Publishers Weekly Review

Delighted with the comparisons they made here!  Thanks to Publishers Weekly for this review 🙂

“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. The final scene ties up the narrative bow too predictably, but readers will come away recognizing the value in not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, as well as investing energy in pursuits one actually enjoys. Ages 3–up. Agent: Kathleen Ortiz, New Leaf Literary & Media. (May)

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