Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Author/Illustrator: Paul Schmid

Does your library display books on top of the children's shelves? Mine does. For me, this is eye candy. This is the check-out line impulse buy. I scan the book covers and take half the inventory. The librarians have to restock the displays when I'm done. (And they probably cringe when they see me coming.) Shelf-top books are where it's at.

This is where I found the next treasure I'm going to share with you. And the treasure is author/illustrator Paul Schmid. You know you've found gold when you read a book and immediately request everything else that person has written. So it was for me and Mr. Schmid. Let's take a tour, shall we?

A Pet for Petunia (2011): Opening: "Petunia likes skunks. No, that's not exactly right. (page turn) Petunia LOVES skunks!" I was hooked. This is a simple, quirky, perfectly preschool read. Petunia does what any child who wants a pet does: she begs, she promises her parents impossible things, she pleads, and when her parents refuse ("'They stink,' say her parents."), she throws a tantrum and plays all her cards (it's not fair, you don't love me, I'll die if I don't get one, and, my favorite, "Why did I have to get born into THIS family?"). Petunia is determined, but in for a surprise. Read this clever take on an age-old childhood request to find out how Petunia reacts when she discovers her parents are telling the truth.

Petunia Goes Wild (2012): Petunia is back in another animal-related adventure, but this time, she's the animal. Opening: "Monday morning Petunia, growling and snorting, ate her breakfast off the kitchen floor." Again, an excellent hook. In this pet book with a twist, Petunia's parents are the ones who throw a tantrum and use every line in the book to refuse her request. This fresh, fun sequel is just as entertaining as the first.

Hugs from Pearl (2011): Pearl is a lovable porcupine with a problem. She loves to hug, but her hugs "were just a little ouchy." I like the voice in this book. The narrator speaks to the reader and you feel like you are right there with Pearl, watching her try various ways to solve her prickly problem. She has empathy, perseverance, and, by the end, lots of hugs to share.

Perfectly Percy (2013): Percy is Pearl's little brother. In this sequel, he also has a prickly problem to solve because his favorite things are balloons: "But HAPPY little porcupines with balloons are soon SAD little porcupines." Percy thinks hard to find a solution, but he can only think of ice cream. Pearl's ideas "were not very practical" and mom is busy. When Percy has run out of thoughts, a solution presents itself. Even if it means skipping breakfast :)


  1. These all look really cool! i know kids just like Petunia! I'll have to check out Mr Schmid. I've not come across him before. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I know what you mean with shelf books. I am the same way. The librarian definitely hates to see me come. But I can't help it. those books are the best ones. and however else will I learn the new ones.

    these you selected are ones I may have to request. lol. they look delicious..