Amy Krouse Rosenthal

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

Amy Krouse Rosenthal is an American author of both adult and children's books, a short filmmaker, and former radio show host. Amy K.R. is best known for her memoir Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, her children's picture books, and the film project The Beckoning of Lovely .[1][2][3][4][5] She is a prolific writer, having published more than 30 children's books since 2005.[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 contributor to Chicago's NPR affiliate WBEZ and to the TED conference.[8][9]


Amy Krouse Rosenthal writes for both adults and children.

The New York Times has called her books "terrific".[2][10][11]

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]

Amy K.R. has 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][12] Duck! Rabbit! was read at the White House during the 2010 Easter Egg Roll.[13] She was selected as the 2015 author for The Global Read Aloud, 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) is her most successful book for adults. It was named one Amazon's top ten memoirs of the decade. In 2010, National Public Radio's Morning Edition spoke about Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life:

[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," "Ayn Rand") to Y ("You"), with appropriate cross-references and clever drawings to supplement the text.

— Nancy Pearl,[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.

Textbook, Rosenthal says, is not a prequel or a sequel but "hopefully an equal" to Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. Her writing often celebrates the serendipitous moment, the smallness of our world, the misheard sentence that was better than the real one—always in praise of the flashes of magic in our mundane lives. It’s as beautiful, thrilling, brief, sad, and quotidian as a sunset.

— Claire Zulkey, Fast Company


Along with her adult and children's work, Amy K.R. has 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.[17]


Amy K.R. makes 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, Today is a Gift, ATM: Always Trust Magic, The Kindness Thought Bubble, The Money Tree, and The Beckoning of Lovely.[11][18]

She held Beckoning of Lovely events at the bean in Chicago's Millennium Park on 08/08/08, 09/09/09, 10/10/10, and 11/11/11.[19]

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]

Other work[edit]

Amy K.R. is 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, 7 Notes on Life, at TEDxWaterloo (Canada) in 2010.

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

Amy K.R. is known for her innovative and participatory use of Facebook and Twitter. Her website was named one of the best official author websites, alongside Barbara Kingsolver and Stephen King.[20]

Amy K.R. created and hosted, a blog produced by Chicago Public Radio affiliate, WBEZ.[8] Each week, she posted a new interactive mission for readers. Tony Malatia, the president of WBEZ, summarized: "[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."[21] She was also the producer and host of the radio show Writers' Block Party on WBEZ, the Chicago Public Radio station from 2002 to 2008.[22]


Amy K.R. lives 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 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 Litchtenheld, 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.

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.
  • 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. ^ "Youth library programs offered in Evesham," South Jersey Local News, March 10, 2011, accessed March 29, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d 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 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 "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 Archived May 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., accessed May 16, 2011.
  9. ^ "TEDActive 2011: Projects: Public Heart, Ted Conferences website, May 9, 2011, accessed May 16, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c "Amy Krouse Rosenthal," 2010 Waupaca Film Festival, accessed March 29, 2011.
  11. ^ a b Bridget Kinsella, "Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Putting All Her Books Under a Yellow Umbrella," Publishers Weekly, May 17, 2010, accessed March 30, 2011.
  12. ^ "Best Sellers", New York Times, June 14, 2009, accessed May 16, 2011.
  13. ^ "DJ Lance reads Duck!Rabbit!," White House website, April 5, 2010, accessed May 16, 2011.
  14. ^ "Books for 2015". Global Read Aloud. Retrieved 2015-11-30. 
  15. ^ "Happy Holidays, Voyeurs: Nancy Pearl Picks Memoirs: NPR", South Jersey Local News, December 3, 2010, accessed May 16, 2011.
  16. ^ "Ditch Your Book Club: This AI-Powered Memoir Wants To Chat With You". 2016-09-01. Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  17. ^ "The Belly Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal", Random House, Inc website, accessed May 16, 2011.
  18. ^ Personal website
  19. ^ Amy Krouse Rosenthal website; accessed September 16, 2011.
  20. ^ "Best Official Author Sites | By Emily Jenkinson | The Good Web Guide". Retrieved 2015-12-01. 
  21. ^ "Here's How MISSion Amy K.R. Works," WBEZ", January 9, 2010, accessed May 30, 2011.
  22. ^ WBEZ website[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]