Friday, December 13, 2013

Oliver hits a list

I just received news that Oliver and his Alligator made BookPage's best of 2013 list for picture books!


Yay Oliver!

they keep coming

Another very nice review of Oliver, this time from Shelf Awareness:

Paul Schmid's (A Pet for Petunia) hero Oliver, a cute-as-a-button, pastel-pencil blob of a boy, is scared of the first day of school. Clutching an apple and staring, pink-cheeked, at a long, scary sidewalk that leads to school, Oliver feels that his "brave [isn't] nearly as big as it [needs] to be." So he decides to bring along an alligator to protect him. If facing your fears is too hard, why not ingest them?

Oliver cues the alligator with a command to "Munch, munch!" when he encounters the teacher, a friendly girl, the rest of the class, the classroom decorations. But once they have all been swallowed, Oliver begins to feel... lonely. The alligator, an expressionless reptile consisting of a green outline, three stripes down its middle and small feet, swells so large it can no longer fit on the page--and yet, it keeps munching, right up to the book's deeply satisfying conclusion. --Allie Jane Bruce, children's librarian, Bank Street College of Education
Discover: A boy, unable to face his fears, picks up an alligator to ingest them.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

a very nice summary of Oliver

From the Books For Kids blog:


When is an alligator not an alligator?

When it’s the first day of school and a very small boy feels as if his “brave” isn’t up to facing all the strangeness alone.

With his fantasy guardian at his side, Paul feels more in control of the situation. When a strange woman who looks nothing like his mom asks his name, all he has to say to his alligator are two words:


The lady is gone, and Oliver’s alligator is a little plumper. A girl who tries to talk to him gets the same message.

Oliver begins to feel a lot better, as his magic words make all of the bright colors and commotion in the classroom go away. His pale green and pink alligator is now as roly poly as a beach ball, and all the activity and noise are gone. Oliver pulls up a stool beside his rotund alligator in the empty room and waits for school to start. It’s very quiet.


Then Oliver hears singing and laughter. Somewhere nearby kids are having fun, and it’s all happening inside his alligator. School is on the inside!

It’s time for Oliver to say “Munch Munch!” one more time and put himself into the scene where the action is, in Paul Schmid’s first-day tale, Oliver and his Alligator (Hyperion, 2013).

Schmid earned a 2010 fellowship to study with the late Maurice Sendak, and it shows in this rather quirky tale of dealing with the first day jitters. While Schmid’s storyline shows the Sendakian hand (cf. the personification of Max’s angry feelings as Wild Things, in Where the Wild Things Are,) Schmid’s illustrations, done in soft, grainy pencil lines and pastel colors, are another matter. His “wild thing,” is a fuzzy-ish alligator who seemingly has no mouth or teeth with which to munch anybody, and Schmid’s narration is as non-threatening as his little first-day-of-school hero, who finds a way to face his fear, just as Max tamed his anger. Some children deal with an intimidating situation by daydreaming, mentally removing themselves, and Schmid’s subliminal message of how to put themselves back into life will find its mark.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

book launch party!

Come on down to Secret Garden Books in Ballard Tuesday night, June 25th to help celebrate my new book 'Oliver and his Alligator'. There will be treats and beverages (adult beverages too,) and signings and readings and other fine party things.

7 pm
Secret Garden Books
2214 NW Market St
Seattle, WA 98107

Monday, June 3, 2013

A star from Kirkus!

Little Oliver gets a big starred review from Kirkus:

Going into the darkness beyond Petunia Goes Wild! (2012), Schmid enters the tongue-in-cheek metaphorical alligator/crocodile waters of Candace Fleming (Who Invited You?, illustrated by George Booth, 2001) and Joe Kulka (My Crocodile Does Not Bite, 2013).
Oliver isn’t too sure about starting school—will his “brave” be big enough?—so he stops by the swamp and picks up his own tough: an alligator. “Just in case things got rough.” When he is asked his name by a lady (not his mom) and can’t remember, two little words take care of the difficulty: “Much, munch!” The same happens to a friendly little girl when Oliver’s answer gets stuck. A classroom full of noisy kids? Decorations that intimidate with all Oliver must learn? Not a problem for the now-rotund alligator. But now the problem is, “School is maybe kind of a little boring.” But where is that singing and laughter coming from? And can Oliver solve his newest quandary? Munch, munch! The simple, spare pastel pencil and digitally colored illustrations masterfully use both white space and the page turn to add to the humor. Retro pinks, yellows, blues and greens highlight details in the otherwise gray-and-white illustrations, while the three stripes on the alligator (and his never-open mouth) give him an appealing, nonthreatening look.

