Heide, Florence Parry 1919- (Alex B. Allen, Jamie McDonald)
Heide, Florence Parry 1919- (Alex B. Allen, Jamie McDonald)
Surname is pronounced "high-dee"; born February 27, 1919, in Pittsburgh, PA; daughter of David W. (a banker) and Florence (an actress, columnist, and drama critic) Parry; married Donald C. Heide (an attorney), November 27, 1943; children: Christen, Roxanne, Judith, David, Parry. Education: Attended Wilson College; University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., 1939. Politics: Republican. Religion: Protestant.
Home and office—Kenosha, WI.
Writer. Before World War II worked variously at Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO), and at advertising and public relations agencies, New York, NY; Pittsburgh Playhouse, Pittsburgh, PA, former public-relations director.
International Board on Books for Young People, American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Council for Wisconsin Writers, Children's Reading Round Table.
Children's Book of the Year award, Child Study Association of America, 1970, for Sound of Sunshine, Sound of Rain, and 1972, for My Castle; American Institute of Graphic Arts selection as one of the fifty best books of the year, 1971, Children's Book Show selection, American Institute of Graphic Arts, 1971-72, Best Illustrated Children's Book citation, New York Times, 1971, Children's Book Showcase selection, 1972, Jugendbuch Preis for best children's book in Germany, 1977, graphic arts prize from Bologna Book Fair, 1977, Notable Book citation, American Library Association (ALA), 1978, and Best of the Best Books 1966-78 citation, School Li-brary Journal, all for The Shrinking of Treehorn; second prize for juvenile fiction, Council for Wisconsin Writers, and Golden Kite honor book, Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, both 1976, both for Growing Anyway Up; Golden Archer Award, 1976; Notable Book citation, ALA, 1978, for Banana Twist, 1981, for Treehorn's Treasure, 1982, for Time's Up!; Litt.D. from Carthage College, 1979; Charlie May Simon Award, 1980, for Banana Twist; first prize, Council for Wisconsin Writers, 1982, for Treehorn's Treasure; honorable mention, Council for Wisconsin Writers, 1982, for Time's Up!; Notable Book citation, ALA, and first prize, Council for Wisconsin Writers, both 1990, and Charlotte Award, New York State, 1991, all for The Day of Ahmed's Secret; Outstanding Children's Book Award, New Hampshire Writers and Publishers Project, 1992, Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, NCSS, and Best Books designation, Parent's magazine, both 1992, and Children's Book of Distinction designation, Hungry Mind Review, and Rhode Island Children's Book Award master list inclusion, both 1993, all for Sami and the Time of the Troubles.
Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Ball, illustrated by Sally Mathews, Four Winds (New York, NY), 1967.
(Under pseudonym Jamie McDonald, with Anne and Walter Theiss and others) Hannibal, illustrated by Anne and Walter Theiss, Funk, 1968.
Maximilian Becomes Famous, illustrated by Ed Renfro, McCall, 1970.
Alphabet Zoop, illustrated by Sally Mathews, McCall, 1970.
Giants Are Very Brave People, illustrated by Charles Robinson, Parents' Magazine Press, 1970.
The Little One, illustrated by Ken Longtemps, Lion, 1970.
Sound of Sunshine, Sound of Rain, illustrated by Ken Longtemps, Parents' Magazine Press, 1970.
The Key, illustrated by Ati Forberg, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1971.
Look! Look! A Story Book, illustrated by Carol Nicklaus, McCall, 1971.
The Shrinking of Treehorn (also see below), illustrated by Edward Gorey, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1971.
Some Things Are Scary, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1971, illustrated by Jules Feiffer, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2000.
Who Needs Me?, illustrated by Sally Mathews, Augsburg, 1971.
My Castle, illustrated by Symeon Shimin, McGraw, 1972.
(With brother, David Fisher Parry) No Roads for the Wind (textbook), Macmillan (New York, NY), 1974.
God and Me, illustrated by Ted Smith, Concordia, 1975.
When the Sad One Comes to Stay (novel), Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1975.
