny one, while Bed has the muscles and Lancelot the charm. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 30, 1991

"Not for everybody, but (mostly) good clean fun for enthusiasts. (Fiction. 10+)"
Thirteen tales, at least one for every taste (as long as it's blood): mall-rat vampires, pious Jewish vampires, squeamish vampires, and shaman vampires; vampires accepted, rejected, or defeated. Read full book review >
2041 by Jane Yolen
edited by Jane Yolen
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"A 'soft' collection—scientific and technological changes are smoothly integrated but take a back seat to personal problem-solving and social speculations (often satirical)—but the authors get their points across without being oppressively cautionary. (Short stories. 11-15)"
Twelve sf authors offer vignettes of life 50 years hence: bombed-out, deserted cities ("Free Day," by Peg Kerr); instant execution for unguarded speech (Bruce Coville's "Old Glory"); Shakespeare sans offensive language ("Much Ado About [Censored]," by Connie Willis); Fenway Park flooded by the rising sea; and other chilling visions. Read full book review >
GREYLING by Jane Yolen
by Jane Yolen, illustrated by David Ray
Released: May 31, 1991

"A worthwhile variant on a tried-and-true formula. (Fiction. 4-10)"
Originally published in 1968 with illustrations by William Stobbs, a smoothly-told selchie story reshaped as a parable of a youth leaving his parents. Read full book review >
WIZARD'S HALL by Jane Yolen
Released: May 1, 1991

"Good, imaginative fun. (Fiction. 9-12)"
Latest and 113th recruit, at a school for wizards, Henry is given a new name (Thornmallow: prickly outside but "squishy within") and is soon making friends and discovering that—despite a becoming humility and lamentable tone-deafness—he has an unusual, as yet uncharted, power to make magical things occur. Read full book review >
ALL THOSE SECRETS OF THE WORLD by Jane Yolen
Released: April 1, 1991

"A poignant, beautifully wrought book. (Picture book. 4-8)"
In a gracefully cadenced text with telling echoes of ideas and images, an apparently autobiographical story: when Jane is four, she and her family see Daddy off on a crowded troopship to WW II; only Mama cries. Read full book review >
BIRD WATCH: A Book of Poetry by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 23, 1990

"A book to bring nature- and poetry-lovers together."
Celebrating an activity that is companionable as well as scientific ("I will miss these conversations. . .where I listen carefully/then answer/only with my eyes") and that fosters a special bond with the natural world, Yolen presents 17 melodious evocations of particular species and the ruminations they've prompted. Read full book review >
SKY DOGS by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 1, 1990

"An excellent complement to Goble's fine books about Native Americans."
Drawing on Native American tales, Yolen creates her own story (as she meticulously explains in a note) about how horses might first have come to the Blackfeet: An old man tells why he is called "He-who-loves-horses." Read full book review >
TAM LIN by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 1, 1990

"The result—despite the excellent efforts of both collaborators—is somewhat stultifying, especially for such a vivid story."
The prolific Yolen's latest is a pretty tale based on Scottish lore: Young Jennet MacKenzie vows that she'll reclaim Carterhaugh, a great estate fallen into disrepair, for her family. Read full book review >
ELFABET by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 1, 1990

"Attractive and amusing."
For elf (and alphabet) fanciers, here are 26 diminutive personages who engage in pleasantly nonsensical activities ("I is for Ice Elf idly raking. Read full book review >
DINOSAUR DANCES by Jane Yolen
Released: Sept. 27, 1990

"It's too bad that editors still don't excise casual mention of the never-existent brontosaurus; still, sprightly, clever good fun."
Suppose dinosaurs dressed like people and cavorted in dances like the waltz or the hula, to the sound of disco or hard rock. Read full book review >
BABY BEAR'S BEDTIME BOOK by Jane Yolen
Released: April 1, 1990

