Amy Krouse Rosenthal

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Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Rosenthal speaking at the TEDx Waterloo conference, February 25, 2010
Rosenthal speaking at the TEDx Waterloo conference, February 25, 2010
Born(1965-04-29)April 29, 1965
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedMarch 13, 2017(2017-03-13) (aged 51)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
OccupationAuthor, filmmaker
Alma materTufts University
GenreChildren's literature
SpouseJason Brian Rosenthal

Amy Krouse Rosenthal (April 29, 1965 – March 13, 2017) was an American author of both adult and children's books, a short film maker, and radio show host.[1] She is best known for her memoir Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, her children's picture books, and the film project The Beckoning of Lovely.[2][3][4][5][6] She was a prolific writer, publishing more than 30 children's books between 2005 and her death in 2017.[3][4] 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 was a contributor to Chicago's NPR affiliate WBEZ, and to the TED conference.[8][9]


Amy Krouse Rosenthal wrote for both adults and children. Rosenthal had several books on the New York Times bestseller list: I Wish You More, Uni the Unicorn, Plant a Kiss, Exclamation Mark, Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, and Duck! Rabbit!.[10][11] Duck! Rabbit! was read at the White House during the 2010 Easter Egg Roll.[12] She was selected as the 2015 author for 'The Global Read Aloud',[13] an eight-week program for classrooms around the world to engage with each other by reading the same books.[14]

Her alphabetized memoir Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life (published in 2005) was named one of Amazon's top ten memoirs of the decade.[15]

Her follow-up, Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal, was published by Dutton Penguin Random House on August 9, 2016. It is the first book to include an interactive text-messaging component.[15]

Along with her adult and children's work, Rosenthal had a keepsake journal line (ten titles in all) including Encyclopedia of Me: My Life from A to Z and The Belly Book: A Nine-Month Journal for You and Your Growing Belly.[16]


Rosenthal made short films using her iPhone or Flip camera. Some invite further interaction from viewers, some are social experiments, and some build upon each other to become something else entirely. Her films include 17 Things I Made,[17] Today is a Gift,[18] ATM: Always Trust Magic,[19] The Kindness Thought Bubble,[20] The Money Tree[21] and The Beckoning of Lovely.[22][23][24]

She held 'Beckoning of Lovely'[25] events at the bean in Chicago's Millennium Park on August 8, 2008,[22] September 9, 2009,[26] October 10, 2010,[27] and November 11, 2011.[28][29]

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[6]

Other work[edit]

Rosenthal was a frequent contributor to TED. In 2011, 2012, and 2015, she was brought on as an "experiential designer", creating ideas and experiences implemented at the annual TEDActive conference. Additionally, she has given talks at TEDxSanDiego 2011 and at TEDxSMU 2012; she gave her first and most well-known TED talk, 'Notes on Life', at TEDxWaterloo (Canada) in 2010.[30]

Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, Hallmark Magazine, Parenting, O: The Oprah Magazine, and McSweeney's. Her website,, was named one of the best official author websites, alongside Barbara Kingsolver and Stephen King.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Rosenthal, a graduate of Tufts University, lived in Chicago.[32][10] She had three children: Justin, Miles and Paris.[4]

On March 3, 2017, at the age of 51, she announced that she was terminally ill with ovarian cancer, by way of a New York Times "Modern Love" essay.[33] The essay was in the form of a dating profile for her husband Jason, to help him remarry after her death.[34] She died ten days later at her home in Chicago.[34][35][36]

Children's books[edit]

  • Little Pea, illustrated by Jen Corace, Chronicle Books, 2005.
  • Little Hoot, illustrated by Jen Corace, Chronicle Books, 2009.
  • 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 Lichtenheld, 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.
  • Chopsticks, illustrated by Scott Magoon, Disney Hyperion, 2012.
  • Wumbers, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, Chronicle, 2012.
  • Exclamation Mark!, illus. Tom Lichtenheld, Scholastic, 2013 – winner of the 2015 California Young Reader Medal, primary grades
  • I Scream Ice Cream: A Book of Wordles, illustrated by Sergio Bloch, Chronicle, 2013.
  • Uni the Unicorn, illustrated by Brigette Barrager, Random House, 2014.
  • Little Miss, Big Sis, illustrated by Peter Reynolds, HarperCollins, 2015.
  • I Wish You More, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, Chronicle, 2015.
  • Friendshape, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, Scholastic, 2015.
  • Awake Beautiful Child, illustrated by Gracia Lam, McSweeney's, 2015.
  • That's Me Loving You, illustrated by Teagan White, Random House, 2016.
  • Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True, illustrated by Brigette Barrager, Random House, 2017.
  • Don’t Blink! illustrated by David Roberts, Random House, 2018.

