Singer Carly Simon says coping with middle age is easier when she looks back at the world of children - and writes about it.

Simon's second children's book "The Boy of the Bells," was released this month and follows her first effort, "Amy and the Dancing Bear," of two years ago.Both books were inspired by bedtime stories she once told her own children, Simon says in the Dec. 3 issue of People magazine.

Simon, 45, says she is feeling the passage of time, but credits the children's books with helping her stay young at heart.

She also confronts the middle-age issue in her song "Life Is Eternal."

Simon says the song isn't so much about "aging in terms of falling flesh - I'm not looking for plastic surgeons - but aging in terms of renewing the soul's life."