Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Tom Lichtenheld  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Children;

Born: 1953 in Nixon Township, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Lichtenheld was born in Nixon Township and grew up in Rockford. He currently resides in Geneva, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Lichtenheld is an award-winning children's book author & illustrator. He writes and illustrates his own books as well as illustrates books for other children's authors. He doodled his way through school then worked as a sign painter, set designer, printer and advertising art director. After a successful career in advertising he gradually made the switch to creating children’s books.Tom’s books, many of which are New York Times Best Sellers, are consistently praised for their humor, expressive characters, and rich – sometimes hidden – detail. He’s known for creating books that appeal to children and adults alike, and his wide portfolio of books offers something for every age.

Published Works

    Books Written and Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld:
  • Everything I Know About Pirates, Topeka Bindry, 2003
  • Everything I Know About Monsters, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2004
  • Everything I Know About Cars, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2005
  • What's With This Room, Little, Brown Young Readers, 2005
  • What Are You So Grumpy About? Little, Brown Young Readers, 2007
  • Bridget's Beret, Henry Holt and Co., 2010
  • Cloudette, Henry Holt and Co, 2011
  • What Mess?, Little, Brown Books, 2012Illustrator for Amy Krouse Rosenthal Books:
  • The OK Book, Harper Collins, 2007
  • It's Not Fair, Harper Collins, 2008
  • Yes Day!, Harper Collins, 2009
  • Duck! Rabbit!, Chronical Books, 2009
  • Wumbers, Chronicle Books, 2012
  • Exclamation Mark, Scholastic, 2013
  • I Wish You More, Chronicle Books, 2015
  • Friendshape, Scholastic, 2015
  • Holy Cow, I Sure Do Love You!: A Little Book That's Oddly Moo-ving, Abrams, 2016Illustrator for Sherri Duskey Rinker Books:
  • Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, Chronicle Books, 2011
  • Steam Train, Dream Train, Chronicle Books, 2013
  • Steam Train, Dream Train Colors, Chronicle Books, 2016
  • Steam Train, Dream Train 1-2-3, Chronicle Books, 2016Illustrator for Individual Author Books:
  • Camp Buccaneer, Aladdin, 2002 - written by Pam Smallcomb
  • Shark vs. Train, Little Brown Books, 2010 - written by Chris Barton
  • E-MERGENCY!, Chronicle Books, 2011 - written with Ezra Fields-Meyer
  • Zero the Hero, Henry Holt and Co, 2012 - written by Joan Holub
  • Sing, Henry Holt, 2013 - written by Joe Raposo
  • This Is a Moose, Little, Brown Books, 2014 - written by Richard T. Morris
  • One Big Pair of Underwear, Beach Lane Books, 2014 - written by Laura Gehl
  • Stick and Stone, HMH, 2015 - written by Beth Ferry
  • Groovy Joe: Ice Cream & Dinosaurs, Orchard Books, 2016 - written by Eric Litwin

Selected Titles At Your Library

Everything I know about pirates :
ISBN: 0613664035. OCLC Number:

Aladdin Paperbacks,. New York, N.Y. :. 2003.

A collection of made-up facts, educated guesses, and silly pictures about pirates.

Everything I know about monsters /
ISBN: 0689861230. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster,. London :. 2004.

Everything I know about cars :
ISBN: 0689843828. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers,. New York :. ©2005.

The author offers a caveat at the beginning of the book: "I don't know much about real cars, but I'm an expert on made-up cars, so this book is a big traffic jam of mostly made-up cars." He recounts a history of cars that involves prehistoric cavemen, ancient Egyptians, Vikings, and two horses named Winnie and Nay.

What's with this room? /
ISBN: 0316592862. OCLC Number:

Little, Brown,. New York :. 2005.

A discussion between a boy and his parents about a bedroom, that is so dirty he would "have to clean up just to call it a mess," ends with a blast.

What are you so grumpy about? /
ISBN: 0316065897. OCLC Number:

Little, Brown and Co. ;. Boston :. ©2003.

A collection of cartoons that present various reasons for being grumpy, such as eating "grown-up" cereal, getting a boring birthday present, doing chores, and being touched by your brother or sister.

Bridget's beret /
ISBN: 0805087753. OCLC Number:

Henry Holt,. New York :. 2010.

When Bridget loses the beret that provides her with artistic inspiration like other great artists, she thinks she will never be able to draw again. Includes facts about famous artists and reproductions of some of their paintings.

Cloudette /
ISBN: 0805087761. OCLC Number:

. .

Cloudette, the littlest cloud, finds a way to do something big and important as the other clouds do.

What mess? /
ISBN: 0316201235. OCLC Number:

Little, Brown,. New York :. 2012.

A discussion between a boy and his parents about a bedroom, that is so dirty he would "have to clean up just to call it a mess," ends with a blast.

The OK book /
ISBN: 0061152560. OCLC Number:

. .

A character enumerates a great many things that it enjoys doing, although not great at any of them, knowing that someday it will excel at something.

It's not fair /
ISBN: 0061152579. OCLC Number:

HarperCollinsPublishers,. New York :. 2008.

Assorted children, animals, creatures, and objects all wonder why life is not always fair.

Yes Day! /
ISBN: 0061152595. OCLC Number:

HarperCollins,. New York :. ©2009.

A little boy gets everything he asks for on Yes Day, a special day that only comes once a year.

