Friday, June 7, 2013

PPBF: Peanut & Fifi Have a Ball

TitlePeanut & Fifi Have a Ball
Author/Illustrator: Randall de Seve/ Paul Schmid
Publisher/Date: Dial Books for Young Readers/2013
Genre/Audience: Fiction/Ages 3-5
Themes: sharing, siblings, imagination

"Peanut had a ball. It was brand-new. It was bright blue. And it was special."

Synopsis: (From

"For every kid who has ever had trouble sharing a special toy.

Peanut has a new ball and her big sister, Fifi, wants to play with it. Peanut doesn't want to share, so Fifi tries to entice her with the many different imaginary games they could play with the ball--they could tell fortunes, or have a bakery, or let a seal balance the ball on its nose! Peanut is NOT convinced, until Fifi comes up with a spectacular imaginary adventure that Peanut can't refuse: a trip to space! But is it too late for her to join the game? 

Illustrated in bold graphics and bright colors by an illustrator Maurice Sendak calls "an artist with a superb eye for line and composition," here's a story where the older sibling doesn't always have the upper hand."

Why I Love This Book
The illustrations are sparse. The story is simple. But the theme is age-old. I can relate to Peanut's stubborn "mine" and the repeated attempts of Fifi to play with the toy. My boys show me examples of this story everyday! But Fifi goes further. Her imaginative ideas for how to play with the ball get more and more elaborate. Paul Schmid's terrific illustrations effectively show Fifi playing with the ball without actually possessing the ball. And this is the key. Fifi realizes that she doesn't need a toy to use her imagination. It is a sweet book that transforms sibling frustration into shared storytelling. A very satisfying read.

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  1. This one looks great. We could really use a book on this topic. I have a serious toy-despot on my hands :)

  2. I like this one, though I found the shape of the sister's face a bit odd, not endearing.

  3. Sometimes the simplest stories make the best books. Watch closely, this clean graphic style is the new look of the picture book - so in demand. Thanks for sharing this one!

  4. Sounds like a fun and enchanting story for kids. I like the quirky illustrations on the cover. I imagine they compliment the story.

  5. This sounds wonderful! Great for squabbling kids.

  6. Laura...with summer just around the corner, this is a great book! Kids will be flocking to playgrounds and playdates...we are not usually born knowing how to share. This book might help many families. ;)

  7. I don't like sharing my toys either! And I have some that I get to have all to myself. That Fifi sounds like a not so nice sister. But the book looks pretty cute so I will probably have to check it out.