Perfectly Percy

Paul Schmid, Author, Paul Schmid, Illustrator
Paul Schmid. HarperCollins, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-180436-6
Reviewed on: 12/03/2012
Release date: 01/01/2013
Hardcover - 978-0-06-180437-3
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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. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Feb.)
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