CZ's Latest Project

Home
Books CZ Has Written
Books by Subject
Books CZ Has  Edited
Charlotte's Biography
CZ Awards & Lectures
Kids ??
CZ's Latest Project
Teachers' Resources
School Visits
CZ's Family Album
What's New
Links

Streetlamp in the Snow, by Night

Cone of yellow light.
Remember last summer? Moths
danced whirling circles.

Now it is winter.
From inside we watch again.
Snowflakes are whirling.
Busy small white stars
making the cold dark earth white.
Inside, we are warm.
     ---- Charlotte Zolotow and Crescent Dragonwagon
How CZ and CD worked together on these --- and why

Crescent Dragonwagon, Charlotte’s daughter, recently received an email from Grace Lin, a children's book author who was organizing a fundraiser for cancer research. Called Robert's Snow, for Cancer's Cure, it began when over 150 children's book illustrators, including Chris Van Allsburg, David Shannon, Peter Sis, and Marjorie Priceman, created original works of art on wooden snowflakes. These were to be auctioned, with the proceeds going to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.

The project snowballed and Viking Press decided to publish a book of the snowflakes, with haiku poems accompanying the illustrators’ snowflakes, and all royalties going to the Farber Cancer Institute. Grace asked Crescent if Charlotte would be interested in donating haikus for the book.

Since Charlotte doesn’t see and thus can’t write, Charlotte, though interested, asked Crescent if they could somehow find a way to collaborate on the haikus. They did.

First, they talked about ideas together. They both remembered once, a very long time ago, when Crescent was a little girl and very sick with the chicken pox. Charlotte sat up with her late at night and the two of them watched the snow fall together --- from the same window that is now in Charlotte’s bedroom, where CZ spends most of her time. Back then, when Charlotte was her mother and Crescent a sick little girl, the two of them could see the snow falling and falling outside, even though it was dark, because there was a streetlight in front of the house next door.
What's haiku
Haiku, a traditional Japanese form of poetry three lines long, with 5 syllables in the first and last line and 7 in the middle, almost always has something to do with nature. So do a lot of Charlotte’s books. (Please see Charlotte’s Books by Subject to get a better idea of this).  
Remembering this, and remembering that Charlotte almost always put relationships at the center of every book, even the ones about the natural world, Crescent came up with the three short poems which follow. After she wrote them, she read them to Charlotte, who liked them very much. Even though she is nearly blind, she could still see in her mind and memory the snow falling and falling as she sat with her feverish child long ago… the child who grew up to be Crescent, Charlotte’s collaborator.
If you are curious about some of the books Charlotte has written that combine the ideas of nature and the natural world with human relationships, you may enjoy looking at the pages on these books:
 The Summer Night
The Sky Was Blue
 The Seashore Book
When the Wind Stops
 River Winding

Each page will tell you something about the book that you can’t discover anywhere else.


[Home] [Books CZ Has Written] [Books by Subject] [Books CZ Has  Edited] [Charlotte's Biography] [CZ Awards & Lectures] [Kids ??] [CZ's Latest Project] [Teachers' Resources] [School Visits] [CZ's Family Album] [What's New] [Links]
E-mail charlottesdaughter@charlottezolotow.com
© Dragon, Pen & Inc, 2001-2007