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Amy Timberlake Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

Female. Education: University of Illinois at Chicago, M.A. (creative writing).


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 19 Union Square W., New York, NY 10001.


Writer. University of Illinois, Chicago, former instructor in English composition; Hand Workshop Art Center, Richmond, VA, writing teacher; Virginia Commission for the Arts, public information officer; has also worked as a children's bookseller and for the Chicago Botanic Garden.


Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (Illinois chapter).

Honors Awards

Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies residency fellow, 2002; Parent's Choice Gold Medal, and Golden Kite Award, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, both 2003, and Marion Vannett Ridgeway Award first prize, International Reading Association Notable Book designation, Spur Award finalist, and Southeast Booksellers Association Book Award finalist, all 2004, all for The Dirty Cowboy.


The Dirty Cowboy, illustrated by Adam Rex, Farrar Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor of articles, reviews, and columns to periodicals, including New Moon, Book, Riverbank Review, Horn Book, Hues, and Hip Mama.

Work in Progress

A middle-grade novel.


Illinois-based children's book author and teacher Amy Timberlake is the mastermind behind The Dirty Cowboy, a "simple, slapstick tale that is sure to elicit some giggles," according to Booklist reviewer Todd Morning. In Timberlake's award-winning story, a flea-ridden cowboy and his dog, who have been riding the range in New Mexico for a year, finally head to a nearby river for the cowboy's annual bath. Leaving his faithful dog to guard his clothes, the cowboy bathes, and returns so clean that his loyal pet is unable to recognize him. When the pair finally resort to grappling while the cowboy struggles to retrieve his clothes, the cowpoke winds up dirty once again, this time with his clothes tattered as well. Joy Fleishhacker enjoyed the picture book, praising Timberlake for creating "descriptive language that rolls off the tongue" and describing The Dirty Cowboy in her School Library Journal review as "a fun look at life on the range." Praising the artwork by Adam Rex that "fortuitously camouflage … private parts," a Publishers Weekly contributor dubbed Timberlake's story a "raucous romp [that] should tickle bath-averse children everywhere."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, September 1, 2003, Todd Morning, review of The Dirty Cowboy, p. 131.

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2003, review of The Dirty Cowboy, p. 865.

Publishers Weekly, July 14, 2003, review of The Dirty Cowboy, p. 75.

School Library Journal, September, 2003, Joy Fleishhacker, review of The Dirty Cowboy, p. 192.


Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Web site, http://www.scbwi-illinois.org/ (January 5, 2005), "Amy Timberlake."*

Additional topics

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