Hest, Amy 1950–
Hest, Amy 1950–
Born April 28, 1950, in New York, NY; daughter of Seymour Cye (a businessman) and Thelma (a teacher) Levine; married Lionel Hest (a lawyer), May 19, 1977; children: Sam, Kate. Education: Hunter College of the City University of New York, B.A., 1971; C.W. Post College of Long Island University, M.L.S., 1972.
New York Public Library, New York, NY, children's librarian, 1972-75; Viking Press, Inc., New York, NY, assistant editor, 1977; full-time writer, 1977—. Teaches at Bank Street College of Education and New York University.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Sydney Taylor Honor Book Award, for Love You, Soldier; Boston Globe/Horn Book Award, 1996, for In the Rain with Baby Duck; Parents' Choice Gold Award, Sydney Taylor Honor Book Award, Christopher Award, Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies designation, National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)/Children's Book Council (CBC), and Notable Book designation, International Reading Asso- ciation (IRA), all for When Jessie Came across the Sea; Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award, for Off to School, Baby Duck!, Baby Duck and the Cozy Blanket, Don't You Fell Well, Sam?, Guess Who, Baby Duck!, and You Can Swim, Baby Duck; Notable Book for Children designation, American Library Association (ALA), Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies designation, NCSS/CBC, and Christopher Award, all for The Purple Coat; Christopher Award, for Kiss Good Night; Teachers' Choice selection, IRA, and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award, both for Make the Team, Baby Duck!; Parents' Choice Awards Silver Honor designation, and Teacher's Choice Award, IRA, both for Mr. George Baker; Notable Book for Children designation, ALA, for Remembering Mrs. Rossi.
Maybe Next Year …, Morrow (New York, NY), 1982.
The Crack-of-Dawn Walkers, illustrated by Amy Schwartz, Puffin (New York, NY), 1984.
Pete and Lily, Morrow (New York, NY), 1986.
The Purple Coat, illustrated by Amy Schwartz, Four Winds Press (New York, NY), 1986.
The Mommy Exchange, illustrated by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan, Four Winds Press (New York, NY), 1988.
Getting Rid of Krista, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers, Morrow (New York, NY), 1988.
The Midnight Eaters, illustrated by Karen Gundersheimer, Aladdin Books (New York, NY), 1989.
Travel Tips from Harry: A Guide to Family Vacations in the Sun, illustrated by Sue Truesdell, Morrow (New York, NY), 1989.
Where in the World Is the Perfect Family?, Clarion (New York, NY), 1989.
The Best-Ever Good-Bye Party, illustrated by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan, Morrow (New York, NY), 1989.
The Ring and the Window Seat, illustrated by Deborah Haeffele, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1990.
Fancy Aunt Jess, illustrated by Amy Schwartz, Morrow (New York, NY), 1990.
A Sort-Of Sailor, illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell, Four Winds Press (New York, NY), 1990.
Love You, Soldier, Four Winds Press (New York, NY), 1991.
Pajama Party, illustrated by Irene Trivas, Morrow (New York, NY), 1992.
The Go-Between, illustrated by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan, Four Winds Press (New York, NY), 1992.
Nana's Birthday Party, illustrated by Amy Schwartz, Morrow (New York, NY), 1993.
Weekend Girl, illustrated by Harvey Stevenson, Morrow (New York, NY), 1993.
Nannies for Hire, illustrated by Irene Trivas, Morrow (New York, NY), 1994.
Ruby's Storm, illustrated by Nancy Cote, Four Winds Press (New York, NY), 1994.
Rosie's Fishing Trip, illustrated by Paul Howard, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1994.
How to Get Famous in Brooklyn, illustrated by Linda Dalal Sawaya, Four Winds Press (New York, NY), 1994.
The Private Notebook of Katie Roberts, Age Eleven (sequel to Love You, Soldier), illustrated by Sonja Lamut, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1995.
In the Rain with Baby Duck, illustrated by Jill Barton, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1995.
