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Jane Yolen (The Children's Book Podcast #426)

February 27, 2018

#YOLEN365

 

Jane Yolen is the beloved and prolific author of over 365 books for children and teens, including this year's releases of A BEAR SAT ON MY PORCH TODAY, MAPPING THE BONES, and MEET ME AT THE WELL. To celebrate such a milestone publication year, Jane and daughter Heidi have kicked off #Yolen365, a daily celebration and book pairing of each title in Jane's catalog to a calendar holiday, festivity, or fun fact. Our conversation includes stories that span of Jane's experiences in publishing that span her career so far. Rest assured, we were in no shortage of things to talk about in laughs and wonder, reflection and celebration.

 

  

ABOUT THE BOOKS: 

What to do if a rather insistent bear squats on your porch today? Followed in short order by a shaggy squirrel, a spraying skunk, a playful possum, and a bevy of forest critters large and small? This hilarious cumulative tale of reluctant hospitality and generous inclusivity will leave readers chanting, "OKAY. OKAY YOU CAN STAY." But watch out That porch is starting to sway. . . .

 

It's 1942 in Poland, and the world is coming to pieces. At least that's how it seems to Chaim and Gittel, twins whose lives feel like a fairy tale torn apart, with evil witches, forbidden forests, and dangerous ovens looming on the horizon. But in all darkness there is light, and the twins find it through Chaim's poetry and the love they have for each other. Like the bright flame of a Yahrzeit candle, his words become a beacon of memory so that the children and grandchildren of survivors will never forget the atrocities that happened during the Holocaust.

 

Filled with brutality and despair, this is also a story of poetry and strength, in which a brother and sister lose everything but each other. Nearly thirty years after the publication of her award-winning and bestselling The Devil's Arithmetic and Briar Rose, Yolen once again returns to World War II and captivates her readers with the authenticity and power of her words.

 

Old Testament stories center around men. Leaders, prophets, kings, and priests are all male. But hidden in the background are strong-willed, daring females.

 

 

Jane Yolen and Barbara Diamond Goldin's masterful retellings pairs eloquent profiles with stunning art, answering one question: What makes these women heroes? From first woman, Eve, to Deborah the judge, to Queen Esther, savior of her people, females in the Hebrew bible are resourceful and courageous.

 

Each chapter is devoted to a single story with text complemented by sidebars, known in Jewish tradition as "midrashim," that pose questions, provide more information, and include nondenominational interpretations.

 

SHOW NOTES:

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR:

Jane Yolen is an author of children’s books, fantasy, and science fiction, including Owl Moon, The Devil’s Arithmetic, and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

 

She is also a poet, a teacher of writing and literature, and a reviewer of children’s literature. She has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century.

 

Jane Yolen’s books and stories have won the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, two Christopher Medals, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards, the Golden Kite Award, the Jewish Book Award, the World Fantasy Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Association of Jewish Libraries Award among many others. This website presents information about her over three hundred books for children. It also contains essays, poems, answers to frequently asked questions, a brief biography, her travel schedule, and links to resources for teachers and writers. It is intended for children, teachers, writers, storytellers, and lovers of children’s literature.

 

Purchase Jane's books for you or your readers HERE.

 

And visit Jane Yolen online at http://janeyolen.com/.

 

 

OTHER BOOKS MENTIONED:

 

 

 *This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links will support the costs of maintaining the podcast, webcomic, and other materials associated with this site. 

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