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The Perfect Percival Priggs by Julie-Anne Graham

The Perfect Percival Priggs
Written and illustrated by Julie-Anne Graham
(Running Press; $16.95, Ages 3 and up)


            Everyone in the family will love this silly and heartfelt story about doing too much, and trying to be perfect!


Interior art from The Perfect Percival Priggs by Julie-Anne Graham, Running Press ©2015.

Percival’s parents are perfect and they have all the awards to prove it. Percival wants to be perfect, too. He enters every competition, for everything, including the things he doesn’t even like. He’s sure that if he doesn’t do this, his parents won’t love him anymore.

But, being perfect is quite exhausting! So, Percival comes up with a perfect plan to make things easier. Only, it doesn’t. It just makes a big mess!

Interior art from The Perfect Percival Priggs by Julie-Anne Graham, Running Press ©2015.

That’s when Percy finds out that being perfect is not what makes his parents love him. They show him all of their mistakes hidden away in the attic.

It’s then that Percy learns that doing what you love, and working hard at it, is what really matters.

With fun and wonderfully detailed illustrations, and just the right amount of text to tell the story, this book is, well … Perfect!

– Guest Reviewer Jo Ann Banks


Jo Ann Banks is a writer of children’s stories, poems, and silly songs. Jo Ann has such an incredible love of children’s stories that some people say she never grew up. When she hears that, she just covers her ears and sings, “I’m not listening, I’m not listening …”

To learn more silly facts about her, go to

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It’s Hard Work Being Perfect

This review by Ronna Mandel of The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $14.99, ages 4-8) by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein, illustrated by Mark Pett, can be found in the November issue of L.A. Parent.

It’s hard work being perfect – not that I know of course, but I can just imagine. And when you never botch up like the main character of this book, Beatrice Bottomwell, people come to expect you will never make a mistake, never forget to do your homework, mismatch your socks or, horror-of-all-horrors, be unprepared for the school talent show juggling act! Pett and Rubinstein’s story and Pett’s totally in sync artwork come together to share an important message: it’s OK to try your best, but when it becomes all consuming and nothing less is satisfying, more is lost than gained!

All that striving for perfection can certainly create a lot of stress. It gets to the point for 9-year-old Beatrice that, after one near miss with an egg while baking, she starts avoiding activities for fear of failure. While Beatrice’s friends and even her younger brother could care less about falling down while ice skating or playing piano the wrong way, Beatrice’s worrying about making a mistake makes her feel ill until … she actually does make a major mistake in front of a packed school auditorium during her juggling performance in the talent show. What results is anything but a disaster! In fact, Beatrice, and the audience, end up finding the whole thing so hilarious, that from that moment forward Beatrice is surprised to find out how absolutely wonderful and rewarding it is to stop trying so hard and just be herself.

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