milk and cookies with amy krouse rosenthal

We’ve got a very special treat today: extremely prolific New York Times best selling children’s book author Amy Krouse Rosenthal has stopped by for a quick snack!

You probably know her from such gems as Little Pea and Little Hoot, or maybe, like me, you couldn’t resist tasting her fresh baked cookie wisdom in Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, and Christmas Cookies: Bite-Size Holiday Lessons (which I reviewed here).

But as I mentioned in this post about her new film project, The Beckoning of Lovely (a mammoth undertaking which received enthusiastic response from around the world), Amy’s creative endeavors include not only children’s books, but a best selling adult memoir, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life (which I loved!), gift books and journals, parenting books, humor columns, videos, book reviews, and a gig as a public radio talk show host.

When I contacted her for an interview, she graciously agreed, even though she was in the midst of assembling a bLOG CABINet for The Beckoning of Lovely (see the 200 people who made the cut here). So we agreed to a mini interview, a bite on the run. Her life affirming, innovative, albeit quirky awesomeness is just what we need to stave off February cabin fever:

Welcome to alphabet soup, Amy. You must be very excited and busy with the Beckoning of Lovely project.

Yes, very excited and busy. Loving it, though. (See “The Story of the Project So Far,” here.)

First, a very important question. What is your favorite letter of the alphabet?

“J.” That letter is tattooed on my right ankle. Can you guess why?

Hmmm, I would say it must be in honor of your husband, Jason, who, in the summer of ’89, wooed you with 11 roses.

What’s a typical day like for you?

Get kids up and to school. Come home and drink coffee. At some point possibly brush my hair. Yoga several mornings. Do email-y type work midday to early afternoon. Take laptop and go write out at coffeehouse in afternoon. Turn back into mommy pumpkin late afternoon. Cap off day with carpooling, watching one or another child’s basketball game or soccer game, address the issue of dinner (those dang kids, they need to eat dinner every. single. night.), hang with family, lights out, sleep (oh do I love you Sleep), wake up, repeat.

Which character (from either adult’s or children’s books), would you most like to be for just one day? Why?

My real-life friend, Charise (Mericle Harper), who is the only non-family member listed in the cast of “characters” in my memoir-ish book, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. Because she is nice, talented, tall, and blonde.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about writing for children?

To write to PEOPLE, not to (or down to) children.

Tell us a little about the four (!) picture books you have coming out this Spring.

Duck! Rabbit!,with Chronicle Books (out March 11), illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld (see a sneak preview here).


Little Oink, with Chronicle Books (out April 1) — last in the series/trilogy (Little Pea, Little Hoot), all three illustrated by Jen Corace. This pig’s plight is that he wants to be neat and clean, but alas, he is a pig and his parents say he can’t go out and play until he messes up his room, puts on a dirty shirt, pulls his toys out of their bin, throws his towel on the bathroom floor.


Spoon, with Hyperion (out April 7), illustrated by Scott Magoon, or Scott Magspoon, as I now like to refer to him. The story of a Spoon who thinks Fork and Knife and Chopsticks have it so much better than him.

Yes Day!,with HarperCollins (out May 5), also illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. What if once a year the answer to every question you (a kid) asked was, “Yes!” That’d be a pretty good day, wouldn’t it . . .

They all sound deliciously intriguing, especially Spoon :)!

 Thanks to Scott Magoon for sharing this yummy spread!

I know you’re an Obama fan, since the Beckoning of Lovely submissions deadline was January 20th, and the official ice cream for the project is Ben and Jerry’s Yes Pecan.

If you could have his undivided attention for five minutes, what would you say to our new President?

I’d hug him for four minutes.

Then, I’d ask him if the girls have any of my picture books. No? Well, what do you know — I have some of them right here in my bag. Let me sign them for Sasha and Malia. And maybe if it’s going well and I haven’t fainted yet, I’d tell him about The Beckoning of Lovely because I think he’d kinda dig it, especially the whole cabinet thing we’ve set up, and the fact that we set our goal to make this movie in his first 100 days of office, and that the 100th day is my birthday, and not only that, it’s my 44th birthday!

Finally, something I just gotta know: what is your favorite cookie?

Peanut butter with Hershey kiss in the middle.


Thanks so much for stopping by, Amy, and for continuing to write such cool kids’ books. We’re anxiously awaiting the answer to the question, “Can 200 strangers make a film together?”



Keep tabs on Amy at her blog, whoisamy. Prepare to be impressed by the six other new books coming out in 2010/2011
(I told you she was prolific). Plus, check out her Spring 2009 Tour Schedule!

To witness the unfolding of the remaining 100 days of The Beckoning of Lovely, visit the special blog devoted to it.

If you’re still a little peckish, watch this adorable trailer for Christmas Cookies: Holiday Bite-Size Lessons.

And finally, in case you missed the original video that touched the universe, see how Amy and a crowd of folks made an “18th lovely thing,” here.


*Interior spread from SPOON posted by permission of illustrator, copyright © 2009 Scott Magoon, published by Hyperion Books for Children. All rights reserved.


14 thoughts on “milk and cookies with amy krouse rosenthal

  1. Thank you both for this interview. I’m so looking forward to those new pbs – particularly Little Oink, since I’m such a huge fan of the other two Little books, but they all sound marvelous.

    And I really loved the answer to the Obama question. Four minutes of hugging sounds just right.


  2. So fun to read! I love her lesson-learned, I can’t WAIT to see the new books (esp. Duck! Rabbit!), and I suddenly want peanut butter and Hershey’s cookies.

    Thanks to both of you!


  3. Thanks for the interview, I linked to you via whoisamy. I happen to be one of the lucky folk helping with her beckoning of lovely project. i am currently reading her encyclopedia of an ordinary life book which i can totally relate to on so many points.


  4. Here I am, one of the flibbertigibbets!! Thanks for all these lovely photos and poems. The frolicking has begun!!


  5. Somehow I missed this….

    Great interview!

    bwt, I’m a huge fan of “Magspoon.” 🙂 He’s illustrating my upcoming MOSTLY MONSTERLY.


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