- Short, stress-free, smog-free commute.
- No office politics. (I *am* the whole office!)
- No special tools required.
- I can have a gossipy lunch with my writer friends and call it networking.
- I can spend an hour staring out the window and call it the creative process.
- I can spend an afternoon surfing the Internet and call it research.
- I get paid to tell lies. (True, I don’t get paid OFTEN or even WELL, but still you see my point.)
- My characters can say all the nasty, cutting, funny things I don’t have the courage to say in real life.
- The feeling of utter power that comes from creating fictional worlds and controlling characters’ lives (until the characters take over, that is, and start doing whatever they want).
- No dress code.
In Penelope and the Humongous Burp, there are lots of words you know and maybe some that are new to you. Can you find the words hidden below?
If you’d rather print out a copy of the word search, click here.
- The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron
- Under the Duvet: Shoes, Reviews, Having the Blues, Builders, Babies, Families and Other Calamities, by Marian Keyes
- Little by Little: A Writer’s Education, by Jean Little
- The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success, by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell
- Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott
- Writing and Selling Your Novel, by Jack M. Bickham
- The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life, by Julia Cameron
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King
- Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul: Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit of Writers, by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Bud Gardner
Have you drawn a picture or written a story about Penelope that you’d like to share? Would you like to ask a question or make a comment? You can reach Sheri by email.
- I don’t have time.
- I’m too busy.
- I’m too tired.
- I have a pressing need to rearrange my bookshelves.
- My husband/kids/pets/neighbours are making so much noise I can’t concentrate.
- It’s so quiet I can’t concentrate.
- I’m not feeling creative today.
- My deadline is still ages away.
- I need to clean the house.
- I’m a horrible writer with absolutely no talent and I’ll never get published anyway because all the editors are illiterate morons who only publish their friends and I’ll probably end up alone, unloved and unpublished, living in a cardboard box under a bridge with nothing but newspapers to keep me warm.
Hmmm… Maybe this needs to be a top 20 list…
- My computer crashed.
- There’s something good on TV.
- I’m at a very exciting point in the book I’m reading.
- I need to alphabetize my pantry.
- It’s too beautiful outside to be stuck inside at the computer.
- It’s so rainy and gray outside that it’s too depressing to write.
- I got my 463rd rejection in the mail today.
- I need to bake something.
- My lucky writing sweater is in the wash.
- I don’t even own a lucky writing sweater.
Come to think of it, maybe this should really be a top 30 list…
- My characters are annoying me.
- My plot is stupid.
- It’s too early in the day.
- It’s too late in the day.
- I’ll do it tomorrow instead.
- I need to do just a little bit more research before I can write any more.
- It’s so cold I can’t concentrate.
- It’s so hot I can’t concentrate.
- I need to read just one more book on the craft of writing before I can write even one more word.
- It won’t hurt to skip just one day.
Or maybe this should be a top 40 list… And if I keep writing this list for long enough, I won’t have to do any “real” writing today…
After the king declares it’s time for Princess Candi to get married, the math-loving princess decides to carry out a husband search on her own. Not knowing how to find such a creature, she turns to fairy tales for inspiration and ends up using every method in the books, from kissing frogs to slaying monsters. But will she find her Prince Charming? Or just a bunch of duds who cheat, cry and make armpit noises?
This swashbuckling tale is brimming with romance, algebra problems and at least one very large pickle.
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
A February 2015 article titled “The Rise of the Feminist Princesses” on Cuckoo Review calls the book “a tale that tears apart the stereotypical princess story.” The article praises the story’s “subversion of both the genre and gender expectations.”
A January 2015 review on Readerly says that “kids will enjoy the italicized asides that add to the tale, or correct the extravagant narrator. They’ll also love the unexpected twists, like when Candi kisses a frog and it turns into a bird.”
An October 2014 review on Quill & Quire says of the book: “Eight-year-old sophisticates will probably find it hilarious.” The review concludes: “The lively absurdity of Radford’s text is well-matched by the expressive details and imaginative variety of Leng’s wonderful pictures.”
An October 2014 article titled “Buy the Book” on Vitamin Daily calls Not Just Another Princess Story “just silly enough for a five-year-old to enjoy and perfect for an eight-year-old to read herself.” The review praises how “this princess story breaks new, less trodden ground.”
It’s behind me in the kitchen,
It’s behind me in the hall,
It’s behind me when I’m leaping,
It’s behind me when I fall.
Something mysterious is following poor kitty wherever she goes. Whatever can it be?
The latest book in the Penelope series is a comical birthday celebration with hilarious illustrations and uproarious text. Penelope is having a birthday party and everyone is invited. But as her parents quickly realize, Penelope really did invite everyone. As ballerinas leap through the air, ponies meander through the kitchen, soccer players kick penalty shots in the living room, and an elephant makes himself at home, Penelope’s flabbergasted parents find increasingly dramatic words (outrageous… ridiculous… preposterous) to describe the growing chaos. Even though Penelope meant well by not leaving anyone out, it’s clear that this birthday bash has gone berserk… bonkers… bananas! Ring the doorbell and join Penelope’s party—with this birthday girl, it’s bound to be a blast!
