Amy Krouse Rosenthal

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Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Rosenthal speaking at the TEDx Waterloo conference, February 25, 2010
Occupation Author, filmmaker, blogger
Genre Memoir, children's literature, short films, NPR

Amy Krouse Rosenthal is an American author of both adult and popular children's books, a filmmaker, radio show host, and blogger. Rosenthal is best known for her memoir Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, her children's picture books, and the film project The Beckoning of Lovely (the feature film The Beckoning of Lovely 11/11/11 was released on YouTube on November 11, 2011).[1][2][3][4][5] She is a prolific writer, having published 16 such kids' books between 2005 and 2011, and has at least five more in the pipeline through 2012.[2][3][6] She is the only author to have three children's books make the Best Children's Books for Family Literacy list in the same year.[7] She is a frequent contributor to Chicago's NPR affiliate WBEZ and to the TED conference.[8][9]


The New York Times gave especially good reviews of her books Duck! Rabbit!, Spoon and Yes Day! in 2009, and called all of her books "terrific".[2][10][11] Duck! Rabbit! is a play on an optical illusion, technically an ambiguous image called the Rabbit–duck illusion, in which a duck can look like a rabbit.[2][3] It was read at the White House during the 2010 Easter Egg Roll.[12] Yes Day is a fictional holiday during which parents must say "yes" to their children's every whim.[2] The Times opined that:

Her books radiate fun the way tulips radiate spring: they are elegant and spirit-lifting. Among her gifts is an ability to take what in other hands could have been a thin premise — a piglet who hates being messy, in the case of Little Oink; a young spoon who wishes he was a fork or a knife or chopsticks, in Spoon — and wring all kinds of sly, nifty variations out of it. ... Better yet, her jokes sing with specificity and an understanding of children.

—Bruce Handy,[2]

Previously, Rosenthal had primarily been "merely successful" as a writer of adult non-fiction, such as Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life (2005).[2][3][10][13] She did not always get the recognition she has as of 2010, perhaps because "her writing may seem all over the map."[11] In 2010, National Public Radio's Morning Edition opined that:

[T]here's no way I'm going to confuse Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life with any other memoir anytime soon. I had forgotten, until I reread it recently, what a delight it was to spend time with this self-described "ordinary" person, learning her quirks and hangups, her likes and dislikes, her everyday (and not) adventures (including the inspired way she attempted to get out of paying a parking ticket — you'll love it, trust me), all arranged, encyclopedia-style, from A ("Amy," "Anxious, Things That Make Me Anxious," "Ayn Rand") to Y ("You"), with appropriate cross-references and clever drawings to supplement the text.

—Nancy Pearl,[14]

Rosenthal had two books on the New York Times bestseller list, Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons and Duck!Rabbit![10][15]

Along with her adult and children's work, Krouse Rosenthal has a keepsake journal line that includes The Belly Book: A Nine-Month Journal for You and Your Growing Belly.[16]


As a filmmaker, her short films include 17 Things I Made, ATM: Always Trust Magic, The Kindness Thought Bubble, The Money Tree, and The Beckoning of Lovely.[11][17] Chicago Magazine described The Beckoning of Lovely:

Rosenthal’s masterpiece, unfolding over the past two years, began with a YouTube video called 17 Things I Made. In it, she invited viewers to meet her on August 8, 2008 (8/8/08), at 8:08 p.m. in Millennium Park to make an 18th thing together. That thing was a party. She expected a group of maybe 30, but roughly 400 curious people showed up, surprised to find themselves singing, dancing, blowing bubbles, and giving flowers to strangers. One couple met and fell in love. “I wish there was a word less obvious than ‘magical’ to describe that night,” Rosenthal says. “It was meaningful to everyone in some way.”

—Jeff Ruby,[5]

The full-length feature film The Beckoning of Lovely 11/11/11 will be released globally on YouTube on November 11, 2011.[5] In preparation for the film's release, the website was created, along with a series of short video trailers online. As in previous years (8/8/08, 9/9/09 and 10/10/10), Krouse Rosenthal will host a separate but connected event in Chicago's Millennium Park on November 11, 2011 at 11:11 am.[18]

Other work[edit]

Rosenthal is the host and creator of, a blog produced by Chicago Public Radio affiliate, WBEZ.[8] Each week on the blog, Krouse Rosenthal creates and posts a new interactive mission for readers. Tony Malatia, the president of WBEZ, summarizes, "[Amy's] participatory use of the web has become a riveting and affirming celebration of the good in people. And in a real—beyond virtual—sense of community."[19] She was also the producer and host of the radio show Writers' Block Party on WBEZ, the Chicago Public Radio station from 2002-2008.[20]

Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, Hallmark Magazine, Parenting, O: The Oprah Magazine, and McSweeney's.[citation needed]

Rosenthal is a contributor to TED, appearing at the 2011 TEDActive Conference in Palm Springs, California and the 2010 TEDx Conference in Toronto, Canada.[9][21]

Rosenthal is also a contributor to Cusp Conference, presenting at the 2009 Cusp Conference in Chicago, at the MCA[22]


She lives with her family in Chicago.[10] She has three children.[3]

Children's books[edit]

