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Perry, Andrea 1956–

Perry, Andrea 1956–

Personal

Born September 10, 1956, in Cincinnati, OH; daughter of William and Patricia Fitz; married Dennis Perry (an oral surgeon), April 25, 1986; children: Jordan Alexis, Dean Christian. Education: Carlow College, B.A., 1979; University of Pittsburgh, M.Ed., 1980.

Addresses

Home—Pittsburgh, PA; Jupiter, FL. Agent—Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary Agency, 320 7th Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215.

Career

Writer and educator. Boyce Middle School, Upper St. Clair, PA, instructor in computer laboratory, 1998—. Has also worked in a donut shop, drugstore, mental health center, nursing home, children's hospital, museum, and library.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Awards, Honors

Author of the month, Embracing the Child, 2003, for Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe: Ingenious Inventions for Pesky Problems.

Writings

POETRY

Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe: Ingenious Inventions for Pesky Problems, illustrated by Alan Snow, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2003.

The Snack Smasher and Other Reasons Why It's Not My Fault, illustrated by Alan Snow, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor of poems to magazines, journals, and anthologies.

Sidelights

Andrea Perry is the author of Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe: Ingenious Inventions for Pesky Problems and The Snack Smasher and Other Rea-

sons Why It's Not My Fault, a pair of well-received works of poetry. The oldest of eight children, Perry was born in 1956 in Cincinnati, Ohio. As a child, Perry's mother introduced her to the works of Dr. Seuss, which contributed to her love of rhyme and verse. "Poetry for me is taking an idea, and then turning it on its head," Perry stated in an Authors on the Web interview.

Though Perry never planned to become a writer, she experimented with poetry throughout her life. "I always thought that stories in rhyme were the best kind," she remarked in an interview on the Embracing the Child Web site. "So on occasion when I had a friend or relative getting married, or moving away, or having a baby, or getting a new job, my gift of choice for them was to write some sort of humorous rhymed story about them and the event." She began writing in earnest while raising her toddlers. After winning a few local poetry contests, Perry took a course in children's writing at the suggestion of her mother. "The rest is history," she stated in the Embracing the Child interview. "I got hooked up with the local chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, joined a writing critique group, and never stopped until I got published."

Perry's first book, Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe, a collection of humorous verse, presents a dozen silly inventions that help solve everyday problems. In "The Sure-Footed Shoe Finder," Perry introduces a contraption that sniffs out misplaced sneakers, and "Veggie Be Gone" describes a spray that prevents beans, beets, and peas from landing in the shopping cart. "Stink Stoppers" concerns a device that deodorizes a variety of animals, including bobcats, eagles, and walruses, and a cotton-tailed creature devours the leftovers from a midnight snack in "The Crumbunny." Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe garnered strong reviews. "Fingersnapping rhythms and well-executed rhymes keep the verses bouncing along," remarked Kathleen Odean in Booklist, and Sheilah Kosco, writing in School Library Journal, predicted that young readers "will delight in the funny verses and appreciate the creative solutions to common dilemmas." According to a contributor in Kirkus Reviews, children "may be tempted to design their own thingamajigs in the wake of this droll debut."

In her second volume of poetry, The Snack Smasher and Other Reasons Why It's Not My Fault, Perry offers a rogues' gallery of scoundrels who have mastered the art of annoying and antagonizing children. The "Scary-Hair Fairy," for example, always strikes just before Picture Day at school, and youngsters who find themselves just short of completing their latest jigsaw puzzle masterpiece have the "Puzzle-Piece Eater" to blame. Nasty spills are certainly the work of the "Cap-Napper and Lid Lifter," and the "Dastardly Snack Smasher" loves to crumble tasty treats while leaving liver and spinach intact. Amy Lilien-Harper, writing in School Library Journal, commented that "fans of humorous and nonsense verse will find a lot to enjoy here." Rocky Mountain News contributor Jennifer Miller also praised the work, stating, "Kids will delight in these comical explanations for life's little annoyances."

Perry once told SATA: "From the very first time I ever heard ‘One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish’ or read Ogden Nash explaining an octopus in rhymed verse, I have loved the playfulness of poetry. How can being an author possibly be work when writing humorous verse is so much fun? I have to admit that I do not write every day as I hear the serious, disciplined writer must, but when that sound, or word, or name of a city, or silly idea jumps into the room with me and won't go away, that's when my writing begins. For that very reason, I always carry a little notepad with me wherever I go, since you never know when that light bulb may go off. However, I have learned through experience to also carry a pen, since poems jotted down in lipstick are very hard to read.

