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Amy F. Houts Biography

Personal, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

Education: Attended Culinary Institute of America, 1974–75; attended Memphis State University, 1976–77; attended University of Missouri, 1977–78; Northwest Missouri State University, B.S. (library science), 1989–91. Politics: Democrat. Religion: United Methodist. Hobbies and other interests: Baking, cooking, reading, cross-stitch.


Headstart, Maryville, MO, lead teacher, 1996–97; Maryville Public Library, Maryville, children's librarian, 1997–99; Nodaway News Leader, Maryville, journalist, 1999–2005; Institute of Children's Literature, West Redding, CT, instructor, 2005–.


Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Missouri Writers' Guild (Maryville chapter).

Honors Awards

First-place winner, Missouri Writers' Guild Major Work Award, 2002, for Cooking around the Calendar with Kids; second-place winner, Missouri Writers' Guild Best Juvenile Book Award, 2002, for Winifred Witch and her Very Own Cat; Creative Child magazine Seal of excellence award, 2004, second-place winner, Missouri Writers' Guild Best Juvenile Book Award, 2005, both for Dora the Explorer: Safety.


An A B C Christmas, illustrated by Nancy Munger, Standard Publishing (Cincinnati, OH), 1993.

Learning through Cooking Activities, illustrated by Lester Feldman, Preschool Publications (Garden City, NY), 1993.

The Princess and the Pea, illustrated by Emily Owens, Dalmatian Press (Franklin, TN), 1999.

On the Farm, illustrated by Sherry Neidigh, Dalmatian Press (Franklin, TN), 2000.

Cooking around the Calendar with Kids: Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun, illustrated by Teri Wilson, Snaptail Press (Maryville, MO), 2001.

Winifred Witch and Her Very Own Cat, illustrated by Cheryl Mendenhall, Dalmatian Press (Franklin, TN), 2001.

Dora the Explorer: Trace and Draw, Learning Horizons (Cleveland, OH), 2004.

Dora the Explorer: Safety, Learning Horizons (Cleveland, OH), 2004.

Dora the Explorer: Addition, Learning Horizons (Cleveland, OH), 2005.

Dora the Explorer: Subtraction, Learning Horizons (Cleveland, OH), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals, including American Profile, VFW, Ladybug, Babybug, Holidays and Seasonal Celebrations, Lollipops, Christmas Programs for Children, and Parent and Preschooler Newsletter. Contributor to books, including My Self, My Family, My Friends: Twenty-six Experts Explore Young Children's Self-Esteem and The Big All-Year Book of Holidays and Seasonal Celebrations.


Amy F. Houts told SATA: "I began my writing career in 1982, when my daughter, Emily, was a baby. She took long naps and I would write when she was asleep. Through my writing, I hope that children are inspired to hope and dream and also learn new concepts and skills.

"I enjoy writing in the morning. I write on my computer everyday, Monday through Friday. The purpose behind my cookbooks is to teach children a valuable skill and to have fun with cooking. I admire Eve Bunting, Jane Yolen and Lisa Thiesing. There are so many talented authors and illustrators today. It's wonderful to have so many books to read. My advice to aspiring authors is: keep reading and writing, keep working at it."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, September 15, 2001, Mark Knoblauch, review of Cooking around the Calendar with Kids: Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun, p. 176.

Wilson Library Bulletin, April, 1994, review of Learn through Cooking, p. 138.


Ravenstone Press Web site, http://ravenstonepress.com/houts.html (August 10, 2005), "Amy Houts."

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: James Heneghan (1930-) Biography - Personal to Rick Jacobson Biography - Personal