"An attractive bedtime book."
"Goldie" [locks] says she'll tell Baby Bear "only one" story, but—like a winsome toddler—he wheedles her into five extras, each with its designated quality (scary, silly, etc.) and each referring to one of Bear's own toy animals. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 6, 1989

"Light addicts."
Sequel to Sister Light, Sister Dark, a fantasy wherein women trained in mirror-magic can call forth dark twins who appear by moonlight or candlelight. Read full book review >
DOVE ISABEAU by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 1, 1989

"Nolan's somber, dramatic paintings—with sturdy, unsentimentalized characterizations and a sinuous, nightmarish dragon that looks as if it's been flayed—suit the story very well."
A powerful, and powerfully told, story that begins innocently like a Snow White variant but has a horrifying middle and a problematic conclusion. Read full book review >
BEST WITCHES by Elise Primavera
Released: Sept. 6, 1989

"Good-quality, lively entertainment."
Twenty-four mostly new poems to celebrate the many-faced holiday—ranging from the sprightly and easily accessible ("The Magic House": "We should have known when we tasted the eaves,/Breaking them off like toffee. . .But it was only when we saw the witch/That we knew we were in deep, deep trouble") to the comically gruesome ("The Fossilot," about a fossil that consumes the scientists who have reassembled it) to the thought-provoking ("The wand's a symbol/of a treasure./It's heart—not hand—/one has to train") to a touch of real evil ("The Witch's Cauldron": "Strong as a wish,/Hard as hate,/Full as a moon,/Brutal as fate"). Read full book review >
THE LAP-TIME SONG AND PLAY BOOK by Margot Tomes
Released: Sept. 1, 1989

"Tomes' quiet illustrations help make this an especially attractive edition of these familiar old favorites."
Sixteen fingerplays and musical games to play with a baby or toddler, with notes on their origins, directions for play, and simple musical arrangements (including chord notations). Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1989

"Shocks, delicious shivers, and a few chuckles, too."
The night holds some fearful surprises in these 18 original stories assembled by the editors of Werewolves (1988). Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 1989

"A fine miscellany from a gifted storyteller."
Fifteen fantasies in prose and verse, six published for the first time here, the remainder gathered from magazines. Read full book review >
SISTER LIGHT, SISTER DARK by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 18, 1988

"As for the rest: thin and creaky as an old wagon wheel, it just about rolls along."
Insubstantial far-future adult fantasy, and first of a series, from well-known YA author Yolen. Read full book review >
THE DEVIL'S ARITHMETIC by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 1, 1988

"A triumphantly moving book."
Yolen is the author of a hundred books, many of which have been praised for their originality, humor, or poetic vision, but this thoughtful, compelling novel is unique among them. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1988

"A strong, well-chosen collection."
Fifteen original stories featuring young werewolves—present, past, and future. Read full book review >
PICNIC WITH PIGGINS by Jane Dyer
Released: April 10, 1988

"This will be in demand where the first book about Piggins was popular."
Piggins, looking more than ever like Hudson of Upstairs, Downstairs, is back in a second sophisticated mystery/spoof. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 23, 1987

"Engrossing and engaging."
The concluding volume in the Pit Dragon trilogy: Akki, Master's daughter, and Jakkin, former slave and dragon trainer, achieve full rapport with the dragons—and discover both the promise of their planet and the obstacles to its fulfillment. Read full book review >
OWL MOON by John Schoenherr
Released: Oct. 23, 1987

A rare reappearance of a fine illustrator (Rascal, Julie of the Wolves), whose watercolors here follow a father and small child as they seek an owl beneath a winter moon. Read full book review >
PIGGINS by Jane Dyer
illustrated by Jane Dyer, Jane Yolen
Released: March 1, 1987

"There aren't many mysteries available on this level; this one should serve nicely."
In a picture-book mystery for young readers, Yolen pays homage to the world of Upstairs, Downstairs, to Beatrix Potter's animal/human characters, and to not only Agatha Christie but Conan Doyle. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 10, 1986

