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