(Candlewick Press / Walker Books)
Your best friend is kind of a show-off. Your baby sister is loud. And Mum can be pretty stubborn. Not perfect! But sometimes they come pretty close, and you do, too. David Elliott’s winning, tongue-in-cheek text combines with Sam Zuppardi’s fresh, kid-friendly illustrations to show that life may be more about patience than perfection, and that focusing on the positive reaps its own rewards.
Teenagers have no difficulty in pointing out the faults they find in their parents, but for younger children it can be a bit of a struggle to reconcile their natural admiration with the flawed parental reality. David Elliott offers 4- to 8-year-olds a bit of emotional release in this regard with “Nobody’s Perfect” (Candlewick, 32 pages, $16.99), a picture book whose jaunty tone and charitable theme are perfectly matched by Sam Zuppardi ’s bright, explosive, scribbly illustrations. “‘Nobody’s perfect.’ That’s what everybody says. And I guess they’re right,” the young protagonist muses. His baby sister, Gigi, isn’t perfect, “She’s loud!” His best friend is a show-off. “And even my mom,” the boy admits. “She’s stubborn! And that’s not perfect.” Conceding that he, too, is imperfect—parents will smile at the disastrous state of the boy’s room after he has supposedly tidied it—the narrator brings himself, and us, around to the fact that sometimes a person’s imperfections are not only understandable but even rather fun.
- The Wall Street Journal
Zuppardi's loose, scribbly, deceptively child-styled pencil outlines vibrate with energy, and his colorful acrylic backgrounds feature uninhibitedly visible brush strokes, drips, splotches and lines … unabashedly colored in with gray pencil.
Loose drawings, full of scribbly pencil lines, busy up the surface and have an unfinished look: just as the boy is a work in progress, so is his world, exuberant with color and frenzied detail. ... In this era of striving for parental perfection, the idea that imperfections are no reason to despair is a pretty good theme for a picture book and should be appreciated by both reader and listener alike.