Parents' Choice
Silver Honor

Exclamation Mark


Created in collaboration with
Amy Krouse Rosenthal

He stood out here.

He stood out there.

He tried everything to be more like them. . .

It's not easy standing out. Especially when you're NOT like everyone else. Especially when what sets you apart is YOU.

Sometimes we squish ourselves to fit in. We shrink. Twist. Bend. Until -- ! -- a friend shows the way to endless possibilities.

In this bold and highly visual book, an emphatic but misplaced exclamation mark learns that being different can be very exciting! Period.

“Funny and spirited... How does an exclamation mark learn his purpose? Pre-readers and readers alike will giggle and cheer to see the process.”

Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review


“Rosenthal shines in her play on words. Lichtenheld’s minimalist style is deceivingly simple; a curlicue or crumpled line, combined with an amazingly impressive circle with eyes and a mouth, is all that’s needed to convey emotion when the exclamation mark is ‘confused, flummoxed, and deflated.’ This one is a must-have!!!”

School Library Journal, Starred Review


“With the celebrating-your-strengths angle, fun grammar lesson, and many classroom tie-in possibilities, this picture book deserves a !!!.”

BOOKLIST, Starred Review


“Rosenthal and Lichtenheld give punctuation personalities in this witty calligraphic jaunt. With a restraint that’s more declaratory than exclamatory, they cleverly raise awareness of the ways punctuation conveys mood.”



“This is a story for every child who worries about how to fit in, how to stand out, how to be heard or how to make their mark. Which means, it’s also a perfect book for us grown-ups too.”



“. . . an amusing and effective exploration of the “ugly duckling” premise. . . the energetic graphic illustrations kept me smiling and turning the pages.”




  • 2015 Grand Canyon Reader Award, Picture Books, nominee
  • Bank Street Books Best Book of 2014
  • 2015 California Young Reader Medal winner
  • Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books of 2013
  • Newsday Top 10 Children's Books of 2013
  • Parents' Choice Spring 2013 Picture Books Silver Honor
  • A Junior Library Guild selection
  • School Library Journal, Best Books of 2013
  • Colorado Children’s Book Award, 2014 nominee
  • Virginia Readers' Choice Award, 2014-15 nominee
  • Bank Street College of Education 2014 Best Books of the Year for Children and Young Adult
  • Selected for Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2014
  • Master List, 2013 Capitol Choices Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens
  • 2014 Maine Chickadee Book Award Nominee