On the first day, both the light and the dark sides of kindergartners will go to school, their kissing hands clutching a stuffed alligator, self-confidence soaring. (Picture book. 4-7)

Friday, May 31, 2013

Ankylosing Spondylitis

This is a long post.

I have a form of rheumatoid arthritis called Ankylosing Spondylitis. It primarily affects the spine, and causes pain and decreased mobility.

I’ve had AS since 1993. My pain and stiffness increased over the years from a mild annoyance to a disturbing level of daily pain. I would wake up in the middle of the night with my ribs frozen into place, leaving me barely able to breathe. I could not do even one sit-up because my back would not flex. Simply rolling over in bed was an exhausting ordeal. Visiting a dentist, it would take at least five minutes for my spine to relax enough so my head would hit the back of the chair. But worst of all, pain occupied my mind almost constantly.

My doctor who diagnosed me clearly looked upset as she informed me there was no cure and handed me a prescription for mega-doses of ibuprofen.

Eventually I was on pain suppressants round-the-clock. By 2001 there was a growing list of things I could not or simply did not want to do. I looked gaunt and sickly.

! Let us all now praise the internets!

While reaching something else, a Doctor Ebringer in London discovered that if his AS patients stopped eating starch, their pain and stiffness diminished. (I’ll save you from the explanation why...)

A few of the people who found relief this way publicized it on the web.

So in October 2001 I started a no starch diet. I was able to stop taking all pain killers by March of 2002. By 2006 I had gained back all my spinal mobility and to this day experience no pain at all unless I eat a basket of fries or some of that really fabulous double chocolate cake.

But wait.

Most sufferers of Ankylosing Spondylitis are not experiencing this relief because their doctors will not suggest the diet. If asked, doctors will inform you there has been no research to prove the diet’s effectiveness.

Yes, there has been no research done on this cure for AS symptoms. Drug companies fund research. I have been off drugs for my AS these last 11 years. 

Ooops! What’s wrong with that scenario?

I have informed doctors and rheumatologists that I am on a diet which has eliminated my pain and stiffness and have received patronizing nods but no questions. A patient’s real experience is clearly not as valid as a drug company’s brochure.

So that is why I am writing this very long and boring post. In the hopes that a fellow AS sufferer will find it and begin their life again, as I did. Or perhaps someone reading this knows a friend or family member who has the disease and will email a link.

Because you will not hear about it from your doctor. They will hand you prescriptions for mega-doses of drugs, and sadly tell you that is all you can do.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

another Oliver review

From Publishers Weekly:

"Oliver, first seen cradling a toy alligator and staring at an uneaten breakfast, dreads the first day of school. He “felt his brave wasn’t nearly as big as he needed it to be,” so he invites an alligator to join him. When a “lady who wasn’t his mom” greets him and asks his name, he musters only two words: “Munch, munch!” Each time Oliver feels anxious, this response makes his alligator swallow the perceived threat. Soon his friendly fellow students and some intimidating educational materials are inside the ballooning reptile. Schmid (Perfectly Percy) sketches Oliver in a few angular dashes of pastel pencil. The soft, crayony lines belie Oliver’s anxiety, and his alligator, for all its alleged ferocity, never shows any teeth (and lacks even a visible mouth). Readers are left to imagine the offstage “munch, munch” and later learn—as Oliver questions his limiting desire for solitude—that the students are having fun inside the beast, while Oliver (temporarily) stays outside. Schmid focuses on how a child uses imagination to devour, and finally to conquer, a fear of socializing."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

long live Fauxtionary!

Inner Preditor: That colossal ass residing in your brain who waits to ambush your next idea.