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.
  • Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Dutton/Penguin, 2016

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.
  • The Bride-to-Be Book: A Journal of Memories from the Proposal to "I Do", Potter Style, 2011.
  • Highlights of Your Life, with Sara Gillingham, Potter Style, 2014.
  • Encyclopedia of Me: My Life from A to Z, Potter Style, 2014.
  • A Week in the Life of Me, Chronicle, 2015.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schudel, Matt (14 March 2017). "Amy Krouse Rosenthal, author of best-selling children's books, touching farewell essay, dies at 51". Washington Post. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  2. ^ "Youth library programs offered in Evesham", South Jersey Local News, March 10, 2011; accessed March 29, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Bruce Handy, "Children's Books: Happy to Be Me ... or Me!" The New York Times, May 8, 2009; accessed March 29, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Sally Lodge, (May 21, 2009) "Q & A with Amy Krouse Rosenthal", Publishers Weekly, accessed March 20, 2017.
  5. ^ "Amy Krouse Rosenthal" at HarperCollins Publishers Archived 2011-08-25 at the Wayback Machine, accessed May 16, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Amy Krouse Rosenthal Readies 'Beckoning of Lovely' Project", Chicago Magazine, November 2010; 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 Archived 2010-12-30 at the Wayback Machine, accessed March 30, 2011.
  8. ^ Mission Amy KR blog, WBEZ Archived May 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine; accessed May 16, 2011.
  9. ^ "TEDActive 2011: Projects: Public Heart", Ted Conferences website, May 9, 2011 Archived June 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, accessed May 16, 2011.
  10. ^ a b "Amy Krouse Rosenthal | Waupaca Area Public Library". 2012-03-11. Archived from the original on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  11. ^ Best Sellers, The New York Times, June 14, 2009, accessed May 16, 2011.
  12. ^ DJ Lance reads Duck!Rabbit! White House website, April 5, 2010, accessed May 16, 2011.
  13. ^ "One Book to Connect the World". Global Read Aloud. 2015-10-23. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  14. ^ "Books for 2015". Global Read Aloud. Archived from the original on 2015-04-01. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  15. ^ a b Zulkey, Claire (2016-09-01). "Ditch Your Book Club: This AI-Powered Memoir Wants To Chat With You". Fast Company. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  16. ^ "The Belly Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal", Random House, Inc website, accessed May 16, 2011.
  17. ^ "17 things i made". YouTube. 2008-06-27. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  18. ^ "Today is a Gift". YouTube. 2015-10-26. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  19. ^ "Mission Amy KR presents..."Always Trust Magic"". YouTube. 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  20. ^ "Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Thought Bubble: Kindness". YouTube. 2010-04-16. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  21. ^ "Amy KR presents..."The Money Tree"". YouTube. 2010-09-02. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  22. ^ a b "The Beckoning of Lovely 8/08/08". YouTube. 2008-09-01. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  23. ^ Bridget Kinsella (May 17, 2010) "Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Putting All Her Books Under a Yellow Umbrella", Publishers Weekly, accessed March 30, 2011.
  24. ^ "Amy Krouse Rosenthal". Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  25. ^ "Amy Krouse Rosenthal". Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  26. ^ "The Beckoning of Lovely 9/09/09". YouTube. 2009-09-25. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  27. ^ "The Beckoning of Lovely 10/10/10". YouTube. 2010-12-05. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  28. ^ "The Beckoning of Lovely 11/11/11". YouTube. 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  29. ^ "Amy Krouse Rosenthal". Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  30. ^ "TEDxWaterloo - Amy Krouse Rosenthal - 7 Notes on Life". YouTube. 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  31. ^ "Best Official Author Sites". Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  32. ^ "Funny Girl". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  33. ^ Krouse Rosenthal, Amy. "You May Want to Marry My Husband". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  34. ^ a b "Milestones: Died: Amy Krouse Rosenthal". Time. March 27, 2017. p. 15.
  35. ^ "Children's book author Amy Krouse Rosenthal dead at 51". Retrieved 2017-03-13.
  36. ^ Amy Krouse Rosenthal Obituary The New York Times, March 13, 2017; accessed July 28, 2018.

External links[edit]