Party on Ice, illustrated by Irene Trivas, Morrow (New York, NY), 1995.
Jamaica Louise James, illustrated by Sheila White Stanton, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1996.
Baby Duck and the Bad Eyeglasses, illustrated by Jill Barton, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1996.
The Babies Are Coming, illustrated by Chloe Cheese, Crown (New York, NY), 1997.
You're the Boss, illustrated by Jill Barton, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1997.
When Jessie Came across the Sea, illustrated by P.J. Lynch, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1997.
The Great Green Notebook of Katie Roberts: Who Just Turned Twelve on Monday, illustrated by Sonja Lamut, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1998.
Gabby Growing Up, illustrated by Amy Schwartz, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1998.
Off to School, Baby Duck!, illustrated by Jill Barton, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1999.
Mabel Dancing, illustrated by Christine Cavenier, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2000.
The Friday Nights of Nana, illustrated by Claire A. Nivola, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2001.
Kiss Good Night, illustrated by Anita Jeram, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2001.
Don't You Feel Well, Sam?, illustrated by Anita Jeram, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.
Baby Duck and the Cozy Blanket, illustrated by Jill Barton, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.
Make the Team, Baby Duck!, illustrated by Jill Barton, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.
Guess Who, Baby Duck!, illustrated by Jill Barton, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.
You Can Do It, Sam, illustrated by Anita Jeram, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.
Mr. George Baker, illustrated by Jon J. Muth, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004.
You Can Swim, Baby Duck!, illustrated by Jill Barton, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.
Remembering Mrs. Rossi, illustrated by Heather Maione, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.
The Dog Who Belonged to No One, illustrated by Amy Bates, Abrams (New York, NY), 2008.
One Day with Little Chick, illustrated by Anita Jeram, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2009.
An award-winning author of picture books and juvenile novels, Amy Hest is known for her sensitive and insightful depictions of family relationships. Many of her books, including The Purple Coat and the "Baby Duck" series, focus on youngsters and their grandparents, al- though parents, annoying siblings, and fabulous aunts also make frequent appearances. Additionally, several of her tales are set in New York City and illustrate how love and support of family and friends can get one through trying times as well as the ordinary ups and downs of everyday existence. According to a contributor in The Essential Guide to Children's Books and their Creators, "Hest has created a notable body of work reflecting childhood concerns about home and family, with specific details that illuminate universal truths."
Hest grew up in a small suburban community about an hour's drive from New York City. As a child, her favorite things to do were biking, reading, and spying. "I spied on everyone, and still do," Hest said in a Four Winds Press publicity release. "All writers, I suspect, are excellent spies. At least they ought to be. My parents took me to the city quite often, and by the time I was seven, I was certain of one thing, that I would one day live there. Many years later, after graduating from library school, I moved to the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and I live here still, with my husband and two children, Sam and Kate."
Hest often uses her children's names for the main characters in her books. Maybe Next Year, her first published book, features a twelve year old named Kate who lives with her grandmother on the Upper West Side of New York City. Two major events unfold in Kate's life during the course of the story, and she must sort out her feelings about both. First, Mr. Schumacher, a widower friend of her grandmother's, moves in to share their apartment. Kate also has to decide whether she is ready and willing to audition for the National Ballet Summer School, as her best friend, Peter, feels she should.
In The Crack-of-Dawn-Walkers, Hest again portrays a young girl's relationship with a grandparent. Every other Sunday, Sadie gets to go with Grandfather on his traditional morning walk. On the other Sundays, her little brother gets to spend time alone with Grandfather. Millie Hawk Daniel, in a review for the New York Times Book Review, praised Hest's combination of the two themes, "the validity of intergenerational camaraderie and the understanding that each child needs his or her own private time with a grandparent."
