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Exclamation Mark!


Exclamation Mark!

Alethea Allarey

Official Links



Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Published by Scholastic Press, 2013

2014-2015 Winner - Primary


A punctuation mark feels bad that he does not fit in with the others; it’s not easy being different having grown up in a world of periods. Exclamation Mark does not discover his special ability to convey strong emotionincluding joy and happinessuntil he meets Question Mark and must listen to his seemingly endless questions. However, these questions reveal the possibilities that exist when differences are accepted.

Meet the Author

Amy Krouse Rosenthal was born April 29, 1965 and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She attended high school in Lake Forest and graduated from Tufts University in 1987, after a semester abroad at the University of Paris, Sorbonne in her junior year.

Rosenthal is a person who likes to make things; these are some of the things she likes to make: Children's books. Grown-up books. Short films. Salads. Connections with the universe. Something out of nothing. Wishes. She identifies as an OK Ping-Pong player and admits she needs coffee to write. Her three favorite things in the world are a) her family, b) potato chips and c) ideas.

In addition to Exclamation Mark! her books for children include Little Pea (2005), Little Hoot (2008), Little Oink (2009), Spoon (2009), Duck! Rabbit! (2009), The Wonder Book (2010), Plant a Kiss (2011), Wumbers (2012), Chopsticks (2012), and I Scream, Ice Cream! (2013). Rosenthal is also a contributor to the TED conference and a regular on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She lives with her husband Jason and her children—Paris, 17, Miles, 19 & Justin, 21—on a tree-lined street in Lakeview, outside of Chicago.

"Amy Krouse Rosenthal." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2013.Biography in Context. Web. 14 May 2014.
Learn more about Amy Krouse Rosenthal at

Meet the Illustrator

Tom Lichtenheld was born June 14, 1953 in Nixon, Illinois. His earliest childhood memory is of sitting in the kitchen, drawing pictures of ships and trucks on a blackboard. He also remembers spending hours staring at the illustrations in National Geographic and thinking how wonderful it would be to be one of the people who got to make all those incredible pictures. He attended University of Wisconsin at Madison.

His venture into children's books was a happy accident. It happened like this: “Back in 1995 I got a letter from my nephew Adam, who LOVED pirates, asking me to draw him a picture of a pirate. I sat down at my drawing board to draw a few pirates and ended up creating 20 pages of silly pictures and nonsense about pirates. It was enough to fill a book, so that's what I did. I called it 'Everything I Know About Pirates'. I sent it off to my nephew and saved a copy for myself. After four years of submitting the idea to editors, it was accepted by Simon & Schuster and published in 2000.”

Lichtenheld lives with his wife, Jan Miller, in Geneva, Illinois.
Learn more about Tom Lichtenheld at

"Tom Lichtenheld." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2007. Biography in Context. Web. 14 May 2014.


  • How can we tell when someone is excited about something?
  • What do we say when we are excited? Do we say it or do we shout it?
  • How do we tell when we are reading a story that someone is excited?
  • What is the difference between an exclamation mark and a question mark?
  • Why would someone try to be like everybody else?


Other titles by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
I Scream! Ice Cream! : A Book of Wordles (2013)
Wumbers: it's a Word Cr8ed with a Number! (2012)
Chopsticks (2012)
The Wonder Book (2010)
Duck! Rabbit! (2009)
Cookies: Bite-size Life Lessons (2006)
Little Pea (2005)

Punctuation and Writing
The Punctuation Station by Brian P. Cleary (2010)
Penny and the Punctuation Bee by Moira Rose Donohue (2008)
Alfie the Apostrophe by Moira Rose Donohue (2006)
Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hill (2013)
Little Red Writing by Joan Holub (2013)
At the Beach by Huy Voun Lee (1994)
Pick a Picture, Write a Poem! By Kristen McCurry (2014)
Do Not Open This Book! By Michaela Muntean (2006)
Punctuation Takes a Vacation by Robin Pulver (2003)

Picture Books that use an!
Jump! by Scott M. Fischer (2010)
Moo! By David La Rochelle (2013)
Ah Ha! By Jeff Mack (2013)
More Bears! by Kenn Nesbitt (2010)
Stick! by Andy Pritchett (2013)
Yo! Yes? By Chris Raschka (1993)
Banana! by Ed Vere (2010)

Being yourself
The Mixed-up Chameleon by Eric Carle (1984)
Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison (2014)
Woolbur by Leslie Helaskoski (2008)
Freckleface Strawberry by Julianne Moore (2007)
The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania (2010)
Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (2009)
Churchill’s Tale of Tails by Anca Sandu (2014)
The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler (2005)
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems (2009)

For more information, please check the 2014-2015 Resource Guide - Primary.