Jane Yolen was born on February 11, 1939, in New York City. She grew up in New York and Massachussetts. Her first memory of books is of riding home from the library with a lapful of them, at age four. She was writing poems before she was old enough for school, and, in first grade, she wrote the class musical, both words and music. It was about a group of vegetables who cooperated to form a salad, and she was the head carrot.

Jane went to Smith College and the University of Massachusetts. On her 21st birthday, she sold her first book, Pirates in Petticoats, a nonfiction book about women pirates. She says that first sale was all it took to make her into a book writer for good.

Jane has written over 200 books, most of them for kids. She's also been an editor, a teacher, a storyteller, a critic, a songwriter for rock groups and folk singers, a mom, and a grandma. For twenty years, she ran a monthly writer's workshop for new children's book authors. She has served on the board of directors of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America from 1986 to 1988. She was a founding member of the Western New England Storytellers Guild, the Western Massachusetts Illustrators Guild, and the Bay State Writers Guild. She currently serves on the editorial board of several magazines. Take a breath, lady!

Many of her books are rooted in folklore, which she calls "the perfect second skin. From under its hide, we can see all the shimmering, shadowy uncertainties of the world." In 1980, Jane was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree by Our Lady of the Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, based on her dedication to folk culture. Do not ask me why this merits a law degree, but it was a nice gesture.

Jane has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the 20th century. Not half bad.

Jane and her husband have three kids and three grandkids. They divide their time between homes in Massachusetts and Scotland.


All in the Woodland Early

All Those Secrets of the World


Animal Fare

Armageddon Summer

Baba Yaga

The Ballad of the Pirate Queens

Before the Storm

Beneath the Ghost Moon


Bird Watch

The Book of Fairy Holidays

The Books of Great Alta

Boots and the Seven Leaguers

Briar Rose

Child of Faerie, Child of Earth

Children of the Wolf

Color Me a Rhyme

Commander Toad and the Big Black Hole / Commander Toad and the Dis-Asteroid / Commander Toad and the Intergalactic Spy / Commander Toad and the Planet of the Grapes / Commander Toad and the Voyage Home / Commander Toad in Space

Dear Mother, Dear Daughter

The Devil's Arithmetic

Dove Isabeau

Dragon's Blood

The Dragon's Boy

Eeny, Meeny, Miney Mole

Eeny Up Above


The Emperor and the Kite


The Fairies' Ring

Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World


The Girl in the Golden Bower

The Girl Who Cried Flowers

Good Griselle

Grandad Bill's Song


Harvest Home

The Haunted House

Heart's Blood

Here There Be Angels / Here There Be Dragons / Here There Be Ghosts / Here There Be Witches


House, House

How Beastly!

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

The Hurrying Child

Into the Green

An Invitation to the Butterfly Ball

Jane Yolen's Old MacDonald Songbook / Jane Yolen's Songs of Summer

King Long Shanks

The Lap-Time Song and Play Book

A Letter from Phoenix Farm

Letting Swift River Go

Little Mouse and Elephant

The Mary Celeste

Meet the Monsters

Merlin / Merlin and the Dragons

Milk and Honey

Miz Berlin Walks

The Musicians of Bremen


Not One Damsel in Distress: World Folktales for Strong Giirls

O, Jerusalem: Voices of a Sacred City

Odysseus in the Serpent Maze

Off We Go

Once upon a Bedtime Story

The One-Armed Queen

The Originals

Owl Moon



The Pictish Child

Piggins / Piggins and the Royal Wedding / Picnic With Piggins

The Prince of Egypt

The Queen's Own Fool: A Novel of Mary Queen of Scots

Raising Yoder's Barn

The Red Ball

Ring of Earth

Sacred Places

The Sea Man

Sea Watch

A Sending of Dragons

A Sip of Aesop

Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories

Sister Light, Sister Dark

Sky Dogs

Sleeping Ugly

Snow, Snow

Tam Lin

Tea With an Old Dragon: A Story of Sophia Smith, Founder of Smith College

The Three Bears Holiday Rhyme Book / The Three Bears Rhyme Book

Touch Magic: Fantasy, Faerie, & Folklore in the Literature of Childhood

The Transfigured Hart

Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Twice upon a Time


Water Music

Welcome to the Green House / Welcome to the Ice House / Welcome to the River of Grass / Welcome to the Sea of Sand

Where Have the Unicorns Gone?

White Jenna

The Wild Hunt


Wizard Fantastic

Wizard's Hall

The Wizard's Map

The Wolf Girls

Xanadu / Xanadu 2 / Xanadu 3

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