This entry is part 1 of 14 in the series Chazda Bookshelf

It’s well known that if you want to be a better writer, the best thing to do is to read as many books as you possibly can.

Exclamation Point is a great illustrated storybook for you to study as a writer or writer-illustrator.

Do you have a storybook you think is really fantastic? Tell me about it. Leave a comment here, or contact me using our online form.

Exclamation Mark

This is one of the best, simple storybooks out there. If you don’t know about it, you need to check this out!

As I expected it would be, Exclamation Mark from Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld was as good and as well-received by kids at the library as any book I’ve read. There are reasons for this.

Rosenthal is known for a lot of different projects to different people. She’s written for adults and kids, and you may have even seen her TEDx Talks on YouTube. As a writer of children’s books, her best and most known are Bedtime for Mommy illustrated by LeUyen Pham and Plant A Kiss, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Both are great.

Simplifying Tough Concepts

When I found out that Rosenthal had paired up now with Tom Lichtenhelt, I got really excited – and the book did not disappoint. Rosenthal has a knack for taking really big philosophical questions like, “who am I?” and, “how should I act?” and, “how can I be a better person?” She then expertly translates these big questions into great, simple stories – with a simple answer.

Rosenthal’s words are typically scarce in this book. She doesn’t fill the pages with all that many words, but her meaning is quite profound, and being able to instill such big ideas into simple stories for kids is a special kind of talent that is extremely rare.

About Tom Lichtenheld

Tom Lichtenheld is an enormously prolific illustrator and writer of many storybooks that are on the New York Times Bestseller’s List. One of those books you’re bound to recognize – even if you don’t have kids – is Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. It has undoubtedly informed and influenced the newest generation’s kindergarten-culture (especially for boys) around the world. It’s a success in several languages.

Exclamation Mark Hits the Mark

In Exclamation Mark, the big question that Rosenthal tackles is, “How can I be a better, more interesting person?” The protagonist is Exclamation Mark, and well -he stands out. He never states or asks anything. All the things that make Mark different make him a bit uneasy about his role in life and whether or not he is of value.

In the end, Mark learns to be himself! He’s wonderful just the way he is, and once he realizes that, he’s able to enjoy life much more. What’s more, once Mark accepts himself, he’s able to make friends, too – friends who accept him for who he is.

This is such a lovely metaphor; it’s another true Rosenthal book that just makes you feel good after you’ve read it. For that (as with all of her books), I highly recommend reading Exclamation Mark.

For Everyone

This isn’t just for kids. We get so caught-up in the hectic business of daily life and anxieties, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to pick up such a positive book. As any great book should be, it’s good for the soul.

Keep creating (and keep reading) – no matter what.


PDF

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This entry is part of the series
Chazda Bookshelf
Be sure to check out the other posts:
Dogs Don’t Do Ballet >>
Chazda Hill

Chazda Hill

L. K. Chazda Hill is the co-founder of Great Storybook and does so with a passion for writing and illustrating stories and getting to know other creative people. Chazda is currently rewriting an urban fantasy YA novel. Visit her K.C. Hill blog for more on that.
Chazda Hill