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Jane Yolen wrote a poem about one of my Broken Crayon drawings!

Thanks so much to Elizabeth Dulema for interviewing me about creative process on her blog recently. She included lots of photos and art samples, including my Broken Crayon dragon. After seeing the later, Jane Yolen (yes THE Jane Yolen!!!!) emailed me a poem she had written after seeing the image.

Jane has kindly given me permission to post her poem here:



by Jane Yolen

The dragon crayon was born one day
between the broken parts of Shamrock green.
He poked a hole with his snout,
then lifted himself up into life.
The only one who saw him emerge
was a five-year-old artist named Sophie.

Shamrock sniffed the air.
Blew a tentative puff of green smoke.
Melted  part of the crayon.
Then flew onto the desk top.

He tipped his head to one side,
eying Sophie. Blew a message:
        MAKE ART!

She picked up the pieces of green
and began:

    a blade of grass
    a lawn,
    a shaft of daffodil
    rising into dawn,
    grasshopper in a leap
    over a leaf,
    old pond
    young frog,
    and shawled by moss

    a single log.
Shamrock watched it all.
Then he entered the page

where he became the story, the poem.
The art.

©2017 Jane Yolen. All rights reserved.


I am a longtime fan of Jane Yolen's and am totally thrilled. If you're interested in getting a new poem a day from Jane, you can sign up here. All she asks is that at the end of each month, you either borrow one of her books from the library, or buy one.

An aside for those who have been asking: Yes, I have been working on a broken crayon picture book idea. I have a very rough draft but my picture book writing process involves a lot of "let it sit for a while and see if I'm still excited about it" simmering periods, and my broken crayon book is in one of those mulling periods. :-) Thanks again for your continuing support and encouragement for my work!

You can see my other Broken Crayon drawings at DebbieOhi.com/brokencrayon, on Instagram with the #DebbieOhiBrokenCrayon hashtag and my Padlet gallery of Broken Crayon art.

Reader Comments (4)

I look forward to this book and am willing to wait through your process. It would be heaven if you could 'illustrate' each broken crayon with someone's poem. Dare I say like the Jane Yolen poem.

June 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKarin L. Frank

That is so cool! I love your drawing and the poem is so perfect. Introducing poetry and the writing process can be so challenging for kids, but this is such an awesome way to do it!

June 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I am a big fan of your broken crayon art and a big fan of Jane Yolan. I can't even imagine your excitement about this poem. It really is an inspirtaion to young people aneverywhere. Aahhh to be five again. Thanks for sharing.

June 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen Mazurowski


June 17, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter:Donna

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