"A disappointing contribution from two talented artists, this will be useful in school libraries when books on seasons are in demand."
Four poems in the voices of animals associated with the seasons: "Winter Song of the Weasel," spring peeper, dragonfly, goose—with notes on relevant natural history and elaborate watercolor illustrations. Read full book review >
WRITING BOOKS FOR CHILDREN by Jane Yolen
Released: Nov. 15, 1983

"However, there is much practical material here of the sort that would-be writers dote on — from the important directive for writers at the youngest leve to 'picture the picture book' (moving along for 32 pages) through more mechanical matter such as the idea file and portable notebook to the much-demanded particulars of marketing, contracts, revisions, etc., which Yolen knows from both the author's and editor's sides of the desk."
Jane Yolen's reflections on children's books offer no stimulating insights but they are serious, which puts this far ahead of The Writer's previous publication on the subject, Phyllis A. Whitney's Writing Juvenile Fiction (rev. 1960). Read full book review >
DRAGON NIGHT AND OTHER LULLABIES by Demi
Released: Nov. 21, 1981

"With a few snappy exceptions, the pictures are limp."
Sixteen simple unrhymed verses, small in size (four-to-ten lines) and sensibility, cast as lullabies or night songs sung by animal mothers or others (a giant, a troll, a mermaid, a shepherd). Read full book review >
THE ACORN QUEST by Jane Yolen
Released: Sept. 2, 1981

"As such it is well-turned, and pleasingly light-footed."
Yolen's play on the quest tradition sets five small animals off to find the golden acorn that can save their starving Woodland kingdom. Read full book review >
SLEEPING UGLY by Diane Stanley
Released: Aug. 7, 1981

"Though Yolen's revision doesn't touch the non-feminist heart of this out-of-favor tale, her spoofy tone and mildly acidic asides on the princess make sprightly reading."
Yolen's light, bright twist on the romantic tale brings together a beautiful but mean princess, an ugly old woman who is really a fairy godmother in disguise, and a kind but Plain Jane who wastes two of her three wishes helping the ungrateful princess. Read full book review >
BROTHERS OF THE WIND by Barbara Helen Berger
Released: July 1, 1981

"Trite and anemic."
This is one of Yolen's frail, fluttery tales that asks readers to marvel at an escapist miracle. Read full book review >
THE GIFT OF SARAH BARKER by Jane Yolen
Released: May 11, 1981

"For balance, she shows us some Shaker dances and ecstatic celebrations (but without much change in her sober style); and her community includes joyful singers and a compassionate woman leader as well as petty conformists, the unforgiving, self-righteous prig who's the male leader, and the self-punishing Sister Agatha—but the range is as stereotypical as the individual responses."
A predictable novel about two young people raised as Shakers and their inner struggles in breaking away from that strict, celibate life. Read full book review >
UNCLE LEMON'S SPRING by Glen Rounds
Released: April 21, 1981

"But despite all the peepin' and snufflin' and the stomach jumpin' like a sack of hoptoads, Yolen hasn't the earthy wit and outrageous imagination to give this the zip of Sid Fleischman's tall tales—or those of Rounds himself."
This is another of Yolen's recent departures from her characteristic precious fairy tales, and here she tries to match her prose to the sort of hill country shenanigans more closely associated with Rounds. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1981

"This, like the rest of the story, goes down painlessly."
The Jane Yolen of the precious fairy tales tries her hand here at the kid detective story and turns out the standard, fast-reading product she apparently intended. Read full book review >
COMMANDER TOAD IN SPACE by Bruce Degen
Released: Aug. 21, 1980

"Unbelievable and unfunny."
A feeble whimsy presented as a ha-ha space adventure. Read full book review >
MICE ON ICE by Larry Di Fiori
Released: April 17, 1980

