A Family Affair: Netflix Star and Bestselling Author Phil Rosenthal and his Daughter, Lily, to Publish Debut Picture Book with Simon & Schuster

Encouraging kids to try new things, Just Try It: A Phil & Lil Book hits store shelves in February 2024

NEW YORK, June 22—The father and daughter team of Phil Rosenthal, Netflix star and bestselling author of Somebody Feed Phil The Book, and Lily Rosenthal, will publish their first children’s book, Just Try It: A Phil & Lil Book, on February 6, 2024, with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. Illustrated by New York Times bestselling artist Luke Flowers, this hilarious picture book features a food-loving dad who encourages his picky eater daughter to just try something new.  

Phil has one rule about food: just try it! Otherwise, how will you know what you like? His daughter, Lil, disagrees. She already knows what she likes—plain bread and pasta with no sauce—most everything else gets an “Ewww! No way!” When the two go to a food truck festival, Phil tries introducing Lil to all kinds of delicious cuisine, but she is not budging. Instead of a fun day out, this could be a disaster. But, just when it looks like it could be a very long battle of wills, an unexpected mustard accident changes everything.

“We had so much fun creating this book based on our own experiences. I love traveling, especially with my kids. Seeing them grow up, experiencing things for the first time has been wonderful … and of course challenging sometimes. If you’ve ever tried to get a child to take their first bite of calamari, or not make the “Yucky!” face at something your host offered you, you know what I mean. I hope families get a kick out of this book and that it inspires everyone to try something new!” said Phil Rosenthal.

“Listen, I too was once a kid, I get it. There’s nothing like plain pasta with butter. But there’s true joy in experiencing new things, and we hope this book helps picky eaters everywhere find that joy in trying new foods,” added Lily Rosenthal.

From the pickiest eater to foodies alike, Just Try It is forkids who need some encouragement to try new things.  The father-daughter dynamic makes this a relatable story for all kids who will be able to empathize with Lil, and hopefully also broaden their food horizons. Filled with Phil’s signature humor, this witty and fun-filled picture book has fun dialogue that begs to be read aloud again and again. And Luke Flowers’s mouthwatering illustrations help bring this story to life.

“Phil Rosenthal has kept me (and millions of others) laughing and eating (and laughing while eating) for years. This dream team has created a celebration of the joy of food, family and giving new things a try,” said Justin Chanda, Senior Vice President & Publisher at Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

Justin Chanda, who will edit the book, acquired world rights from Penny Hunter for Phil Rosenthal, and Janine Kamouh from WME for Lily Rosenthal. Luke Flowers represented himself. Just Try It has an announced first print of 150,000.  

Phil Rosenthal is the creator and host of the Emmy-nominated Somebody Feed Phil, an unscripted documentary series on Netflix, which combines his love of food and travel with his unique brand of humor. Rosenthal was born in Queens, New York, and raised in Rockland County. After graduating from Hofstra University on Long Island, where he majored in theater, he embarked on a career as an actor, writer, and director. In 1996, Rosenthal created the hit CBS comedy, Everybody Loves Raymond. He was the Showrunner/Executive Producer for all nine years of the show’s very successful run, which ended in 2005. Everybody Loves Raymond was nominated for over seventy Emmy Awards and won fifteen awards, including two for Best Comedy Series in 2003 and 2005. In April 2011, Rosenthal wrote, directed, and starred in his first feature film, Exporting Raymond, the true story about the attempt to turn Everybody Loves Raymond into a Russian sitcom, and it was met with critical acclaim. Rosenthal’s first travel food series, I’ll Have What Phil’s Having, premiered on PBS in 2015 and received two Taste Awards as well as the 2016 James Beard Award for Best Television Program, on Location. Rosenthal lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Monica Horan (who played Amy on Everybody Loves Raymond), and their two children.

Lily Rosenthal is best known for her love of food across platforms like Instagram and TikTok. 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 Lila nonprofit that brings restaurants across Los Angeles together for cultural collaborations giving all proceeds to an organization of the chefs’ 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.

Luke Flowers is the illustrator of more than seventy-five children’s books. Most notably, the New York Times bestseller A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers, and the award-winning Unicorn Day, Unicorn Night and Unicorn Christmas by Diana Murray. Other unique and treasured projects include Disney’s The Muppet Christmas Carol: The Illustrated Holiday Classic and Jim Henson’s Labyrinth ABC Storybook. He is also both author and illustrator of the Moby Shinobi series, which has sold more than one million copies. Luke’s pop-culture themed artwork has been featured in over 50 gallery shows in New York, Los Angeles, and various galleries in Colorado. When Luke isn’t illustrating or writing in his creative cave he enjoys puppetry, playing banjo, basketball and outdoor adventures with his family. He lives with his wife and three children in Colorado Springs.

Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, one of the leading children’s book publishers in the world, comprises the following imprints: Aladdin, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Beach Lane Books, Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, Denene Millner Books, Libros para niños, Little Simon®, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Paula Wiseman Books, Salaam Reads, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, and Simon Spotlight®. While maintaining an extensive award-winning backlist, the division continues to publish acclaimed and bestselling books for children of all ages. Simon & Schuster publishes numerous Caldecott, Newbery, and National Book Award winners. For more information about Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, visit our website at www.simonandschuster.com.


Nicole Russo
Senior Director of Publicity