A bestselling Caldecott Honor artist and legendary author team up in this Parents' Choice Silver Award Book!
Truly a publishing event! Florence Parry Heide, author of such classics as the Shrinking of Treehorn, and Lane Smith, recipient of a slew of awards, have created an unforgettable princess sure to charm and delight young readers.
Princess Hyacinth has a problem: she floats. And so the king and queen have pebbles sewn into the tops of her socks, and force her to wear a crown encrusted with the heaviest jewels in the kingdom to keep her earthbound. But one day, Hyacinth comes across a balloon man and decides to take off all her princess clothes, grab a balloon, and float free. Hooray! Alas, when the balloon man lets go of the string . . . off she goes. Luckily, there is a kite and a boy named Boy to save her.
About Florence Parry Heide
From time to time over the years, questions have frequently been asked of me–questions for which I have no ready answers: What is your hobby? What are you going to be when you grow up?
What indeed was my hobby?
I couldn't count reading–everybody reads. And since I was very disinterested in and pitifully inept at all the things that constituted homemaking (cooking, baking, sewing, all those things) I couldn't count that.
Well, what about my having those five wonderful children? But they weren't a hobby. They were just a never-ending source of wonder and joy. Hobbies would have to wait until everything settled down a little. In the meantime, wasn't life absolutely wonderful?
Well, then! The children were off to school, and I found I had some free hours. Now I could take time to find a hobby–but what could it be?
What about this? I decided to write marvelous lyrics for a friend's marvelous music, songs that I hoped one day would be played, heard, and celebrated by countless thousands. We wrote and wrote, we tried and tried. Frank Sinatra wouldn't even look at them. Finally we had to put the songs on hold. (But wait, you'll be singing them one of these days, you'll see!)
So now what for a hobby?
What about this? Children's books! I started to write children's books, and for a long time, my new hobby was collecting rejections.
Until one shining day, a manuscript that had been rejected sixteen (!) times was indeed accepted and, since that first book, many books of mine have been published. The most recent one is The One and Only Marigold. Do read it–read them all! That could be your new hobby, and it would make me feel popular.
Back to those questions: My present hobby? . . . Admiring life.
As for that other question: what do I want to be when I grow up? . . . So many choices! Can I get back to you on that?
About Lane Smith
LANE SMITH was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on August 25th, 1959. His family moved to Corona,California when he was three, but spent the better part of every summer back in Oklahoma. "Myfamily would take the old Route 66 highway. I think that's where my bizarre sense of designcomes from. Once you've seen a 100-foot cement buffalo on top of a donut-stand in the middle ofnowhere, you're never the same."
Lane has one brother, whose name is Shane. "Shane and Lane. My Mom thought this was funny.Really. A real hoot. However, HER brothers were named Dub, Cubby, Leo and Billy- Joe! MyDad's brothers were Tom and Jerry! I SWEAR this is true!"
"I had a great childhood. We lived in the foothills, and my brother and I spent all of ourafter-school time exploring, building forts, collecting lizards, etc. My favorite time of year wasFall, when the wind would start up and the air grew colder. I lived for Halloween and I loved theold Universal studios' monster movies. Shane and I would watch them, then read each otherhorror stories with titles like Tales to Tremble By. The foothills were full of dry bushes and deserttrees and in the Fall we'd get a lot of creepy looking tumbleweeds blowing through our backyardat night. I used to lay awake in bed and imagine what wild adventures might be happening in thehills. I think some of those memories later evolved into THE BIG PETS.
Lane supplemented the money his parents were putting towards his college tuition by taking a jobat Disneyland. "I worked at Disneyland for about five years as a janitor. Only we weren't calledjanitors, we were called custodial hosts. One of my duties was to clean out the attractions atnight. It was great to be left in the Haunted Mansion all alone. Another duty was to clean up aftersomeone if they got sick on the Revolving Teacup ride. Like I said, it was great to be left in theHaunted Mansion all alone."
After he graduated from college with a B.F.A. in Illustration, he headed for the Big Apple with asmall portfolio of illustrations.
Since then his work has appeared on the covers of The Atlantic Monthly, The New York TimesMagazine, The Boston Globe, Sierra, American Bookseller, The Progressive, Time, Newsweek,Mother Jones, and Ms.
"A lot of reviewers have misidentified my technique as airbrush or dyes or even egg tempera. Ithink this is because it almost looks as if it was sprayed with paint with little dots of color andtexture visible. Actually, my work is rendered in oil paints. I paint on board, building up severalthin glazes of the oil, sealing them between coats with an acrylic spray varnish. This not only driesthe oil instantly, but also causes a chemical reaction between the oil and the acrylic. Normally, itwould be a mistake to combine two opposites like this and in fact it was a mistake the first time Idid it, but I liked the results. I'm a big fan of artists who play with surfaces. I love texture andgrunge. The trick is to know when to stop. Sometimes I keep adding more and more layers untilI've ruined the piece. Usually I stop when the painting starts to look interesting. Then I go in witha fine brush and add details, lights and darks, etc. It's a laborious process, but it's unpredictableand it keeps me interested and surprised. Of course, I'm influenced by other illustrators too, likeN.C. Wyeth, Maurice Sendak, Arthur Rackham, Edward Lear, Gustav Dore and Tomi Ungerer. Ihope I can follow the path these dark illustrators have walked, or at least use the sidewalk thatruns alongside it."copyright ? 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2009:
“Smith’s elegantly cartoonish brush-and-ink character survives an exhilarating scare involving a kite, a rescue and a newly formed friendship. Heide’s prose takes off just when Hyacinth does.”
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, August 17, 2009:
"Heide possesses the ability to tell a moralistic tale without a hint of didacticism."
Starred Review, School Library Journal, November 2009:
“Heide’s tale bubbles with effervescence, drawing readers into the fantasy with a lively, conversational text.”
WINNER 2009 Kid's Indie Next List "Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Indie Booksellers"
WINNER 2009 Parents' Choice Silver Honor Book
WINNER 2010 Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices
NOMINEE 2011 Indiana Young Hoosier Master List
HONOR Charlotte Zolotow Award
WINNER Chicago Public LibraryÂ’s Best of the Best books