Critique Poup: What your manuscript looks like the day after those so helpful bi-weekly get togethers.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

new book news

I am delighted to announce that I will be illustrating a new book for editor Janine O'Malley at Farrar, Strous and Giroux. The author of this wonderful story (which I fell in love with before I had even read more than 3 or 4 lines into it,) is the great Laurie Thompson. The illustration above is just a very early preliminary sketch, it should be interesting to see how it looks six or eight months from now!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Oliver review

The School Library Journal has nice things to say about my next book, Oliver and His Alligator. Here are some highlights:

As the first day of school approaches, Oliver, a timid boy dressed in an oversize woolly sweater, isn’t feeling very brave. He takes an alligator to school with him “in case things get rough.”  ... The gentle pastel illustrations are infused with appealing school-related details and add humor to the story. ... Young readers who are about to begin school will identify with the hero of this quirky story.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

more fake words

Bitterary Agent: Your literary agent who does not phone you frequently to gush about your genius.

Rehersal of Fortune: Secretly writing your Caldecott acceptance speech. Boy Scouts say to be prepared.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Top Ten for Oliver

My next book to be released, Oliver and His Alligator, which comes out next month, has started to garner some accolades. The American Booksellers Association has placed Oliver among their top ten Summer 2013 Next List, coming in at #7. Here is their review:

Oliver and His Alligator, by Paul Schmid
“Oliver is a little insecure about his first day of school, so he brings an alligator for reinforcement. While the alligator takes care of one scary thing after another, Oliver starts to realize school might not be so bad — but he has to decide quickly before everything is devoured!  Readers will identify with Oliver’s fears and eat up Schmid’s adorable pastel illustrations.” —Erin Barker, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The next big thing: A global blog tour

Ben Clanton, in addition to being the nicest guy, also has a talent to envy. Ben was kind enough to tag me for a game of blog “it” for authors and illustrators with new books coming out. Here are the questions and my answers.

1) What is the working title of your next book?
Oliver and his alligator.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
My own first day in kindergarten. The teacher was sweet, but I didn’t know why the other kids had to be there.

3) What genre does your book fall under?
Picture book. 

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
How I wish Fred Gwynne were still around to play the alligator!

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
On his first day of school, an anxious boy decides it would be prudent to bring an alligator along, just in case things at school get rough.

6) Who is publishing your book?
Disney-Hyperion on June 25th.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It’s not the first draft you have to worry about, it’s the next two or three dozen versions of it. I re-wrote the first sentence over 40 times!

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
None can compare.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Maurice Sendak spoke often about children needing to explore their own fear. To protect them from this urge is merely self-indulgent on the part of adults. This quote from Maurice is especially relevant to what I wanted to address: “Children are tough, though we tend to think of them as fragile. They have to be tough. Childhood is not easy. We sentimentalize children, but they know what’s real and what’s not. They understand metaphor and symbol. If children are different from us, they are more spontaneous.”

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
My daughter has told me kids like any book where things get eaten. Just about everything gets eaten in this book.

Next up is the delightful and delightfully talented Jaime Temairik. You’re it!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

ever more Fauxtionary

Immaterial Hurl: Your reaction to a review which failed to divine any meaning in your book whatsoever.

Substance Abuse: A review trying to hammer too much meaning into your book.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

a couple more from the fauxtionary

Bangover: Headache honorably earned after banging out an entire chapter/outline/story/dummy in one sitting.

Johnny Faulkner: The beverage you turn to so you can clear your head after a writing binge.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

words, words, words

Slogma: Having to sit through a passionate speech by a writer with a large list of should’s and shouldn’ts about the craft.

Down the Brainpipe: A phrase to describe the complete waste of time, brainpower, energy and self-confidence from doggedly pursuing a failed idea, despite suspecting from the start that it was probably crap.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

from the Fauxtionary

Poltergist: A potentially brilliant but evanescent main idea for a story that visits you at 3 in the morning and disappears at daybreak, although the whole perfect thing was all there in your head and kept you awake for more than 2 hours.

Netscaping: Incessant prowling the internet to check emails and Facebook rather than working on your book.

More to see at Books of Wonder

I will be sitting elbow to elbow with some picture book greats at the Picture Book Bonanza at Books of Wonder this Sunday, April 28th, noon to 2pm. Wendell Minor, David Ezra Stein, Floyd Cooper, Randall de Seve, Shawn Qualls and myself will be talking about and signing our new books and answering any questions.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013


The artists I am looking at tonight for inspiration for my new book: Egon Schiele and Jose Guerrero.

