Monday, April 04, 2011

A Perfect Day With Amy Krouse Rosenthal

When Amy Krouse Rosenthal was scheduled to visit our school in February, we had an ice storm and school was cancelled. It was a total bummer.  We were all so excited about her visit and kids were anxious to meet her.  The night before the visit, we had our annual art show and all of the displays were inspired by Amy Krouse Rosenthal's work.  Our 4th graders worked on a project, Made to Make a Difference as part of the show.  And the whole school contributed to a Things We Make board.  You can imagine how sad we all were when school was cancelled on that day.

Mrs. Knapp shows off her yellow bandana.
Amy was so gracious and was able to reschedule for last week.  I am sure it wasn't easy for her to do, as she is so busy.  But she visited Riverside on Thursday and it was a PERFECT day!  I have loved Amy and her work for a while but had never had a chance to see her with children.  WOW!  She had them glued to her words in every session.  Our kids were decked out in yellow bandanas.  Because we all loved her video, "Beckoning the Lovely", we decided to wear yellow to coordinate with Amy's infamous yellow umbrella. Many kids came decked out in yellow clothing. And everyone had a yellow bandana to wear as they pleased. Talk about creativity--some made neckties, others wore them as aprons. Headbands and belts were also popular.  It was great fun to look at all the ways kids thought of to wear the bandanas.

I should have known that Amy would speak in the same way she writes -- offering up invitations for people around her.  Her talks were filled with invitations and possibilities. She began talking to each group about why she loved words and I loved watching the kids' faces as they worked through anagrams, palindromes and more.  She also talked about how she loves ideas and let kids in on the secret that ideas are everywhere.  They just need to be on the lookout.  She read from her books. One of my favorite things that day, was the cheering that went on in the crowd every time Amy put up a slide of a cover to one of her books. It was true concert behavior as the kids yelled, clapped and hollered for their favorite book.  Spoon, Duck Rabbit and Bedtime for Mommy all got huge cheers from the crowd.  Seems that all of her books are their favorites!

Amy shared a video that I hadn't seen with our older kids.  The Money Tree:

Then she talked to kids about the surprises and asked them the question, "What would you have done had you walked past the money tree?"  It was a great conversation and a great invitation for reflection.

This Plus That: Life's Little EquationsShe shared some of her upcoming book with us that I am VERY excited about. It is called THIS PLUS THAT and is due out VERY soon!  It is a great story of word equations with great messages about life. I think the kids will have fun trying to write some of their own after seeing Amy's.

To thank Amy for her visit, our amazing friend, Karen Spector, created a special necklace for Amy.  Karen is our favorite jewelry artist and she was moved by Amy's work when I shared the site.  She created an amazing necklace that celebrated Amy's work.  We are finding that everyone is touched by Amy's work once they discover it.

As I said, it was a perfect day and I am loving all of the conversations and things that are happening because of Amy's visit.  Kids are not only continuing to enjoy her books, but they are talking about the things she invited them to think about.  This is an author visit that will live with our kids for a very long time.  Thank you, Amy!


  1. I'm so glad she could reschedule and come back to Ohio for you! However, that would be just what Amy would do if she could from what I see her writing about.

  2. Wow! I wish I could have seen her in action! Congrats on a great visit, Franki!


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