Children and their grandparents are the primary focus of several more of Hest's books. Dubbed by Ellen Feldman a "triumph of imagination, resourcefulness and hope" in the New York Times Book Review, The Purple Coat tells how Gabrielle and her mother go on their annual trip to Grampa's tailor shop so that Gabby can get a new coat. Up until now, Grampa has always made Gabby a navy blue coat with buttons and a half belt in the back, just the way Mama likes it. This time, Gabby wants a purple coat, but Mama says no. Fashioning an imaginative reversible coat, Grampa manages to please them both.
Hest and illustrator Amy Schwartz also team up in Gabby Growing Up, in which the eponymous protagonist, now eight or nine years old, has knitted mittens to give to Grampa for his birthday. When she and her mother come to Manhattan to meet him at a skating rink, Gabby first gets a new hairdo among other surprises en route. Now worries arise as to whether Grampa will like Gabby's new braidless look and the bright orange mittens she has knitted for him. As with The Purple Coat, reviewers responded warmly to this intergenerational tale. "Hest and Schwartz lovingly recreate postwar New York City," wrote a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, "but the issues they address are timeless… in this "thoughtful, effective collaboration." Writing in Booklist, Ilene Cooper felt that Gabby Growing Up has something for both adults and children: "Although the setting may evoke nostalgia for adults, Gabby's story of universal hopes and worries will easily appeal to today's children," she noted. and Virginia Golodetz, reviewing Gabby Growing Up in School Library Journal, wrote that "art and text together tell a totally satisfying story of a youngster making choices about herself, with the love and support of her family."
A young girl's relationship with her grandmother is explored in both The Midnight Eaters and The Go-Between. In the former, Samantha Bluestein and her ill-but-recovering Nana share a bedroom, a cold midnight snack, and some warm conversation in what Heide Piehler called in School Library Journal an adept portrayal of "the special love and understanding between generations." The Go-Between is also the story of granddaughter-grandmother roommates, as Lexi and Gran share a room and enjoy looking out the window at the bustling New York City street below. There, they spy Murray Singer, who runs the newsstand and used to be a good friend of Gran's. Lexi plays matchmaker until she fears that Gran's budding romance with Murray may change her own cherished relationship. All ends happily, however, in this story which a Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote "blends nostalgia and contemporary family dynamics."
New York City plays a particularly large role in two of Hest's books about grandparents. In The Weekend Girl, Sophie's parents take a "private, no-kid" vacation, leaving Sophie and her dog to spend the weekend with Gram and Grampa. Although Sophie is sad to be without her parents, she enjoys her grandparents' special surprise of a picnic and concert in Central Park. The city streets and a brewing storm are the background against which Ruby must make her way to keep a checkers date with Grandpa in Ruby's Storm. This book not only explores the intergenerational relationship, but also conveys what Joyce Richards called in School Library Journal the "allegorical message that nurturing family relationships often means weathering storms along the way."
Aunts provide nurturing family relationships in Hest's Fancy Aunt Jess and The Ring and the Window Seat.The title character of Fancy Aunt Jess has luxurious blonde hair, dresses stylishly, and loves to host her niece Becky at sleepovers in her Brooklyn apartment. Whenever anyone questions Aunt Jess about her unmarried status, she replies that she is waiting for someone special, someone who will give her goose bumps. Goose bumps appear when she meets the father of Becky's new friend. Eleanor K. MacDonald wrote in School Library Journal that this story of a special friendship would "appeal to any child who has pondered the mysteries of adult romance."
Another aunt is featured in The Ring and the Window Seat, Hest's "low-key introduction" to the story of the Holocaust, according to Leone McDermott in Booklist. In this graceful tale, Annie's Aunt Stella recalls a birthday she had many years ago. Stella had been saving her money to buy a beautiful golden ring, but one day a carpenter knocked on her door, asking for work. As he was building a window seat for Stella, he told her how he needed the work so he could earn money to send for his daughter, who was hiding from the Nazis. After she heard this, Stella silently slipped her ring money into the carpenter's bag. A few weeks later, she unexpectedly received a gift of a golden ring from the carpenter's daughter. Now, Stella passes the ring on to Annie as a special birthday surprise.