They're driving me mad with excitement.

Peanut and Fifi

On sale today! Buy here. I would recommend buying them by the dozen or more and giving one to every child-like person you come across.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

more Fauxtionary

Blandishment: Glaringly unecstatic response from your spouse upon reading your new manuscript.

Returnal Void: No ideas today either.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Fauxtionary two

Here is another installment of corrupted words or phrases that I've invented to help describe the creative journey.

Dolcrumbs: Cookie and potato chip bits wedged in your keyboard from a particularly nasty period of time with no fresh ideas.

Stalking The Plank: Hovering the internet searching for the first reviews of your new book.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Booklist likes Peanut and Fifi

Another great review just in for Peanut and Fifi have A Ball, Randall de Seve and my new book out at the end of this month. Preorder it here.

Peanut and Fifi Have a Ball.   
In this story about imaginative play, Peanut has a new blue ball. It’s a great ball, and her older sister, Fifi, wants it. But no matter what Fifi suggests they do with it, Peanut refuses. Then Fifi brings an imaginary seal into the equation, along with clothes and pajamas, so that all four can travel the world. Peanut acquiesces, but Fifi doesn’t need the ball anymore to play. End of story? Well, not quite. Much of this book’s charm lies in the spare illustrations of the girls, rendered as broad black strokes in geometric shapes (Fifi is triangular; Peanut is more rounded), and accented by a blue, green, and peach color palette. The backgrounds are plain and the pages creamy, which allow the characters to pop—up until the lovely, fully saturated final spread. When Fifi introduces each imaginary object, it’s effectively rendered in muted colors and bordered with a dotted line. Share with kids who understand what it’s like to have a special toy, a sibling, and a powerful imagination. 
— Ann Kelley

Monday, April 1, 2013


I have wrestled with this subject before. Here, here and here. Words. There ain’t enough of them. Useful ones that is, for describing the agonies and excesses of the creative life. Particularly writing and illustrating children’s books.
In the past, I tried to resolve this insufficiency by cramming some Latin words together into something more serviceable. But I couldn’t remember them, so they really weren’t that serviceable.
This go around, I’ve decided to simply corrupt the Mother Tongue.
Forgoing further fuss, here are the first three words of my new Fauxtionary. My plan is to post a new one every Tuesday morning, but you know how uncooperative plans can be.

Fossil Fuel: Re-reading favorable reviews of your past books in an attempt to energise your confidence.

Hulapoop: Spinning round and around on a crappy idea you will never make work.

Karmakaze:  A reckless urge to follow up a commercial and/or critical success with an oblique, esoteric, self-indulgent binge of “pure art” that will show the whole world what you are really capable of.

Monday, March 25, 2013

library gala

Saturday night my wife and I were invited to participate in the King County Library's Literary Lions Gala, to raise funds for one of the busiest libraries in the country. I had a great time reconnecting with Nancy Pearl and Patrick Jennings, and getting to meet some new folks. (Ours is such a solitary profession!) Here I am at the signing table with the delightful Maria Semple and George Shannon.
I'm not sure yet how much money was raised, but it is never too late to help.

Update on 3-29. Looks like they've raised over $225,000! Here is a photo of all the Lions on the stage.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Kirkus likes

A great review from Kirkus for Peanut and Fifi Have a Ball:

Playful shapes and deft use of white space illustrate a fresh and funny tale about sharing.
Peanut sits on the floor, gazing lovingly at her new ball. Enter Fifi, who wants that ball. She tries grabbing; she tries politeness. “But Peanut didn’t want to share.” Fifi proposes several imagination games for which the ball is, naturally, required. From “Basketball?” to “Dough! It’s bread dough and we’re bakers and we’ve got to knead it and push it and pound it,” Fifi cajoles and Peanut refuses. “Not dough,” Peanut replies. “Just a ball.” The cream-colored backgrounds are clean and spacious, placing sharp focus on the girls. Schmid codes Peanut and Fifi by shape: Everything Peanut is rounded (body, head, ponytails, the ball), while everything Fifi is angular (face, ponytails, triangular dress with lightning bolt). Even a hilarious paper-airplane message—“Dear Ball, Wanna Play?”—is sharply triangular, and the reply—the airplane crumpled up, with “No” written on it—is roundish. Pale blues and oranges sit inside bold black outlines. Bits of rhyme nestle into the text: “It was brand-new. It was bright blue.” Fifi’s final power play briefly orchestrates a painful turnabout, but a page claiming “The end” is only teasing, and the real end sees Peanut and Fifi contentedly off into outer space—together.
Humorous, realistic and cheerfully free of didacticism. (Picture book. 3-5)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

a star!

