Dear Girl. Not to sound sappy, but these eight letters will always have a special place in my heart. “Dear Girl” is a New York Time’s Bestseller children’s book written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, her daughter Paris Rosenthal and illustrated by Holly Hatam. The honest beauty of this specific book (besides its adorable illustrations) is that its words are incredibly relatable to all ages. Whether you’re 12 or 21, the points made in the books are still relative to any individual. One of my favorite lines reads,
“Dear Girl, write down your thoughts once in a while, even if it’s just to enjoy the way your pen feels against the paper.”
Look, I get it. We’re living in a technological world right now, and picking up a pen and paper instead of opening the Notes app on an iPhone seems outdated. However, there’s something about writing (not typing) your thoughts free-hand that has the ability to unlock a world of undiscovered emotions from within. It’s a unique experience that truly allows for you to empty your mind and spill your raw thoughts on paper and when it’s all said and done, you don’t have a choice but to face your truth and study your own avenue of thought. I stopped hand-writing my personal notes in high school when my parents gifted me with a new laptop for college. My writing was recored with one Word document after another and it worked for a short time, but I eventually gravitated back to journaling my thoughts by hand. This only intensified my love for writing, which is more than any keyboard could ever do for me.
As I look back at my own written notes, I can literally see the passion etched into my words as moments of frustration are reflected with varying pressures of pen marks. My script-style writing almost turns illegible as if my hand couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with countless thoughts, aching to find a home between a couple of faint blue lines.
“Dear Girl” has encouraged me to write again, and I whole-heartedly believe that this book, along with millions of other children’s books, has the same potential to bring positive influence to both children and adults.
Before writing this article, I did some background research on the author. I was hoping to find a postal address where I could directly write to Rosenthal to express how much her words truly mean to me, especially after recently graduating college. However, I was deeply saddened to discover that she passed away in 2017 from ovarian cancer and she is survived by her daughter, two sons, and husband. At 21 years old, Rosenthal’s encouraging words still holds an incredible amount of meaning to me, and gives me hope as I progress into adulthood.
More about Amy Rosenthal and her story:
- Rosenthal wrote the New York Times article, “You May Want to Marry My Husband.”
- Her husband wrote the article, “My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me”, a year later in response to his late wife.