BATESVILLE — Children’s author Amy Krouse Rosenthal spoke to families at Batesville Primary School March 19 as part of the Rural Alliance for the Arts Evening Series. Parents and children filled the cafeteria to hear what the writer of 20 children’s books and four adult ones had to say.
Rosenthal told them she “didn’t know for a very long time” that she wanted to be a writer, but “I have always loved words .... (and) was always fascinated with what you can do with them.
“I loved the word OK. ‘The OK Book’ was one of my first children’s books.” She asked the kids what you can do with the letters and then showed them how to make a person by turning the word sideways with the O on top of the K.
The energetic woman then explained what anagrams are: “You take a word and shake it up .... If you change the letters in my first name, you get the name of a month, MAY, and the name of a vegetable, YAM.” She even came up with one for Batesville, LIVABLE-EST.
Rosenthal defined palindromes as “words or phrases that are spelled the same forward as backwards, like RACE CAR. ‘The Wonder Book’ contains a lot of word play” and she gave two examples: TOO BAD I HID A BOOT and WAS IT ELIOT’S TOILET I SAW? “Those are a few things that are cool about words.
“When my son was about 7 years old, he picked up a frying pan and said, ‘Mom, freeze. It’s the ChefBI.’ I said, ‘Wait, I need to write a poem!’”
With assistance from an audience member, she read “Duck! Rabbit!” The book examined an optical illusion, and depending on how readers looked at it, they either saw a duck or a rabbit.