Hest's focus shifts from relatives to friends and their relationships in Pete and Lily. These two twelve-year-old girls, neighbors in the same apartment building in New York, form an "Anti-Romance Mission" when Pete—whose real name is Patricia—finds out that her mother and Lily's father have begun dating. Cynthia Percak Infantino praised the author's "convincing portrait of adolescent jealousy" in a School Library Journal review by noting that the book also shows the "need to let go of the past and adapt to life's changes." Getting Rid of Krista also deals with the themes of jealousy and adaptation. When eight-year-old Gillie's father loses his job, her big sister Krista has to come back home from college. Gillie wants her self-centered, preening sister out of the house as soon as possible. With the help of her best friend and a coincidental meeting with a famous Broadway producer, Gillie gets her wish.
In all of Hest's books, an underlying theme is the incredible variety of family relationships that exist in society. Large families, small families, single-parent families, and families with step-parents and step-siblings are all seen as having their own special charm, as well as their own special difficulties. Another type of special family arrangement is depicted in Where in the World Is the Perfect Family?, in which complicated problems face eleven-year-old Cornie Blume. Cornie is adjusting well to the joint-custody arrangement of her divorced parents, shuttling between the East and West sides of New York. But then Cornie's father announces that his new wife is about to have a baby and her mother begins mentioning a possible move to California. Roger Sutton noted in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books that these complications give the story "texture" and that "Cornie's a likable, one-of-us heroine whom readers will enjoy."
While the problems in The Mommy Exchange are not quite as complex as Cornie's situation in Where in the World Is the Perfect Family?, they do demonstrate that families have their good and bad points. Hest's story compares and contrasts two families who live in the same apartment building: Jessica lives upstairs with her parents and her twin siblings while Jason lives downstairs, in peace and quiet with his mother and father. The two friends envy each other's lives, and they decide to make a weekend switch. After they each experience how the other lives, Jessica and Jason discover the blessings their own environments have to offer. Hest continues the young duo's friendship in The Best-Ever Good-Bye Party, as the two children adapt to the fact that Jason is moving away. Jason seems to be looking forward to the move, which hurts Jessica's feelings, and the two have a fight the day before the move. However, at the good-bye party arranged by Jessica's mother, Jason and Jessica realize that they are still best friends despite everything.
Hest examines loss and renewal in Remembering Mrs. Rossi, "a peek inside a story that no one wants to live,
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but that many will want to understand," according to Horn Book reviewer Robin Smith. When Annie's mother, a dedicated teacher, passes away unexpectedly, the eight year old must reconstruct her life with the help of her father and a scrapbook put together by Mrs. Rossi's students. According to Booklist critic Kay Weisman, the author "imbues her characters with warmth, humor, and realistic imperfections," and a Publishers Weekly reviewer noted, "Readers of this fine novel will find the spirited, resilient Annie another character—just like her mother—well worth remembering."
The ups and downs of friendship take the stage in Pajama Party and Nannies for Hire, which focus on three best friends, eight-year-old Casey and her pals Jenny and Kate. In Pajama Party, the girls decide to have their own pajama party when they are excluded from Casey's thirteen-year-old sister's party. Although Kate gets homesick and does not make it through her first night away from home, all ends happily when the girls are reunited in the morning with special breakfast treats. In what Hanna B. Zeiger characterized in Horn Book as "a warm-hearted tale of friendship," Nannies for Hire finds the three friends collaborating on a baby-sitting job taking care of Jenny's new baby sister. Not surprisingly, things do not go quite as smoothly as planned, and at the end of what becomes a very stressful day, all three girls appreciate why Jenny's Mom has been so tired and frazzled lately.