"From the opening lineup for tickets (with gypsy moths reading fortunes) though the accelerated final chapters (titled, caption-like, 'The Big Fight,' 'Pawto-Paw,' and 'After the Melt'), a fast easy read with more punch than most."
With the zip, the semi-puns, and the pop ingenuity of a bright TV cartoon, Yolen tells of a Mice Capades kidnapping engineered by Gomer the Rat King, a mouse gone bad, and executed by Gomer's henchmen the Four Muscles. Read full book review >
SPIDER JANE ON THE MOVE by Jane Yolen
Released: April 1, 1980

"It's all rather forced and harsh (to look at too)—no real harm in it, but not much good either."
Three ironic—i.e., not wryly humorous—episodes in the life of cranky Spider Jane and her ever-helpful, all-too-patient, friend Bluebottle Burt. Read full book review >
NO BATH TONIGHT by Nancy Winslow Parker
Released: Oct. 25, 1979

"And, for all that it matters, the illustrations are similarly 'cute' and vacuous."
Some people must think kids are dumb. Read full book review >
DREAM WEAVER by Jane Yolen
Released: April 1, 1979

"And goodness knows there's little to delight in."
What hath Bettelheim wrought? Read full book review >
THE GIANTS GO CAMPINGs by Jane Yolen
Released: March 1, 1979

"Yolen relates the five flimsy bits in jerky easy-readerese and, as in The Giants' Farm (1977), she relies on the turnabout trick of the little giant's superior wisdom to give them a needed twist—but Dab is no more engaging than he was before, which is to say no more than any other know-it-all kid."
When the giants of Fe-Fi-Fo-Farm go camping, Dab, "the little giant," drives the camper because "he was the only one who fit behind the wheel." Read full book review >
THE SIMPLE PRINCE by Jack Kent
Released: Sept. 1, 1978

"The story is brisk and simple, but not much comes of it."
An idle prince who simply claps his hands for service decides to go off and lead the simple life in the house of a poor farmer. Read full book review >
THE MERMAID'S THREE WISDOMS by Jane Yolen
Released: May 1, 1978

"Melusina also leaves behind a crystal mermaid's tear—a typically precious Yolen image, to which Rader's breathless, mannered drawings are attuned."
This slacker than usual Yolen speaks in her usual hushed tones of the relationship between Melusina, a mermaid who is punished for appearing to a human by being cast onto shore with her tail turned to legs, and Jess, the deaf girl who finds her and becomes her friend as the two learn to talk to each other with their hands. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1978

"Not the most fortuitous coming together, even though piece by piece Yolen's selections reflect a classier taste than do those in Nature's Revenge."
An uneven dozen of "Fantasy and Science Fiction Tales About Humans Who Can Change Their Shapes." Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 12, 1977

"Graceful and undisturbing overall."
Seven of Yolen's polished bijoux, most of them romantic fabrications about all-ruling love. Read full book review >
THE SEEING STICK by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini
Released: Sept. 14, 1977

"The pictures are spare and diaphanous, like the text, but so singular in their imagery as to freight the story with suggestion—without offsetting its fragility."
A wispy, sentimental story about a blind princess in Peking and a tattered old man who, employing the "seeing stick" on which he carves the elements of his stories and her environment, teaches her to see with the "eyes" on her fingertips. Read full book review >
THE GIANTS' FARM by Tomie dePaola
Released: Sept. 1, 1977

"A know-it-all youngster by any name is a trial, turning ostensible friends into foils, and a fat giant with only food on his mind isn't redeemed by a bon-bon recipe bonus."
The Giant's Farm, decides little giant Dab, should be named Fe-Fi-Fo-Farm—and that's the crux of the first story. Read full book review >
THE SULTAN'S PERFECT TREE by Jane Yolen
Released: March 1, 1977

"And though the flat, static formality of Garrison's Eastern-gingerbread decorations is intentional, that doesn't make them any more interesting."
The latest of Yolen's remote, complacent fables concerns a sultan who decrees perfection everywhere. Read full book review >
SIMPLE GIFTS by Betty Fraser
Released: Oct. 18, 1976

