Marilyn Singer has written all kinds of great books for children and young adults — picture books, fairy tales, mysteries, non-fiction, and novels — but poetry is her favorite. Singer is on a mission to "knock poetry off its pedestal" and to introduce kids to the pleasing rhythms and powerful emotion of poems, but also to encourage kids to express themselves through verse.
You can watch the interview below, view the interview transcript, read a short biography on Marilyn Singer, or see a selected list of her children's books. (This video is also available on YouTube and iTunes.)
Marilyn Singer was born in New York City and raised on Long Island. She studied English at City University of New York and Communications at New York University.
In 1974, after teaching English in New York City high schools for several years, Singer began writing teacher's guides and film strips. Then, one day, when she was sitting in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, she wrote a story featuring talking insect characters she'd made up when she was eight. Encouraged by the responses she got, she wrote more stories, and in 1976, her first book, The Dog Who Insisted He Wasn't, was published.
Since then, Marilyn has published over eighty books for children and young adults. Her genres are many and varied, including realistic novels, fantasies, non-fiction, fairy tales, picture books, mysteries, and poetry. She likes writing different kinds of books because it's challenging and it keeps her from getting bored. She has won many awards for her writing: Eggs and First Food Fight This Fall, Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best, 2009; Venom, Orbis Pictus Honor Book, 2008; New York Public Library's One Hundred Best Titles for Reading and Sharing, 2007; City Lullaby, Time Magazine's Top Ten Children's Books, 2007; What Stinks?, NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book, 2007; Science Books & Film Best Trade Books, 2006; Central Heating, ALSC Notable Book, 2005; Creature Carnival, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book, 2005; Tough Beginnings: How Baby Animals Survive, NSTA-CBA Outstanding Science Trade Book, 2002; Society of School Librarians International Best Book for Science, 2001; Believe in Water: Twelve Brushes with Religion, New York Public Library's "Best Books for the Teen Age," 2001.
Singer lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband Steve and lots of animals: their standard poodle, a cat, two collared doves, and a starling named Darling. She enjoys ballroom/Latin dancing, dog training, reading, hiking, bird-watching, gardening, playing computer adventure games, and going to the movies and the theatre. She's also a major Star Trek fan.
(Adapted from material on Singer's website.)