A youngster and his elderly neighbor share a love of learning in Mr. George Baker, "a gentle tale of intergenerational and interracial friendship," observed a contributor in Kirkus Reviews. Each day Harry, a first-grader, boards the school bus with George, a former jazz drummer who is taking reading lessons at Harry's school. "Harry narrates the story in short articulate sentences that present an uncomplicated picture of two unlikely friends," noted School Library Journal reviewer Carolyn Janssen. Writing in Booklist, Gillian Engberg called Mr. George Baker "a simple, sweet, moving portrait of a natural friendship between seniors and children."
In addition to picture books, Hest also writes middle-grade novels. Her most popular books of this type feature a young Jewish girl, Katie, who lives in New York City and Texas during the 1940s. In the first "Katie" book, Love You, Soldier, Katie sees the world change from her seventh to tenth birthdays as World War II affects everyone around her, and she worries about her father, who is fighting overseas. She and her mother pore over his letters and try to keep a sense of normalcy on the home front. When a childhood friend of her mother's moves in, also waiting for a husband to return from the war, Katie helps out with the woman's new baby. Sadly, one day the long-dreaded telegram arrives to tell nine-year-old Katie and her mom that Katie's father will not be coming home. Critical praise greeted the publication of Love You, Soldier. "Hest's book offers another viewpoint of the hardships of World
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War II in the United States," wrote Phyllis Kennemer in a School Library Journal review, while Horn Book contributor Mary M. Burns dubbed the novel a "small gem," concluding, "It isn't often that a story accessible to younger readers has the emotional impact of a much more complex novel. Amy Hest's Love You, Soldier belongs in that category."
Katie's story continues in The Private Notebook of Katie Roberts, Age Eleven, in which the preteen fills the pages of a leather notebook with images of her new life in Texas. Her mother is now married to Sam Gold, and the family now lives on Sam's ranch. Katie's diary records her nervousness at entering a new school, her ups when she becomes editor of the class paper, and her downs when she learns of her mother's pregnancy and ponders her place in this new blended family. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called Katie an "unusually exuberant narrator" and noted that the young narrator's humorous takes on life "will win readers as (Katie) surmounts hurdle after hurdle." Writing in Booklist, Chris Sherman felt that fans of Love You, Soldier "will be delighted with this sequel" and called Katie a "captivating, outspoken protagonist whose concerns will be familiar to many children." In Horn Book Burns had high praise for the novel, noting that unlike most sequels it stands up well on its own; moreover it distinguishes Hest "as a remarkable writer for a difficult au- dience." "So lifelike is her characterization," added Burns, "that the reader feels impelled to slip into the narrative to offer (Katie) … a bit of advice." Burns deemed The Private Notebook of Katie Roberts, Age Eleven a "finely crafted story" made even better by the "lively line drawings" of illustrator Sonja Lamut.
Katie's third outing, The Great Green Notebook of Katie Roberts: Who Just Turned Twelve on Monday, finds the protagonist entering the seventh grade in Texas. Her new notebook was sent to her by a former New York neighbor, and in it she continues to record her feelings about her life. In this installment, readers learn of her infatuation with David, her frustration when she is prohibited from wearing lipstick to school, and her on-again, off-again friendship with fellow student Rudy, an Italian immigrant. Katie still misses her biological father and has fears that her stepfather's new business—a diner—will not succeed. Booklist contributor Michael Cart called Katie an "engaging presence" and characterized her parents as "likable and sympathetic." Burns also had positive things to say about the journal-novel, calling Katie "a believable, dauntless character, with just the right mix of sass and sympathy." A Kirkus Reviews critic deemed The Great Green Notebook of Katie Roberts a "rollicking story that balances humor and pre-adolescent angst with the larger canvas of post-WWII America."