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
- Shortlisted for the 2010-2011 Chocolate Lily Awards.
In an April 2009 review in CM Magazine, Suzanne Pierson gives the book 3.5 stars out of 4 and a rating of “Highly Recommended.” She says: “Author Sheri Radford has created a strong character in Penelope, a girl with lots of energy, good intentions, and at least a little understanding when even she has to admit that next year’s party won’t include the elephant. Radford plays with language in the text, using repetition, alliteration and numbers.” Pierson adds: “Almost everyone will be able to see someone like themselves in this story. Children will also enjoy looking for Penelope’s long-suffering dog in the illustrations.”
A spring 2009 review in Canadian Bookseller Magazine also praises the book: “Penelope is having a party and you’re invited. Why not? There’ll be magicians, soccer players, clowns, and even an elephant. Sheri Radford and Christine Tripp have collaborated again to create Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party, a balloon-busting, cake-throwing tribute to children’s birthday parties gone wild. When Penelope invites her whole soccer team and the clowns from the circus they went to last week, her parents wonder if the party can get any wilder. Youth readers will revel in the out of control antics of Penelope’s party guests. Tripp’s illustrations burst with life and detail, matching Radford’s zany story. Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party is a great gift for any young birthday boy or girl and a story that will definitely be read again and again.”
In a March 2009 review in Quill & Quire, Ciabh McEvenue says: “While the [Penelope] stories are set in straight prose, Penelope is a character firmly in the tradition of the Eloises and Jillian Jiggses of the more giddy, rhyming kidlit landscape (with maybe more than a little Munsch thrown in), with the added appeal and support of Christine Tripp’s kinetic and vividly drawn watercolour scenes.” McEvenue adds: “Young readers will enjoy and respond to the familiarity of the incremental build of the narrative and will anticipate upcoming scenes. The story is predictable and very simply told; however, the accessibility and familiarity of the whole package is conducive to inevitable retelling.”
Penelope won’t go to sleep. Never ever not in a million trillion gazillion years.
Her father doesn’t believe her, but Penelope knows there are monsters lurking in the dark. How else can she explain the dancing drawers, creeeeaking closet, and bounce-bouncing bed? Will Penelope have the confidence to turn on the lights and call out the things that go bump in the night?
In this new Penelope misadventure, our spunky heroine takes on gnomes and trolls and giants with the same comic flair that brought down the house in Penelope and the Humongous Burp.
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
- Shortlisted for the 2007 Blue Spruce Award.
- Second place in the 2006-2007 Chocolate Lily Awards.
- An “Our Choice” selection of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre for 2006.
- CanWest Raise-A-Reader selection for September 2005.
- Highlighted title for Independent Publisher Online for July 2005.
According to a September 2005 write-up in the Midwest Book Review: “Imaginatively written by Sheri Radford, and featuring the lively illustrations of Christine Tripp, Penelope and the Monsters is a charmingly delightful picturebook which is ideal for family, school, and community library picturebook collections. Also very highly recommended is Radford and Tripp’s first title about this unusual and comic little heroine, Penelope and the Humongous Burp.”
In a June 24, 2005, review in CM: Canadian Review of Materials, Patricia Fay says: “Penelope and the Monsters is the second book in the ‘Penelope’ series, and Sheri Radford and Christine Tripp have created another hit!” Fay adds: “This story will appeal to children who worry about monsters and strange shadows at night. Penelope is a strong character who can and does stand up to these ‘monsters.'”
The first book in the Penelope series features comic mayhem when the heroine gulps her grape soda in a far-from-ladylike manner.
Call the doctors! Phone the firefighters! Get the police! Too thirsty to heed her mother’s warnings not to drink so quickly, Penelope soon learns what disastrous events can come from drinking a simple glass of grape soda. What will happen next when Penelope feels those funny bubbles building up in her stomach?
Penelope and the Humongous Burp gives kids the giggles with its adorable star, fast-paced story, and lively illustrations.
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
- Named one of the Top 10 Great Books of the Year by the Canadian Toy Testing Council.
- Named a 2006 Blue Spruce Honour Book.
- Won gold in the 0-7 category of the 2005 Mom’s Choice Awards.
- Semi-finalist in the 2005 Independent Publisher Book Awards.
- An “Our Choice” selection of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre for 2005.
- Named a “Summer Gem” by Brodart Books for 2004.
In an April 2004 review in Quill & Quire, Jessica Kelley calls the book “a cautionary yet gleeful tale of the perils of too much soda pop.” She also says: “With its exuberant pictures, slightly naughty subject matter, silly words (‘glurble glooble’), and repetitive phrases, Penelope and the Humongous Burp could lead to some comical storytimes.”
Lian Goodall says in a Jan. 10, 2004, review in the St. Catharines Standard: “Penelope and the Humongous Burp by Sheri Radford reminds me of Good Families Don’t by Robert Munsch. This humorous treatment of body functions begins with young Penelope hastily drinking so much soda that her tummy beings to go ‘glurble glooble.’ The ‘bbuurrp’ she emits shakes the walls, the next one knocks them down and then the whole house tumbles! Kids will find this story amusing, and be reminded to say ‘excuse me.'”