Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Visit With Jane Yolen

Happy National Poetry Month and Poetry Friday!  Today I am VERY happy to welcome, the lovely and talented, Jane Yolen to Mrs. Merrill's Book Break!  Jane has graciously agreed to take a "Poetry Break!" with us.  She has answered some questions about her reading and writing life.  

We (Jane Yolen & Rebecca Kai Dotlich) came to write Grumbles From the Forest . .   Because I had an idea about a book of poems in two voices about fairy tales and asked Rebecca Kai Dotlich--my friend and a poet  I admired--to play. Luckily she said YES!!!      

Grumbles from the Forest is one of the titles on the 2016 intermediate ballot of books for the New York State Reading Association's Charlotte Book Award. 

Readers should read our book because . . . Because the poems are fun, the back matter informative and the pictures great. Becuase it shows you how to write poetry, how to appreciate fairy tales in a different way, how to cooperate writing with a good friend.

My favorite place to read . . . On my exercise bike.

There are bookcases in every room in the house INCLUDING the bathrooms!!!
A book that has touched my heart . . . The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber because the story is a fairy tale and I love fairy tales. Because it has heart. Because it has surprises. And because it has great words (some of which like guggle and zatch are made up and still work.).

I collect my ideas and inspiration for writing . . .From things I read, things I observe, conversations I ovthrad, songs/poems I love, from my own adventures, and from my dreams.

Readers should know . . . I love to write, read, bird watch, walk in the woods, read more, go to live theater and live music, read even more, see movies, visit castles in Scotland, and have fun with my grandkids.

Three fun things to know about me: I have gone dog-sledding in Alaska, lost my fencing foil on a date in Grand Central Station in New York, and one of my awards set my good  coat on fire.

A project that I’m/we're currently working on . . .
A third Grumbles book with Rebecca , (the second one, Grumbles from the Town, using nursery rhymes will be out this Fall), and I am working alone on a book about the young Emily DIckinson called Emily Writes, as well as a funny book in rhyme about birds called Dawn Chorus, a series of BIrd Books: On Bird Hill (out this Spring), On Duck Pond (out 2017) and On Gull Beach (out 2018).

You can visit Jane's website here!  

Kick off National Poetry Month the right way ~ stop on over to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's blog, The Poem Farm.  She is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup.  

Happy Reading!



  1. Jane's writing gifts are seemingly endless. Thank you both for this interview - I love having so much to look forward to! And I'm going to look for our copy of THE 13 CLOCKS now as well. Happy start to National Poetry Month! xo

    1. Amy, I feel blessed to be a part of this world, so filled with beautiful poetry and words of wisdom from those who write it!

  2. Enjoyed this poetry break with Jane. I need to look for The 13 Clocks too. :)

    1. Thank you for reading this PB, Jane! Happy Poetry Friday & Month!

  3. !3 Clocks is one of my favorites, too. So many wonderful books coming, so exciting! Great interview. I'm cautious about winning awards if they are going to set my clothes on fire!

  4. Thank you for this poetry peek with Jane Yolen. I'm looking forward to the second and third GRUMBLES books!!

  5. My husband gave me The 13 Clocks before we were married... the rest is history. :) Thank you to you and Jane for the interview!

  6. Thanks for the interview, Jane & Amy! I really want to hear the coat on fire story in its entirety! Off to get 13 Clocks!

  7. Wonderful, Amy. I am with my good friend, Jane H. H. . That coat story sounds like something. Can't imagine. And I will have to read 13 Clocks. My Golden Deluxe Fairy Tale book complied by Marie Ponsot is a favorite from childhood. And When I was at Highlights Poetry Workshop with Rebecca we got some insider "peeks" at Grumbles from the Town along with lots of good poetry learning. So can't wait for that one to make its appearance. Your blog for April is terrific. Hope to see you sometime soon!