Buy The Perfect Percival Priggs
“There are more important things in life than being perfect.
The Priggs are an impressive family. Father Prescott excels in the sciences, mother Penelope is a wordsmith extraordinaire, and son Percival seems to have inherited the best of both parents. The three earn high marks in everything they attempt, and each has a shelf packed with prizes. The family also has a pair of perfectly poofy poodles. But Percy finds it exhausting to be perfect, and he fears his parents won’t love him if he’s anything less. One weekend, Penelope puts the finishing touches on a luscious, multitiered cake, while Prescott carefully trims the hedge…to perfection. Percy is entered in so many contests—from chess to model making to history—that he invents a rocket to help him race through his prep. Unfortunately, it races out of control, knocking over the cake and tearing up the prize roses and sending the poodles flying. Incredibly, Percy’s parents just laugh and then show him all of their failures, giving him valuable permission to pursue what he loves and fail along the way. Graham’s digitally collaged illustrations are quirky and appealing, depicting the three Priggses with identical, enormous round glasses and post-catastrophe Percival with tufty, flyaway hair. The mayhem itself is solid slapstick, and the buildup is well-paced.
Decidedly delightful. (Picture book. 4-7)”
“Being perfect is hard work. But when Percival Priggs, who’s afraid his parents won’t love him anymore if he makes a mistake, miscalculates disastrously in his latest project—he learns that being the best is nowhere near as important as being himself. Hilarious details are scattered cleverly throughout this story, which is sure to become a favorite. With his fluffy puff of wild hair, Percival may not be perfect, but he’s certainly lovable—and, according to his parents, the best son ever. Ages five and up.“
“Perfect Percival doesn’t know how to break it to his perfect parents: he’s tired of trying to be perfect. A Percival-launched mishap finally forces the issue, and his parents come clean with evidence of their own occasional failures. This story is witty and reassuring and features brilliant visual details (Percival’s parents’ attic contains a box of their incomplete crossword puzzles).“
–The Horn Book Guide
“Percival and his parents are hardcore overachievers: “They each had a shelf to display their awards… and they were always competing for more,” writes debut author-illustrator Graham. Secretly unhappy (“He didn’t even like half the things he had been entered in”), Percy soldiers on until he accidentally wrecks an obsessively constructed cake and a perfectly trimmed hedge that his mother and father were preparing for upcoming contests. And that’s when he learns that maybe he was looking at his parents in the wrong light: “We’re not perfect,” says his father. “But we love what we do so we keep trying.” Graham’s sweetly odd characters (the family shares wormlike oversize heads and thick black eyeglasses), goth-lite vibe, and gift for exaggeration may remind readers of offbeat fare such as Coraline or James and the Giant Peach.“