Writing for younger readers, Hest has teamed up with illustrator Jill Barton on several "Baby Duck" picture books, chronicling the adventures and misadventures of this young quacker. Her first outing, In the Rain with Baby Duck, blends family and weather when Baby Duck—no fan of rain—must navigate puddles to get to Grampa's home on the other side of town. There she learns that her mother did not much like the rain either as a youngster. "Preschoolers will love the large, bright pages with the funny pencil and watercolor illustrations of the duck family," wrote Horn Book reviewer Hanna Zeiger, "and they will easily identify with the joy of splashing in puddles (with boots on)." Spectacles give Baby Duck problems in Baby Duck and the Bad Eyeglasses, a story that one again depicts a loving relationship between grandfather and grandchild. Here Grampa is able to convince Baby Duck that wearing her new glasses is not only simply okay but actually good for her. More praise greeted this addition to the series. Booklist contributor Ilene Cooper wrote that "Hest and Barton combine their considerable talents in a delightful story," while in Horn Book Maeve Visser Knoth felt that readers "will be delighted to encounter (Baby Duck) again."
The arrival of a new sibling provides the inspiration for You're the Boss, Baby Duck. No longer the youngest in the family, Baby Duck is unsure how she feels about her new sister, Hot Stuff, but a visit to Grampa helps to set things right again. This oft-written-about topic is given a new twist by Hest and Barton, according to Booklist contributor Cooper; "Baby is just so ducky," the critic quipped, "that anything she appears in is hardly run-of-the-mill." The first day of school is at the heart of Off to School, Baby Duck!, and Baby Duck is none too happy about the prospect. Once again, however, it is a talk with understanding Grampa that reassures her that things will be fine. Cooper, reviewing Off to School, Baby Duck!, called the young protagonist a "trailblazer of sorts" for introducing young readers to the pleasures of rain, eyeglasses, a new sibling, and school. While there are many books which deal with the subject, "familiar situations seem new, fresh, and very real when Baby is in the middle of them," Cooper noted. In Guess Who, Baby Duck! Grampa has just the cure for the youngster's head cold: a photo album with pictures of Baby Duck's first bath, first steps, and first birthday party. According to School Library Journal contributor Rachel G. Payne, the work "beautifully taps into the heart" of the "Baby Duck" series, "the youngster's special relationship with her loving grandfather."
Hest has also written a number of books inspired by her son, Sam. In Kiss Good Night a cub finds countless ways to keep Mrs. Bear in his room until she remembers a special bedtime ritual. Don't You Feel Well, Sam? concerns Mrs. Bear's efforts to coax her youngster into taking a foul-tasting cough syrup for his cold. A critic in Publishers Weekly praised the author's "soothingly rhythmic and repetitive prose," and Gillian Engberg, writing in Booklist, called the work "a quiet, shining story of things made better." In You Can Do It, Sam, Mrs. Bear encourages her son to help her deliver tasty treats to the neighbors. "Endearing characters add to the sweetness and fulfillment that younger children will identify with," wrote a Kirkus Reviews contributor.
Before Hest began writing children's books, she worked for several years as a children's librarian, and then in the children's book departments of several major publishing houses. "All my life, though, I secretly wanted to write children's books," she wrote in her publicity release. "‘What? You?’ This nasty little voice in the back of my head simply laughed at me. ‘What in the world would someone like YOU have to say? Don't you get it, Amy, you're the least exciting person in the universe! Go away and let the writers do the writing!’
"It took me a long time—and I won't tell you how many years—to smash that voice to smithereens … but smash it I did, and I'm not a bit sorry. Having done that, I was able to get on with it, with the writing. Amazing! I DID find something to write about, and every single day I find something more."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Silvey, Anita, editor, The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2002.
