Rosenthal, Amy Krouse 1965-
Rosenthal, Amy Krouse 1965-
Born April 29, 1965, in Chicago, IL; married; children: three. Education: Tufts University, graduated; attended Sorbonne, University of Paris.
Writer, author of books for children and adults, and radio commentator. Freelance writer, beginning 1997; Writers' Block Party, Chicago Public Radio, Chicago, IL, host; contributor to radio programs All Things Considered and Morning Edition, National Public Radio. Creator of "Amy K." note cards. Former copywriter for advertising agencies, including McConnaughy Stein Schmidt Brown, Chicago, IL; Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein, San Francisco, CA; Zechman & Associates, Chicago; Mitchiner Ross & Kahn, Chicago; and Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago. Founder of Boy & Girl Advertising, Chicago; cofounder of 272 Productions (T-shirt company), Chicago.
Little Pea, illustrated by Jen Corace, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2005.
Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, illustrated by Jane Dyer, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.
One of Those Days, illustrated by Rebecca Doughty, Putnam (New York, NY), 2006.
(With Tom Lichtenheld) The OK Book, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2007.
Al Pha's Bet, illustrated by Delphine Durand, Putnam (New York, NY), 2007.
(With Tom Lichtenheld) It's Not Fair, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2008.
Little Hoot, illustrated by Jen Corace, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2008.
Spoon, illustrated by Scott Magoon, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2008.
Christmas Cookies, illustrated by Jane Dyer, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2008.
The Book of Eleven: An Itemized Collection of Brain Lint, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 1998.
The Same Phrase Describes My Marriage and My Breasts: Before the Kids, They Used to Be Such a Cute Couple, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 1999.
The Mother's Guide to the Meaning of Life: What I've Learned in My Never-Ending Quest to Become a Dalai Mama, Rodale Press (Emmaus, PA), 2001.
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, illustrated by Jeffrey Middleton, Crown (New York, NY), 2005.
Also author of gift books, including The Belly Book: A Nine-Month Journal for You and Your Growing Belly, 2006, and Karma Checks and The Birthday Book, both 2007. Columnist and contributor to periodicals, including Might, Newsweek, New York Times, Family Life, Utne Reader, O, the Oprah Magazine, Parenting, and Hallmark magazine.
Chicago-based freelance writer and commentator Amy Krouse Rosenthal is an author of books for children and adults, a contributor to National Public Radio, and the host of Writer's Block Party, her own radio show. A former advertising copywriter, Rosenthal has also cofounded her own T-shirt company, created humorous note cards, and published a fanzine. "My life is sort of a smorgasbord," Rosenthal admitted to Kathy DeSalvo in Shoot. "My basic drive to do anything is just a love of making things. There's something about having an idea and watching it turn into something tangible that people connect with—be it a refrigerator magnet, a print ad, a commercial or a T-shirt. I just like that whole process." In Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, Rosenthal gives her creativity full rein by compiling lists, charts, and vignettes in an encyclopedia format. Weaving together her sometimes wry, sometimes poignant, and oftentimes humorous observations and ruminations, Rosenthal creates a work that Booklist contributor Leon Wagner described as an "immensely readable" memoir sure to prompt readers to reflect on "how much there is to celebrate in their own ordinary lives."
Little Pea, Rosenthal's first children's book, introduces "a decidedly atypical family … facing a familiar dinnertime issue" and treats readers to "a delicious final twist" in the process, according to a critic for Kirkus Reviews. Little Pea enjoys most everything about his life, especially rolling down hills with his friends and being launched off spoons by Papa Pea. The one thing he hates, though, is candy, which his parents insist he eat every night for supper, as all good peas do. Finally, at one meal Little Pea manages to choke down five sweets and earns a heaping bowl of his favorite dessert—spinach! "Young readers will take glee in Little Pea's absurd yet familiar predicament," noted a Publishers Weekly contributor, the critic adding that "parents will surely identify with Mama and Papa Pea's universal struggle." Writing in School Library Journal, Wendy Woodfill commented that "picky eaters will enjoy the subtle humor of this topsyturvy tale."
Rosenthal's first New York Times best-selling title, the children's book Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, dishes up a "deliciously charming collection of defined and illustrated vocabulary words that serve as gentle guides to etiquette," according to a Publishers Weekly critic. As her cast of children and animal characters busy themselves with making and eating cookies, Rosenthal develops character-building concepts such as patience, pride, modesty, and respect. On one spread, for example, a tousled redhead mixes a bowl of batter while his rabbit and dog pals help by pouring in some chocolate chips to illustrate cooperation. According to School Library Journal contributor Judith Constantinides, Rosenthal's decision to use "cookies to explain the concepts is a brilliant idea and works well on a child's level." "Cookies provide the framework for this clever book," observed Ilene Cooper in Booklist, "but the focus is really on the lessons to be learned about life."
In One of Those Days, Rosenthal "enumerates ways in which a child's happiness can be squelched by a rotten day," observed School Library Journal reviewer Gloria Koster. Rosenthal identifies, in a humorous manner, twenty-two downer scenarios that are familiar to children, such as "Keep Spilling Stuff Day," "Not Big Enough Day," and "Answer to Everything Is No Day." "Reading this picture book aloud is a sure way to get children talking about some of ‘those days,’" noted Booklist contributor Carolyn Phelan. Reviewing the work in Horn Book, Kitty Flynn called One of Those Days "a sympathetic reminder that no matter how bad they seem, those days don't last forever."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 15, 2005, Leon Wagner, review of Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, p. 1057; April 1, 2006, Ilene Cooper, review of Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, p. 43; June 1, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of One of Those Days, p. 89.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September, 2006, Karen Coats, review of Cookies, p. 31, and One of Those Days, p. 32.
Chicago, March, 2005, Claire Zulkey, "‘A’ Is for Amy," p. 23.
Horn Book, May-June, 2006, Kitty Flynn, review of One of Those Days, p. 302.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2005, review of Little Pea, p. 545; April 15, 2006, review of Cookies, p. 414.
Publishers Weekly, October 18, 2004, review of Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, p. 54; May 9, 2005, review of Little Pea, p. 69; June 5, 2006, review of Cookies, p. 62.
School Library Journal, May, 2005, Wendy Woodfill, review of Little Pea, p. 95; May, 2006, Gloria Koster, review of One of Those Days, p. 103, and Judith Constantinides, review of Cookies, p. 116.
Shoot, January 14, 1994, Kathy DeSalvo, "Renaissance Woman," p. 26; September 23, 1994, Michael Clark, "Channel Surfing," p. 52.
Writer's Digest, September, 2005, Marnie Engel Hayutin, review of Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, p. 31.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal Home Page,http://www.mommymommy.com (January 21, 2007).
CNN Online,http://www.cnn.com/ (March 3, 2005), Kelly Gyenes, "An ‘Ordinary Life’ Not So Ordinary."
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life Web site,http://www.encyclopediaofanordinarylife.com/ (January 21, 2007).
Shiny Gun Web site,http://shinygun.com/ (June 21, 2002), Samantha Bornemann, "Q&A with Amy Krouse Rosenthal."