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A few pages from “Uni the Unicorn”, illustrated by me (Brigette Barrager) and written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal!  It’s hard for me to describe how much I love this story, and how grateful I am that both Amy and our publisher allowed me to so much freedom with the art.  Uni comes out TODAY!  

You can buy a copy HERE!

More info about Uni the Unicorn HERE!

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In which John talks about his big break way back in 2002, writing, reading, the extraordinary work of Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and her new project. Amy will be at the Bean on 8/9/16 from 8:09 AM to 8:09 PM; you’ll know it’s her because of the yellow umbrella. More info at the video invitation.

I’m turning left. Look, everyone, my blinker is on, and I’m turning left. I am so happy to be alive, driving along, making a left turn. I’m serious. I am doing exactly what I want to be doing at this moment: existing on a Tuesday, going about my business, on my way somewhere, turning left.
—  Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life
You Want A Social Life, With Friends
  • You Want A Social Life, With Friends
  • Kenneth Koch
  • Writer's Block Party One
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Kenneth Koch reading “You Want A Social Life With Friends” (2000)

This was recorded by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, author of Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. Here’s what she has to say about it:

One of my favorite poems appears in the book on page 144. It is called So You Want A Social Life With Friends, and it is by Kenneth Koch. In the fall of 2000, I had the privilege of recording Mr. Koch reading this poem in his Upper East Side apartment for an audio magazine project I was working on. I used a tiny Radio Shack tape recorder, and take full responsibility for the lack of high sound quality. (But I do admit I like the crackling and soundproof-lessness.) He was an impeccable, flawless reader–we were finished in two or three takes. Though he had been reluctant to agree to our session, once underway, he was a gracious, charismatic host. He had set up a nice tray with glasses of grapefruit juice. Fitting, because the whole thing was bittersweet. Mr. Koch died a year later. I believe this is one of his last recordings.

Amazing! One of my very favorite poems.

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THE BECKONING OF LOVELY final gathering at Bean on 11/11/11

To learn more about The Beckoning of Lovely or how you can be involved in creating the book for Henry, head over to Amy’s site.

Book Gifts for Kids 4 to 7: Perfect picture books for petite perusers. 

(For all our Holiday 2014 gift guides, click here!)

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Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s ThoughtBubbler: Kindness

This is one of my favorite things in the Universe, and though I forget it from time to time, I always come back to this video. It is thoroughly inspiring and thought-provoking, and it is because of people like Amy that I want to be a better person.

You should watch it.

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So I was reading Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, and I came across this passage that I just love:

Connected (versus Removed)

When I read a magazine, I feel connected to the world, in on everything. When I read a book, I feel removed from the world, isolated, as if I’ve slipped off into a soundproof booth. It is the same with listening to the radio (connected) versus listening to a CD (removed). Both fill a certain need, balance the other out. There’s the getting away, and then there’s coming back. 

I love this part, maybe because I can really relate to this. 

BIRTHDAY: I am very glad I was born and definitely appreciate the ongoing alive status that each birthday brings, but I do not typically get into the animated birthday hoopla spirit. I do recognize, however, that for me it is a fine line between not wanting to make a big deal about my birthday but also wanting family and certain friends to dote enough to satisfy some nebulous quality/quantity acknowledge-my-birthday barometer.
—  Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life
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The Beckoning of Lovely Story (from start to finish-ish)

(Also, cheap trick to make you watch this: Spot the Starkid!)

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The Beckoning of Lovely Story (from start to finish-ish) (by Amy Krouse Rosenthal)

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Too cute!

Amy Krouse Rosenthal is the best.