Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen lives in Massachusetts and has written more than 400 books across all genres and age ranges, including the Sydney Taylor Honor book Miriam at the River. In 2022 she was named the The Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Winner. She has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

3 picture books I took out again and again from the Newport News (Va) library. We were living with my mother’s parents during the War when my father was in London running ABSIE, the secret radio broadcasts. FERDINAND, MILLIONS OF CATS, and THE PLEASANT PIRATE.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

“Once upon a time” (almost every great fairy tale. . . .)

“Tell all the truth but tell it slant” (Emily Dickinson’s Poetry Collection)

“…and it was still hot.” (Where the Wild Things Are)

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Authors: Poets William Butler Yeats and Emily Dickinson, novelist Lewis Carroll.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I thought all adults were writers since both my parents wrote and all their friends did as well.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Do not let anyone tell you NOT to write. Butt in chair. Don’t quit Your day job.