From the School Library Journal, a star for Peanut and Fifl:

redstar Book Review: Preschool to Grade 4 | March 2013 DE SÈVE , Randall. Peanut and Fifi Have a Ball. illus. by Paul Schmid. 32p. Dial. Apr. 2013.RTE $15.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3578-1. LC 2012014355. 
PreS-K–Peanut is delighted with her new, bright-blue ball. Her older sister wants to play with it too, but Peanut refuses to share her special toy. Undaunted, imaginative Fifi tries a variety of strategies to get it from her sister. She proposes some enticing pretend games. “Where is my crystal ball?” she asks and then suggests, “It’s bread dough and we’re bakers.” Finally, Fifi returns with a seal that can do tricks with the ball. Peanut agrees to share it, but Fifi is off on another fantastic adventure, imagining that she and the seal are flying through space. After a moment, Peanut picks up her ball and chases after her sister, calling out, “Hey Fifi, check out this cool planet.” The digital artwork reinforces the playful tone of the story. The thick black outlines and geometric shapes featured in the simple but eye-catching illustrations have a childlike charm and capture the unique personality of each little girl. This story offers a gentle lesson about sharing, sibling dynamics, and the power of imagination. Pair it with But Excuse Me That Is My Book (Dial, 2005) or another title in Lauren Child’s “Charlie and Lola” series.–Linda L. Walkins, Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston, MA

Thursday, February 28, 2013

praise for Peanut and Fifi

Early reviews are starting to come in for Peanut and Fifi, a terrific story written by Randall de Seve, and illustrated by myself. Here is a very nice one from Publishers Weekly:

With clever dialogue and stylish retro spreads, de Sève (The Duchess of Whimsy) and Schmid (Perfectly Percy) give a shot of energy to the familiar theme of siblings fighting over a toy. Fifi has a nearly inexhaustible stream of ideas to get her younger sister Peanut’s new ball away from her, “but Peanut didn’t want to share. Her ball was new. And it was special.” Fifi tries dressing up in a starry cape and pretending to be a fortune-teller: “Where is my crystal ball?” she asks. “Not here,” says Peanut, unimpressed. “Check the closet.” When the ever-resourceful Fifi runs off with a live seal named Bob and a blue spaceship, Peanut is left alone with her treasure. “The end,” the narrator declares, as Peanut stares disconsolately; “(or not…)” the next page continues—and Peanut joins the fun. Schmid’s bold, black outlines and graphic forms play Peanut’s dumpling roundness off Fifi’s angles and corners. Matte paper and three sun-faded colors heighten the vintage look, and the translucent suggestions of Fifi’s imaginary ideas provide additional interest. Siblings may end up squabbling over this book. Ages 3–5.

The book will be available for sale in April. Buy it here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I am honored to have been invited to participate in the King County Library’s Literary Lions Gala, a black tie event which will raise funds to support a really wonderful library system.

It takes place on Saturday March 23rd, so please consider buying tickets! Nancy Pearl will emcee that night and you will be able to meet and buy books from 30 authors from the Northwest, including myself.

Friday, February 8, 2013

perfect review

This review made me blush. The best thing about it is that it came from a librarian. Librarians know. Librarians are, as if it needed to be pointed out, perfectly awesome people.

Perfectly adorable
Percy is a porcupine with a love of balloons that knows no bounds. The problem is...he's a porcupine. Fortunately, Percy is a porcupine who likes to think and solve problems. How he manages to solve his prickly problem and keep his beloved balloons makes for a short little tale that is amazingly humorous and full of heart. Percy is adorable and kids will instantly relate to his efforts to solve his problem. He seeks help from his sister (whose ideas were not very practical) and his mother (who didn't have time) before finally realizing he needed to come up with something himself. His success will bring a smile to your face and his little grin as the author sends him off with a loving "have fun Percy!" will melt your heart.

