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. Though familiar, the story’s message certainly bears repeating.
Decidedly delightful. (Picture book. 4-7)