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“How Does Jane Yolen Write a Book?”

Author and poet Lesléa Newman wrote the following appreciation (with apologies to the How Do Dinosaurs? series) in honor of her friend and colleague Jane Yolen’s 365th book — a remarkable achievement. And what better time than Women’s History Month to celebrate it? For more from The Horn Book on Women’s History Month, click the tag hbwomenshistory18; also look for #kidlitwomen on Facebook and Twitter.

How does Jane Yolen
write a book?
Does she kvetch and complain
like a shlub or a shnook?

Does she sigh, does she moan
does she weep, shake her head?
And then crawl back upstairs
to shlep back into bed?


With her butt in her chair
and her pen in her hand,
she pours out each word
to create something grand.

Poems, novels, stories,
picture books, too
Is there nothing, Jane Yolen,
that you cannot do?

You’re kind to each writer
you meet on the way,
convincing us all
we have something to say.

You remind us on days
we are feeling forlorn,
“The editor who loves you
may have yet to be born!”

So here’s to you, Jane,
and 365 more,
you’re a wonderful writer
and friend I adore.

Lesléa Newman reads her tribute poem to Jane Yolen (left) with Barbara Diamond Goldin (right).

Lesléa Newman About Lesléa Newman

Lesléa Newman is the author of seventy books, including A Letter to Harvey Milk; October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard; I Carry My Mother; The Boy Who Cried Fabulous; Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed; and Heather Has Two Mommies.



  1. Linda Shaughnessy says:

    From the pen of one kind, encouraging teacher to another. You both have nourished countless of us. Abundant thanks to the universe for you both!

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