"Yet her short, uncluttered text does make the essence of the Shaker experience available to younger or less ambitious readers, and in this case the 'gift to be simple' is both an appropriate and a useful contribution."
Shakerism has become such a familiar presence on the juvenile scene, that it's hard to imagine what Jane Yolen's slight history could add to the record. Read full book review >
MILKWEED DAYS by Gabriel A. Cooney
Released: Aug. 1, 1976

"Cooney's photos provide some clarity and definition to balance an overly cherishing text, but the calculated celebration of innocence is still redolent of soda ads and pop poster cliches."
Three children's slow-motion romp through a field of milkweed, led by a meditative Adam who notices that the pods, "bumpy and rough" outside, remind him of himself when he's angry and "Mommy says there's a secret beautiful Adam inside" and who then takes one home to "hold it against my cheek when I go to bed. . . Read full book review >
MOON RIBBON AND OTHER TALES by Jane Yolen
Released: July 14, 1976

"Artificial as we found the elegance of The Girl Who Cried Flowers (1974), this is weaker and sillier."
Six more exquisite fabrications in the author's familiar self-infatuated cadences. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1976

"Her watercolors do clothe the whole enterprise in finery well suited to such an occasion; the question is whether Yolen offers enough entertainment to justify the fancy dress."
Ironically, whereas Yolen takes time off from her self-consciously exquisite fairy tales for the sort of precious but diminutive bauble you'd associate with Zalben, the illustrator suits her style to Yolen's usual elegance. Read full book review >
THE TRANSFIGURED HART by Jane Yolen
Released: Aug. 1, 1975

"To recognize this for the fluttery, self-consciously poetical fabrication it is, only compare the spring-in-November midnight miracle with the similar kitchen blooming in Pinkwater's Blue Moose, above."
The hart lived in a thicket close by a shimmering pool. Read full book review >
THE LITTLE SPOTTED FISH by Friso Henstra
Released: March 1, 1975

"But this time all it takes is one look at those fish, like dazzling but horrible messengers from the subconscious surfacing in Dylan's mangrove swamp Eden, and it's no longer necessary to read between the lines."
Fisherboy Dylan relies on his own pluck instead of lucky charms and so saves the human-faced little spotted fish who then turns into a girl with "silver-gray hair and silver-gray eyes." Read full book review >
RING OUT! by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 14, 1974

"The illustrations may put some of the sparkle back in, and in any case, enterprising kids will be able to dig out the aspects of campanology that strike their fancies."
Remembering Jane Yolen's book of kites (World on a String, KR, 1969), one expects her to work some of her own ringing changes here. Read full book review >
THE MAGIC THREE OF SOLATIA by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 1, 1974

"In their way, these stories are like that hollow bridegroom — shining and well crafted on the outside, but not much to hang on to."
There can never be enough fairy tales, and anyone who can create a new one — say, The Animal Family or Hoban's Sea-Thing Child — has a grateful audience. Read full book review >
RAINBOW RIDER by Michael Foreman
Released: July 1, 1974

"An impoverished corruption of the Indian creation myths it's intended to 'evoke."
This facile, sentimental pseudofolktale, full of gratuitous phrases and self-conscious cadence but without the high polish that elsewhere disguises the insubstantiality of Yolen's tales, could be either a self parody or a reject from The Girl Who Cried Flowers (below). Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 1974

"A showpiece, for those who can forgo the tough wisdom of traditional fairy tales for a masterful imitation of the manner."
Tears never fell from her eyes. Read full book review >
THE WIZARD ISLANDS by Robert Quackenbush
Released: Nov. 21, 1973

"Just as puzzling is the choice of illustrator for a book that depends on a mysterious, evocative mood — but as the pictures are savingly in black, gray and white, a suitably fog-shrouded impression is maintained throughout."
The subject of islands lends itself easily to a romantic-enigmatic treatment, and Jane Yolen has put together a generally satisfying collection of both obvious and out-of-the-way teasers. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 11, 1973