"I am often asked where the ideas for my poems come from, and just as often readers assume my zanier ideas must come from my children. The truth is that most of my poems come from my own childhood growing up with seven brothers and sisters in a house full of energy and creativity. ‘The Sure-Footed Shoe Finder’ came from a combination of vivid memories of being late for school when I was unable to find one of my shoes and of the smell of my brother's very stinky feet! That's why every household needs a machine that tracks lost shoes through their smell! That's also why most of the time I am writing outside of the box. Why write a poem about snow falling when the snow could be bouncing? Why write about bathtub rings unless they are caused by little men on motorcycles who live in your drain? That would have to be my motto: what if? Let's take an idea for a poem and turn it upside down. You may be surprised at what you end up with! To my thinking, poems just want to have fun."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 1, 2003, Kathleen Odean, review of Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe: Ingenious Inventions for Pesky Problems, p. 1407.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2002, review of Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe, p. 1856.

Publishers Weekly, December 23, 2002, review of Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe, p. 70; January 15, 2007, review of The Snack Smasher and Other Reasons Why It's Not My Fault, p. 51.

Rocky Mountain News, June 8, 2007, Jennifer Miller, review of The Snack Smasher and Other Reasons Why It's Not My Fault.

School Library Journal, May, 2003, Sheilah Kosco, review of Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe, p. 140; February, 2007, Amy Lilien-Harper, review of The Snack Smasher and Other Reasons Why It's Not My Fault, p. 111.

ONLINE

Andrea Perry Home Page,http://www.byandreaperry.com (July 15, 2008).

Authors on the Web,http://www.authorsontheweb.com/ (April 1, 2003), "Poet Roundtable with Children's Poets."

Embracing the Child Web site,http://www.embracingthechild.org/ (March 1, 2003), interview with Perry.

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"Perry, Andrea 1956–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Perry, Andrea 1956–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/perry-andrea-1956-0

"Perry, Andrea 1956–." Something About the Author. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/perry-andrea-1956-0

Perry, Andrea 1956-

PERRY, Andrea 1956-

Personal

Born September 10, 1956, in Cincinnati, OH; daughter of William and Patricia (Clark) Fitz; married Dennis Perry (an oral surgeon), April 25, 1986; children: Jordan Alexis, Dean Christian. Education: Carlow College, B.A., 1979; University of Pittsburgh, M.Ed., 1980.


Addresses

Home Pittsburgh, PA; Jupiter, FL. Agent Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary Agency, 320 Seventh Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215.


Career

Boyce Middle School, Upper St. Clair, PA, instructor in computer laboratory, 1998.


Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.


Awards, Honors

Author of the month, Embracing the Child, 2003, for Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe: Ingenious Inventions for Pesky Problems.

Writings


Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe: Ingenious Inventions for Pesky Problems (children's poetry), Atheneum (New York, NY), 2003.


Contributor of poems to magazines, journals, and anthologies.


Work in Progress

Villains!, a children's poetry collection, for Atheneum (New York, NY).


Sidelights

Andrea Perry told SATA: "From the very first time I ever heard 'One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish' or read Ogden Nash explaining an octopus in rhymed verse, I have loved the playfulness of poetry. How can being an author possibly be work when writing humorous verse is so much fun? I have to admit that I do not write every day as I hear the serious, disciplined writer must, but when that sound, or word, or name of a city, or silly idea jumps into the room with me and won't go away, that's when my writing begins. For that very reason, I always carry a little notepad with me wherever I go, since you never know when that light bulb may go off. However, I have learned through experience to also carry a pen, since poems jotted down in lipstick are very hard to read.

"I am often asked where the ideas for my poems come from, and just as often readers assume my zanier ideas must come from my children. The truth is that most of my poems come from my own childhood growing up with seven brothers and sisters in a house full of energy and creativity. The title poem from my book, 'The Sure-Footed Shoe Finder,' came from a combination of vivid memories of being late for school when I was unable to find one of my shoes and of the smell of my brother's very stinky feet! That's why every household needs a machine that tracks lost shoes through their smell! That's also why most of the time I am writing outside of the box. Why write a poem about snow falling when the snow could be bouncing? Why write about bathtub rings unless they are caused by little men on motorcycles who live in your drain? That would have to be my motto: what if? Let's take an idea for a poem and turn it upside down. You may be surprised at what you end up with! To my thinking, poems just want to have fun."


Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS


Booklist, April 1, 2003, Kathleen Odean, review of Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe: Ingenious Inventions for Pesky Problems, p. 1407.

Publishers Weekly, December 23, 2002, review of Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe, p. 70.

School Library Journal, May, 2003, Sheilah Kosco, review of Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe, p. 140.


ONLINE


Andrea Perry Home Page, http://www.byandreaperry.com/ (March 1, 2004).

Embracing the Child, http://www.embracingthechild.org/ (March, 2003), interview with Perry.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Perry, Andrea 1956-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Perry, Andrea 1956-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/perry-andrea-1956

"Perry, Andrea 1956-." Something About the Author. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/perry-andrea-1956