Duck! Rabbit! /
ISBN: 0811868656. OCLC Number:

Chronicle Books,. San Francisco :. ©2009.

From the award-winning author of Little Pea, Little Hoot, and Little Oink comes a clever take on the age-old optical illusion: Is it a duck or a rabbit? Depends on how you look at it! Readers will find more than just Amy Krouse Rosenthal's signature humor here, there's also a subtle lesson for kids who don't know when to let go of an argument. A smart, simple story that will make readers of all ages eager to take a side, Duck! Rabbit! makes it easy to agree on one thing, reading it again!

Wumbers :
ISBN: 1452110220. OCLC Number:

Chronicle Books,. San Francisco, Calif. :. 2012.

Shares illustrated clues and alphanumeric combinations that substitute numbers for letters with the same sound.

Exclamation mark /
ISBN: 0545436796. OCLC Number:

Scholastic Press,. New York :. 2013.

A punctuation mark feels bad that he does not fit in with the others until a friend reveals the possibilities that exist when differences are accepted.

I wish you more /
ISBN: 1452126992. OCLC Number:

. .

In simple text and pictures, the author and illustrator create a compendium of small daily moments.

Friendshape /
ISBN: 0545436826. OCLC Number:

. .

Friends shape who we are. They make us laugh. They fill us with fun. They stand by us during life's up and downs. And even when we disagree with our friends, if they're tried-and-true, they don't stay bent out of shape for long. That's the beauty of a good buddy. This joyous book rejoices in the simple beauties of friendship, and reminds readers of all ages that it's good to have a group of pals--Provided by publisher.

Holy cow, I sure do love you! :
ISBN: 1419722174. OCLC Number:

. .

A series of simple illustrations of a spotted cow paired with bovine puns share all the ways to love someone.

Goodnight, goodnight, construction site /
ISBN: 0811877825. OCLC Number:

. .

At sunset, when their work is done for the day, a crane truck, a cement mixer, and other pieces of construction equipment make their way to their resting places and go to sleep.

Steam train, dream train /
ISBN: 1452109206. OCLC Number:

. .

In this book with rhyming text, the dream train pulls into the station and all the different cars are loaded by the animal workers, each with the appropriate cargo.

Steam train, dream train colors /
ISBN: 1452149151. OCLC Number:

. .

All aboard for a rainbow of train cars and their lively animal crew! Vivid colors and cozy rhyming text inspired by the bestselling Steam Train, Dream Train will make learning colors a rich experience for the youngest readers.

Steam train, dream train 1-2-3 /
ISBN: 1452149143. OCLC Number:

. .

Cuddle up with the beloved animal friends from the bestselling Steam Train, Dream Train and count on lots of fun! Little train enthusiasts will love counting from one to ten along with the dreamy train cars!

Camp Buccaneer /
ISBN: 0689843844. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers,. New York :. 2002.

After spending summer vacation learning to be a real pirate at Camp Buccaneer, Marlon feels much better prepared to return to school and face Carla, the bully who has pestered her since kindergarten.

Shark vs. train /
ISBN: 0316007625. OCLC Number:

Little, Brown,. New York :. 2010.

A shark and a train compete in a series of contests on a seesaw, in hot air balloons, bowling, shooting baskets, playing hide-and-seek, and more, as two boys play.

E-mergency! /
ISBN: 0811878988. OCLC Number:

Chronicle Books,. San Francisco, Calif. :. ©2011.

The letter E has fallen and injured herself-- which letters will replace her and how will words be spelled without her? It's a real E-mergency!

Zero the hero /
ISBN: 0805093842. OCLC Number:

. .

Zero believes that he is a hero, but the counting numbers think he is worthless until they get into trouble with some Roman numerals, and only Zero can help.

Sing /
ISBN: 0805090711. OCLC Number:

. .

An illustrated presentation of the classic Sesame Street song about self-expression and the celebration of music.

This is a moose /
ISBN: 0316213608. OCLC Number:

. .

Director Billy Waddler is trying to film a documentary about moose, but the moose in question has no intention of spending his life in the woods and his animal friends, who have dreams of their own, help him prove his point.

One big pair of underwear /
ISBN: 1442453362. OCLC Number:

. .

Progressively larger groups of animals try to share a limited number of scooters, cookbooks, nap mats, and underwear.

Stick and Stone /
ISBN: 054403256X. OCLC Number:

. .

Stick and Stone are both lonely until Pinecone's teasing causes one to stick up for the other, and a solid friendship is formed.

Ice cream & dinosaurs /
ISBN: 0545883784. OCLC Number:

. .

Groovy Joe is a fun-loving dog with a tub full of ice cream--which he shares with his unexpected dinosaur guests.


Yes Day!

  • A Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award 2010
  • 2010 Bakers Dozen (13 best books for Family Literacy)

    by Pennsylvania Center for the Book

  • Read On Wisconsin! Featured Book January 2010
  • Magnolia Award 2013 Nominee
  • Everything I Know About Pirates

  • Featured in Newsweek's "Books of Wonder," 2000
  • 2013 ILLINOIS READS Book
  • Zero the Hero

  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Georgia Book Award Nominee 2013-14
  • Cooperative Children's Book Center Best of 2013 selection
  • Wumbers

  • 2012 Parents' Choice Award

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    Lichtenheld is available for school and library appearances.