“I love books. I really love books. I love books so much that if I could, I would marry them (…even though I’m already married.) Books make me really, really happy.”
Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a really fun speaker, and a really, really prolific writer. She has published 11 picture books in the past four years (four of them in this spring alone) and has another six in the pipeline. Our friends at Buttonwood Books brought Amy to Inly School yesterday to read from her latest New York Times best-seller, Duck! Rabbit!, and to talk about her favorite thing in the world: words.
Before anyone could ask, Amy told the K–3 audience that the most frequently asked question she gets is “How did you decide to become a writer?”
“Well, here is the answer. I wanted to do something that I really liked and was really fun. So I tried to think: What’s something that’s really fun to do, and that you can do as much as you want without stopping?” [Amy gets her slideshow in gear.]
“So I thought: Ice-cream.” [Large pic of ice-cream appears on screen. Oooohs and aaahs from audience.] “But can you eat as much as you want without stopping?” Yesssss! “But forever and not get sick?” Noooo.
“Then I thought: Roller coasters!” [Yay!!!] “But could you ride for as much as you want…without throwing up?” Noooooo…
Same thing with TV. Then Amy says, “The only thing I could think of in the entire universe that fit those two requirements is… READING.”
“I love to read and I also love to write, and I can do both of those things as much as I want. Now…did I always know that I wanted to be a writer? No, but here’s what I have always known…I have always loved WORDS.”
What followed was a lively discussion about palindromes, anagrams, onomatopoeia, and general word play. Amy read “C D B!” [cover has picture of girl pointing to a bee; get it? ] by one of her favorite authors, William Steig, and the kids were on a roll. Rosenthal clearly has a talent with kids as well as with words. She gets them, speaks their language, makes them laugh, and makes them think.
Book reading followed, and a big round of applause broke out when Amy raised the cover of Duck! Rabbit! (whose main character is either a duck or a rabbit, depending on how you look at it). She also read from Little Oink, about a piglet who is forced to mess up his bedroom and wear stained T-shirts, and Spoon about well, a spoon. You’ll just have to read it to see what it’s about. Like all her books, it’s clever, original, fun (really fun), and utterly delightful.