  • Little Pea, illustrated by Jen Corace, Chronicle Books, 2005. See a rating of the book at Goodread Book Rating Website
  • Little Hoot, illustrated by Jen Corace, Chronicle Books, 2009. See a rating of the book at Goodread Book Rating Website
  • Little Oink, illustrated by Jen Corace, Chronicle Books, 2009.
  • The OK Book, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, HarperCollins, 2007.
  • Spoon, illustrated by Scott Magoon, Hyperion Books For Children, 2009.
  • One Of Those Days, illustrated by Rebecca Doughty, Putnam, 2005.
  • Yes Day!, with Tom Lichtenheld, HarperCollins, 2009.
  • It's Not Fair, illustrated by Tom Litchenheld, HarperCollins, 2008.
  • Duck! Rabbit!, with Tom Lichtenheld, Chronicle Books, 2009.
  • Bedtime For Mommy, illustrated by Leuyen Pham, Bloomsbury, 2010.
  • The Wonder Book, illustrated by Paul Schmid, HarperCollins, 2010.
  • Cookies: Bite Size Life Lessons, illustrated by Jane Dyer, HarperCollins, 2005.
  • Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love, illustrated by Jane and Brooke Dyer, HarperCollins, 2010.
  • One Smart Cookie: Bite-Size Life Lessons For The School Years And Beyond, illustrated by Jane and Brooke Dyer, HarperCollins, 2010.
  • Al Pha's Bet, illustrated by Delphine Durand, Putnam, 2011.
  • This Plus That, illustrated by Jen Corace, HarperCollins, 2011.
  • Plant A Kiss, illustrated by Peter Reynolds, Harper Collins, Winter 2011.
  • Exclamation Mark!, illus. Tom Lichtenheld, Scholastic, 2013 – winner of the 2015 California Young Reader Medal, primary grades

Adult books[edit]

  • The Book Of Eleven: An Itemized Collection Of Brain Lint, Andrews McMeel, 1998.
  • The Same Phrase Describes My Marriage And My Breasts: Before The Kids, They Used To Be Such A Cute Couple, Andrews McMeel, 1999.
  • Mother's Guide To The Meaning Of Life: What I've Learned On My Never Ending Quest To Become A Dalai Mama, Rodale Press, 2001.
  • Encyclopedia Of An Ordinary Life, Crown/Random House, 2005.

Journal line[edit]

  • The Belly Book: A Nine Month Journal For Baby's First Year, Potter Style, 2006.
  • Karma Checks: 60 Checks To Keep The World In Balance, Potter Style, 2007.
  • Your Birthday Book: A Keepsake Journal, Potter Style, 2008.
  • Words To Remember: A Journal For Your Child's Sweet & Amusing Sayings, illustrated by Ida Pearl, Potter Style, 2008.
  • The Big Sibling Book: Baby's First Year According To Me, The Big Sib, Potter Style, 2009.
  • The Grandparent Book: A Keepsake Journal, Potter Style, 2010.
  • My Baby Book: A Keepsake Journal For Baby's First Year, Potter Style, 2010.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Youth library programs offered in Evesham," South Jersey Local News, March 10, 2011, accessed March 29, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Bruce Handy, "Children's Books: Happy to Be Me ... or Me!" New York Times, May 8, 2009; accessed March 29, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e Sally Lodge, "Q & A with Amy Krouse Rosenthal", Publishers Weekly, May 21, 2009; accessed March 29, 2011.
  4. ^ "Amy Krouse Rosenthal" at HarperCollins Publishers, accessed May 16, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c "Amy Krouse Rosenthal Readies 'Beckoning of Lovely' Project", Chicago Magazine, November 2010; accessed May 16, 2011.
  6. ^ Amy Krouse Rosenthal website, accessed May 16, 2011.
  7. ^ "The Pennsylvania Center for the Book presents the 2010 A Baker’s Dozen: The Best Children’s Books for Family Literacy," Pennsylvania State University, 2010, accessed March 30, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Mission Amy KR blog, WBEZ, accessed May 16, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "TEDActive 2011: Projects: Public Heart, Ted Conferences website, May 9, 2011, accessed May 16, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c d "Amy Krouse Rosenthal," 2010 Waupaca Film Festival, accessed March 29, 2011.
  11. ^ a b c Bridget Kinsella, "Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Putting All Her Books Under a Yellow Umbrella," Publishers Weekly, May 17, 2010, accessed March 30, 2011.
  12. ^ "DJ Lance reads Duck!Rabbit!," White House website, April 5, 2010, accessed May 16, 2011.
  13. ^ Kelly Gyenes, "An 'Ordinary Life' not so ordinary", CNN, March 3, 2005; accessed March 29, 2011.
  14. ^ "Happy Holidays, Voyeurs: Nancy Pearl Picks Memoirs: NPR", South Jersey Local News, December 3, 2010, accessed May 16, 2011.
  15. ^ "Best Sellers", New York Times, June 14, 2009, accessed May 16, 2011.
  16. ^ "The Belly Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal", Random House, Inc website, accessed May 16, 2011.
  17. ^ Personal website
  18. ^ Amy Krouse Rosenthal website; accessed September 16, 2011.
  19. ^ "Here's How MISSion Amy K.R. Works," WBEZ", January 9, 2010, accessed May 30, 2011.
  20. ^ WBEZ website
  21. ^ "Amy Krouse Rosenthal | TEDxWaterloo, Ted Conferences website, accessed May 16, 2011.
  22. ^ "Amy Krouse Rosenthal", Cusp Conference website; accessed October 13, 2011.

External links[edit]