"A solid, if somewhat old fashioned collection; however, few libraries need any more specimens of Hurkles, Arthur Clarke's 'The Deep Range,' or Thurber's 'Interview with a Lemming,' not to mention Norton's ubiquitous 'All Cats are Gray."
Where Barbara Silverberg's Phoenix Feathers (KR, p. 820, J-272) tracked the elusive parallels between the zoology of myth and science fiction, Yolen's quest is an open-ended one and she bags an odd lot of mutations (see Curtis' title story "Zoo 2000," Guy Endore's "Day of the Dragon" and Howard Fast's "Mouse") and a cageful of extraplanetary exotica — such as the oversized, gravid space cow examined internally (a la Fantastic Voyage) by William Morrison's "Country Doctor," the giant moths in John Baxter's "Apple" and the Theodore Sturgeon's lovable, deservedly famous "Hurkle. . ." Read full book review >
THE GIRL WHO LOVED THE WIND by Ed Young
Released: Nov. 20, 1972

"It's all a little too impalpable to be a story hour favorite, though Yolen tells it with her usual grace and the elegant, patterned illustrations which the editors compare to Persian miniatures suit the opulent artificiality of the setting."
The story of a rich merchant who tries in vain to protect his beautiful daughter from the world is a familiar one and apparently rather limited in its capacity for vitalizing variation. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1972

"Peter Parnall's drawings are consistently fresh and amusing."
Erie Canal," "Froggie Went A-Courtin'," and "The Animal Fair" are among the more familiar of the almost 100 traditional and folk-type animal songs included here. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 17, 1972

"Quakerism) combines a tone of responsible questioning with a flair for dramatizing Fox's confrontations with authority, and the final chapters on the evolution of Quakerism add a broadening perspective."
George Fox was "born a seeker. . . into a seeking age," and if the "experimental" process by which he arrived at his convictions must be taken largely on faith, his courageous dedication to speaking his personal truth and the persecutions he and his followers suffered are placed within the context of the theological fervor which affected all classes of people in post-Reformation England. Read full book review >
THE SEVENTH MANDARIN by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 15, 1970

"A kind of hushed confidence that's not likely to get much of a hearing."
In some phantasmal Eastern realm where only what is written in the books and scrolls is credited in the king's court and his soul is thought to fly into the sky each night on the wings of a dragon kite, the seventh and youngest mandarin, who has charge of the kite, loses it one night in a storm and, in recovering it, sees the hovels and hears the cries that are not in the books and scrolls. Read full book review >
HOBO TOAD AND THE MOTORCYCLE GANG by Emily Arnold McCully
Released: April 30, 1970

Funny-punny or just a silly sally, depending on your sense of humor, or at least on how verbally precocious you are—and if you respond to a walking talking toad as gangbuster. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 17, 1969

"Neal's The Story of the Kite, the only comparison, is not nearly so comprehensive, authoritative, or well-illustrated."
From the daughter of Will Yolen (champion kite-flier and author of Sportsman's Guide to Kite Flying), the injunction "go fly a kite" just can't sound abusive. Read full book review >
ISABEL'S NOEL by Jane Yolen
Released: Aug. 20, 1967

"A zany fantasy with a MAD mag cast, equipped to tickle the reader as well as the read-to."
What will happen when a blond witch spirits a letter to Santa and he shows up in the soup? Read full book review >
TRUST A CITY KID by Anne Huston
Released: Oct. 17, 1966

"A strong message throughout which does not hobble the surface values of the story and the inescapable sympathy for Reg, and the style, a clean, lean prose, contributes."
Reg, the twelve year old boy of a working mother from Harlem, is sent by a social worker to a "stupid farm" run by Quakers, for the summer. Read full book review >
PIRATES IN PETTICOATS by Jane Yolen
Released: Oct. 1, 1963

"Their buckles just don't swash as much as they swish."
Although a salty old hag decorates the book jacket, the "ladies" reported on emerge desalinated. Read full book review >