Interview with Phil and Lily Rosenthal, authors of JUST TRY IT!

In father-daughter team Phil and Lily Rosenthal’s new picture book JUST TRY IT! (Simon & Schuster, 2024), illustrated by Luke Flowers, Dad Phil is an adventurous eater, while his young daughter Lil is picky, sticking to only a couple of favorites. When they visit a food truck festival and Phil tries to get Lil to expand her tastes, they both embark on unexpected adventures. This relatable, funny story will appeal to young readers, emphasizing the importance and benefits of trying something new. Welcome, Phil and Lily!

JUST TRY IT! is a relatable book for many parents and kids, too. How did the idea come to you to collaborate on the story?

Phil: Lily had the idea that I should write a kids book about a dad who eats everything and his little girl who won’t try anything.

Lily: And it was my dad’s idea to write it together.

Phil and Lily (photo: Max Wanger)

You have both been involved in many creative endeavors, TV, film, etc. How is the creative process for writing picture books different from other projects?

While a kid’s book is a short and simple story that takes less time to write than a movie or tv show, it still has to be entertaining, fun, and hopefully have meaning.

What were your thoughts when you first saw the illustrations by Luke Flowers?

We were so delighted! He’s a great illustrator and made the whole process so fun and easy.

I love that the book explores various food choices via the food trucks. Was this inspired by your travels – either personally or professionally?

Yes! It’s our greatest joy to travel and eat together. We love food truck pods because there is so much available in one place for us to try.

What did you learn about each other while working together to write JUST TRY IT?

We learned that we love working together and there are more books to come.

Thank you, Phil and Lily!

Phil Rosenthal is the creator and host of the Emmy-nominated Somebody Feed Phil. He also created the hit CBS comedy, Everybody Loves Raymond, which was nominated for over seventy Emmy awards, and won fifteen awards, including for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2003 and 2005. He is also the bestselling author of the book Somebody Feed Phil the Book. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Monica Horan (who played Amy on Everybody Loves Raymond), and their two children. Visit him at

Lily Rosenthal is an actor, writer, and producer known for her love of food across platforms. After graduating from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Lily ventured into the world of acting and influencing, working with restaurants and brands to establish herself in the LA food scene. In her free time, Lily developed the concept for Liv a Lil, a nonprofit that brings restaurants across Los Angeles together for cultural collaborations, giving all proceeds to an organization of the chef’s choice. She credits her father, Phil, for giving her a love of travel and genuine excitement towards food due to the family rule instilled in Lily at a young age: just try it.

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