Booklist, January 15, 1991, Leone McDermott, review of The Ring and the Window Seat, p. 1063; July, 1995, Chris Sherman, review of The Private Notebook of Katie Roberts, Age Eleven, p. 1879; August, 1996, Ilene Cooper, review of Baby Duck and the Bad Eyeglasses, p. 1905; September 1, 1997, Ilene Cooper, review of You're the Boss, Baby Duck!, p. 133; January 1, 1998, Ilene Cooper, review of Gabby Growing Up, pp. 822-823; November 15, 1998, Michael Cart, review of The Great Green Notebook of Katie Roberts: Who Just Turned Twelve on Monday, p. 590; September 15, 1999, Ilene Cooper, review of Off to School, Baby Duck!, p. 259; October 1, 2001, Gillian Engberg, review of Kiss Good Night, p. 325, and Carolyn Phelan, review of The Friday Nights of Nana, p. 334; November 15, 2002, Gillian Engberg, review of Don't You Feel Well, Sam?, p. 602; November 1, 2003, Abby Nolan, review of You Can Do It, Sam, p. 501; March 1, 2004, Carolyn Phelan, review of Guess Who, Baby Duck!, p. 1195; September 1, 2004, Gillian Engberg, review of Mr. George Baker, p. 132; January 1, 2007, Kay Weisman, review of Remembering Mrs. Rossi, p. 102.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, November, 1989, Roger Sutton, review of Where in the World Is the Perfect Family?, pp. 59-60.
Horn Book, September-October, 1991, Mary M. Burns, review of Love You, Soldier, pp. 591-592; May-June, 1994, Janna B. Zeiger, review of Nannies for Hire, pp. 339-340; September-October, 1995, Mary M. Burns, review of The Private Notebooks of Katie Roberts, Age Eleven, pp. 599-600; March-April, 1996, Hanna B. Zeiger, review of In the Rain with Baby Duck, pp. 188-189; September-October, 1996, Maeve Visser Knoth, review of Baby Duck and the Bad Eyeglasses, pp. 577-578; January-February, 1999, Mary M. Burns, review of The Great Green Notebook of Katie Roberts, p. 62; May-June, 2007, Robin Smith, review of Remembering Mrs. Rossi, p. 283.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 1998, review of The Great Green Notebook of Katie Roberts; October 1. 2003, review of You Can Do It, Sam, p. 1224; July 15, 2004, review of Mr. George Baker, p. 686; July 15, 2008, review of The Dog Who Belonged To No One.
New York Times Book Review, May 13, 1984, Millie Hawk Daniel, review of The Crack-of-Dawn-Walkers, pp. 20-21; November 9, 1986, Ellen Feldman, review of The Purple Coat, p. 60.
Publishers Weekly, June 5, 1995, review of The Private Notebook of Katie Roberts, Age Eleven, p. 64; December 1, 1997, review of Gabby Growing Up, p. 53; July 22, 2002, review of Don't you Feel Well, Sam?, p. 176; September 6, 2004, review of Mr. George Baker, p. 62; February 12, 2007, review of Remembering Mrs. Rossi, p. 86.
School Library Journal, August, 1986, Cynthia Percak Infantino, review of Pete and Lily, p. 92; October, 1989, Heide Piehler, review of The Midnight Eaters, p. 86; June, 1990, Eleanor K. MacDonald, review of Fancy Aunt Jess, p. 100; August, 1991, Phyllis K. Kennemer, review of Love You, Soldier, p. 166; April, 1994, Joyce Richards, review of Ruby's Storm, p. 106; March, 1998, Virginia Golodetz, review of Gabby Growing Up, p. 180; September, 1999, Kathleen M. Kelly MacMillan, review of Off to School, Baby Duck!, p. 183; October, 2001, Amy Lilien-Harper, review of The Friday Nights of Nana, p. 120; November, 2001, Susan Weitz, review of Kiss Good Night, p. 124; September, 2002, Kathleen Simonetta, review of Don't You Feel Well, Sam?, p. 193; October, 2003, Kathy Krasniewicz, review of You Can Do It, Sam, p. 126; May, 2004, Rachel G. Payne, review of Guess Who, Baby Duck!, p. 114; September, 2004, Carolyn Janssen, review of Mr. George Baker, p. 162; March, 2007, Linda Ward-Callaghan, review of Remembering Mrs. Rossi, p. 173.
Amy Hest Home Page,http://www.amyhest.com (August 10, 2008).
Candlewick Press Web site,http://www.candlewick.com/ (August 10, 2008), "Amy Hest."
Four Winds Publicity Release, 1993, "Amy Hest."