This story is short enough for toddlers to still remain engaged, and charming enough to hook even older preschoolers. A must have for any story time collection; this is also a perfect gift for any toddler or preschooler. The illustrations are simple and straightforward and I'm just not sure how Paul Schmid manages to convey so much personality in such a simple little porcupine. When I used Perfectly Percy in a story time for four year olds, he inspired much discussion. The valentines we made following the reading featured quite a few little Percy sketches! With good messages about problem solving and perseverance, Perfectly Percy is a perfect picture book that's not to be missed.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

big day for paul

Well, lots happening.

First, today is the launch day for Perfectly Percy! Buy it now! Buy it anywhere! Buy ten or more and you make Paul that much happier!

And then there is an interview of meself on the fabulous blog Seven Impossible Things. Tons of thanks to the perfectly awesome Jules!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Percy's a star!

My new book Perfectly Percy, received a starred review from the School Library Journal:

Percy is a porcupine with a problem. He loves balloons, but when he plays with them, they meet an unfortunate end. Big sister Pearl offers a creative, albeit “not very practical,” solution of sticking marshmallows onto his quills. Determined to find a better way, Percy “thought things all day. He thought thoughts through the night.” Inspiration strikes at breakfast, and the following page shows the prickly fellow sporting a cereal bowl on his head as he happily runs along with his favorite toy. The simple sentences are invitingly conversational in tone (“What’s a little porcupine to do?”). Schmid’s winsome charcoal and pastel illustrations show a charming, roly-poly character with dots for eyes and a tiny dash for a mouth. Percy’s features droop when he looks at his “trezr” chest full of deflated balloons, but a proud smile appears when he comes up with his own idea. A good choice for toddler storytimes.

Here is a fine review from what I've heard are usually grumpy people at Kirkus:

What is an adorable porcupine to do when his passion is for balloons? Is he destined for disappointment, or will some careful thinking lead to the perfect solution? Schmid (Hugs from Pearl, 2011) returns with another sweet tale about the challenges of being a porcupine. Percy loves balloons of all colors and shapes. “But HAPPY little porcupines with balloons are soon SAD little porcupines. / The balloons always go POP!” Percy is determined not to mope or give up. Advice from big sister Pearl is not practical, and his mom is too busy. So Percy must rely upon himself and start thinking. He muses all through the day and into the night. At breakfast the next day, while eating his cereal, he finally has an inspired idea. Young readers will immediately relate to Percy and his dilemma, and they will cheer when he independently comes up with a messy but successful solution. The simple, direct text pairs well with the soft pastel palette of the illustrations. Percy, white with a pink smudge of a nose and a mass of softly penciled wayward quills, appears more cuddly than prickly and is sure to endear. Just right for preschoolers, who will giggle at the gently humorous ending and see a bit of themselves in this utterly charming creature. 

And not bad from Publishers Weekly:

Schmid follows Hugs from Pearl (2011), about a porcupine named Pearl, with a companion tale about Pearl’s younger brother, Percy. It’s another story about porcupine problem-solving, as Percy mourns that his quills pop the balloons he loves. Eventually, Percy realizes he can don his cereal bowl (still dripping) like a helmet to protect his fragile balloons, “A perfectly Percy idea.” Schmid conveys Percy’s frustration and elation with a handful of adorable charcoal lines, a few sketched-in items of interest (such as a box of burst balloons labeled “trezr”), and backgrounds in pastel blues, greens, and lavenders. Pacing is slow; it takes Percy eight spreads of thinking—“He thought things all the day. He thought thoughts through the night”—before the solution arrives, a long time in the life of a toddler listener. Nevertheless, Schmid possesses the ability to draw irresistible characters, and his gently unconventional language (“The balloons always go pop! And Percy’s happiness pops with them”) adds a little buoyancy to this straightforward tale.

Monday, January 14, 2013


My copies of Perfectly Percy arrived today. That means arrival in stores is not far off, January 29th to be exact. Buy them by the box load yourselves!