I first learned about Amy Krouse Rosenthal when I picked up Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life about four years ago. I needed something for a family vacation to Florida and I somehow, thankfully, ended up with that book. I have very exact memories of reading it while laying out at the pool. While I don’t remember all the details of that book, I do remember feeling very connected to the stories and everyday life happenings that Rosenthal wrote about. An fabulous and well-written book, I still have it. It doesn’t ever come close to making the “Take to Half-Price Books Pile.” And it is one that I will reread, and probably more than once.
Than a couple of years later I came across Christmas Cookies: Bite-Size Holiday Lessons. I think I saw it at Barnes & Noble and realized it would make the perfect gift for one of my best friends. I hadn’t made the author connection at this point. Shortly after that, a colleague introduced me to Spoon, which I immediately feel in love with. This time I decided to take note of the author and then it hit me! I was already a fan of the author; I just hadn’t connected all the dots. Because all of the books I had read to this point were pretty different, including who the intended audience was. And since I’ve made that discovery, with every new book I read by Rosenthal, I become a bigger and bigger fan. Last week I read Chopsticks and it was at that point that I knew I had to espouse my love and admiration for Amy Krouse Rosenthal.
Chopsticks, which is similar to Spoon, is the ultimate example of personification and great word play. The premise is about two chopsticks who have always been inseparable, doing everything together and just having a great time. With any good story, conflict soon arises and one of the chopsticks is injured and needs time to heal. Of course, there is sadness and even nervousness, as the two friends become a little less inseparable and learn to venture out on their own. They do reunite at the end, both bringing a new and more worldly perspective to their friendship. A wonderful, heartfelt message to the reader, but done with such a sense of humor and wonderful word play, In fact, Rosenthal’s writing is so masterful and entertaining, that you might not even realize there was a message until you get to the end of the book. To me, that’s a sign of a well-written and engaging book; enjoying the book on multiple levels, during and after reading.
If you’ve never read anything by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, please go to your public library or local bookstore today and find one of these books. I promise, you won’t regret it!