You and Me, illustrated by Ted Smith, Concordia, 1975.
Growing Anyway Up, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1975.
Banana Twist, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1978.
Changes, illustrated by Kathy Counts, Concordia, 1978.
Secret Dreamer, Secret Dreams, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1978.
Who Taught Me? Was It You, God?, illustrated by Terry Whittle, Concordia, 1978.
By the Time You Count to Ten, illustrated by Pam Erickson, Concordia, 1979.
Treehorn's Treasure (also see below), illustrated by Edward Gorey, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1981.
The Problem with Pulcifer, illustrated by Judy Glasser, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1982.
The Wendy Puzzle, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1982.
Time's Up!, illustrated by Marylin Hafner, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1982.
Banana Blitz, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1983.
I Am, Concordia, 1983.
The Adventures of Treehorn (includes The Shrinking of Treehorn and Treehorn's Treasure), illustrated by Edward Gorey, Dell (New York, NY), 1983.
Treehorn's Wish (also see below), illustrated by Edward Gorey, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1984, published as Treehorn Times Three, Dell (New York, NY), 1992 published as The Treehorn Trilogy, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 2006.
Time Flies!, illustrated by Marylin Hafner, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1984.
Tales for the Perfect Child, illustrated by Victoria Chess, Lothrop (New York, NY), 1985.
Grim and Ghastly Goings-On (poems), illustrated by Victoria Chess, Lothrop (New York, NY), 1992.
The Bigness Contest, illustrated by Victoria Chess, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1994.
(With daughters, Judith Heide Gilliland and Roxanne Heide Pierce) It's about Time! (poems), illustrated by Cathryn Falwell, Clarion (New York, NY), 1999.
A Promise Is a Promise, illustrated by Tony Auth, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.
The One and Only Marigold, illustrated by Jill McElmurry, Schwartz & Wade Books (New York, NY), 2009.
WITH SYLVIA WORTH VAN CLIEF; FOR CHILDREN
Maximilian, illustrated by Ed Renfro, Funk, 1967.
The Day It Snowed in Summer, illustrated by Ken Longtemps, Funk, 1968.
How Big Am I?, illustrated by George Suyeoka, Follett, 1968.
It Never Is Dark, illustrated by Don Almquist, Follett, 1968.
Sebastian (includes songs by Sylvia Worth Van Clief), illustrated by Betty Fraser, Funk, 1968.
That's What Friends Are For, illustrated by Brinton Turkle, Four Winds, 1968, illustrated by Holly Meade, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.
The New Neighbor, illustrated by Jerry Warshaw, Follett, 1970.
(Lyricist) Songs to Sing about Things You Think About, illustrated by Rosalie Schmidt, Day, 1971.
(Lyricist) Christmas Bells and Snowflakes (songbook), Southern Music, 1971.
(Lyricist) Holidays! Holidays! (songbook), Southern Music, 1971.
The Mystery of the Missing Suitcase, illustrated by Seymour Fleishman, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1972.
The Mystery of the Silver Tag, illustrated by Seymour Fleishman, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1972.
The Hidden Box Mystery, illustrated by Seymour Fleishman, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1973.
Mystery at MacAdoo Zoo, illustrated by Seymour Fleishman, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1973.
Mystery of the Whispering Voice, illustrated by Seymour Fleishman, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1974.
Who Can? (primer), Macmillan (New York, NY), 1974.
Lost and Found (primer), Macmillan (New York, NY), 1974.
Hats and Bears (primer), Macmillan (New York, NY), 1974.
Fables You Shouldn't Pay Any Attention To, illustrated by Victoria Chess, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1978.
WITH DAUGHTER ROXANNE HEIDE PIERCE; FOR CHILDREN
Lost! (textbook), Holt (New York, NY), 1973.
I See America Smiling (textbook), Holt (New York, NY), 1973.
Tell about Someone You Love (textbook), Macmillan (New York, NY), 1974.
Brillstone Break-In, illustrated by Joe Krush, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1977.
