Sunday, June 8, 2014

when quill meets balloon

A lovely review!

"If you were a very prickly porcupine whose favorite thing in the whole world was a balloon, I’d tell you that you were not setting yourself up for happiness.  But in the delightful picture book Perfectly Percy, we find just such a situation… and a happy ending.
Percy loves balloons.  He’s also covered in sharp quills, and at the beginning of the story, a lovely blue balloon meets its demise.  Poor Percy.  But he’s not one to mope or give up.  He problem-solves, he seeks the wisdom of his older sister Pearl (featured in Schmid’s previous book, Hugs from Pearl), and he stays calm.  He finds a solution in an unlikely place, and all that persistence and patience pays off.
This is a very charming story that gives a great example of cause and effect.  Toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners can learn from Percy.  He doesn’t melt down or stomp when his favorite thing is ruined.  He doesn’t cry when he can’t figure out a way to enjoy his balloon.  He deals with his sadness in a constructive way, and he makes his own success.
The sweet and simple illustrations, also by Schmid, show this adorable porcupine, and his feelings and actions, in an accessible way.   A lighthearted and non-preachy tale about disappointment, frustration, and solving life’s little problems is a perfect read for young children who face these challenges several times a day.  Even if they don’t follow Percy’s lead, they’re sure to enjoy hearing about someone who feels the same way as they often do."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

early reviews

Our boy Percy has been getting some favorable attention from notable review journals. Percy however seems to have other things on his mind.

School Library Journal -- Starred review
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.

Kirkus Reviews
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. 

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

very soon now!

Here's my box of books. Soon you can buy a box of your own! January 29th in stores.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Percy in January!

Available January 29th, 2013. Preorder available at IndieBound, PowellsBarnes&Noble and Amazon
Perfectly Percy is the fourth book to be published in which I both wrote and illustrated, yet it was my very first completed manuscript.
Percy’s story began as a unused random gag sketch for The Wonder Book. It never found a place in that book, but I liked the image so much that I pinned it to my studio wall. The more I looked at poor Percy and imagined his disappointment when his quills ruined his fun, the more I felt compelled to help him out. 
The original sketch.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

hi from Percy!

An original concept sketch for Perfectly Percy, by Paul Schmid available January 2013. Harper Books.