As we say good-bye to the month of March, we also say good-bye to one of the exceptional voices in children’s literature today. Amy Krouse Rosenthal, pass away earlier this month at the age of 51. In her short life, Amy managed to pen 28 picture books, the latest of which is I Wish You More. The buzz on twitter was enough for me to order multiple copies of this book before I ever read it. Once I read it, I realized I hadn’t ordered enough. The delightful illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld underscore the optimism and love embedded in wishes that anyone would share with a loved one. In a New York Times column, Bruce Handy describes Amy’s picture books as “elegant and spirit-lifting”. I concur!
Among her other accomplishments, Amy has given TED talks, produced Youtube videos and written two memoirs which are at the top of my “To Be Read” list. Both Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal promise to be those kind of life-changing books you return to again and again.
Clearly, Amy was a person who used her gifts and talents to inject positive energy into the world. In one of her Youtube videos, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3eZvEIdmq4, she showed 17 things that she made and then invited folks to join her at Millennium Park to make the 18th thing. Tons of people showed up! Can you imagine the sense of fun that ensued? Knowing she was dying, Amy wrote a “want ad” for her husband, which appeared int he New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/style/modern-love-you-may-want-to-marry-my-husband.html. Again, her positive approach and appreciation of life and the people in it shine through.
In this time of pessimism, criticism, skepticism, we need voices like Amy’s. Through her work, we can share a positive spirit. Amy’s children’s books are short and appropriate for any age. Do yourself a favor and check them out. Here’s a smattering of titles to get you started. Enjoy!