Face at Brillstone Window, illustrated by Joe Krush, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1978.
Fear at Brillstone, illustrated by Joe Krush, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1978.
A Monster Is Coming! A Monster Is Coming!, illustrated by Rachi Farrow, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1980.
Black Magic at Brillstone, illustrated by Joe Krush, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1982.
Time Bomb at Brillstone, illustrated by Joe Krush, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1982.
Timothy Twinge, illustrated by Barbara Lehman, Lothrop (New York, NY), 1993.
Oh Grow Up!: Poems to Help You Survive Your Parents, Chores, School, and Other Afflictions, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1996.
Tio Armando, illustrated by Ann Grifalconi, Lothrop (New York, NY), 1998.
"SPOTLIGHT CLUB" SERIES: WITH ROXANNE HEIDE PIERCE
Mystery of the Melting Snowman, illustrated by Seymour Fleishman, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1974.
Mystery of the Vanishing Visitor, illustrated by Seymour Fleishman, Albert Whitman (Morton, Grove, IL), 1975.
Mystery of the Lonely Lantern, illustrated by Seymour Fleishman, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1976.
Mystery at Keyhole Carnival, illustrated by Seymour Fleishman, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1977.
Mystery of the Midnight Message, illustrated by Seymour Fleishman, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1977.
Mystery at Southport Cinema, illustrated by Seymour Fleishman, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1978.
I Love Every-People, illustrated by John Sandford, Concordia, 1978.
Body in the Brillstone Garage, illustrated by Joe Krush, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1979.
Mystery of the Mummy's Mask, illustrated by Seymour Fleishman, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1979.
Mystery of the Forgotten Island, illustrated by Seymour Fleishman, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1979.
Mystery on Danger Road, illustrated by Joe Fleishman, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1983.
WITH DAUGHTER JUDITH HEIDE GILLILAND; FOR CHILDREN
The Day of Ahmed's Secret, illustrated by Ted Lewin, Lothrop (New York, NY), 1990.
Sami and the Time of the Troubles, illustrated by Ted Lewin, Clarion (New York, NY), 1992.
The House of Wisdom, illustrated by Mary GrandPré, DK Ink (New York, NY), 1999.
UNDER PSEUDONYM ALEX B. ALLEN; FOR CHILDREN
(With Sylvia Worth Van Clief) Basketball Toss Up, illustrated by Kevin Royt, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1972.
(With Sylvia Worth Van Clief) No Place for Baseball, illustrated by Kevin Royt, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1973.
(With son, David Heide) Danger on Broken Arrow Trail, illustrated by Michael Norman, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1974.
(With Sylvia Worth Van Clief) Fifth Down, illustrated by Dan Siculan, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1974.
(With David Heide) The Tennis Menace, illustrated by Timothy Jones, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1975.
It Never Is Dark (filmstrip with cassette or record), BFA Educational Media, 1975; Sound of Sunshine, Sound of Rain, an animated short film, was produced by Filmfair in 1984 and nominated for an Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Sami and the Time of the Troubles was adapted as an audiobook by Houghton Mifflin, 2002.
The stories of writer Florence Parry Heide reveal "an antic sense of humor that refuses to be cowed," Jane Yolen once wrote in the New York Times Book Review. In her many picture books, chapter books, novels for young adults, mysteries, and poetry collections, Heide blends tongue-in-cheek humor with an entertaining storyline. Best known for penning a series of adventures of an incredible shrinking boy named Treehorn that are brought to life by black-and-white illustrations by the late artist Edward Gorey, she also injects the same sort of humor into her writings about other youngsters in books such as Banana Twist, Time Flies!, Some Things Are Scary, That's What Friends Are For, and A Promise Is a Promise. Heide spoofs fables and advice to children in other easy readers and opens the door to madcap mayhem in the anti-cautionary Tales for the Perfect Child. She also has a serious side, however, and in books such as When the Sad One Comes to Stay, Tio Armando, Secret Dreamer, Secret Dreams, and Sound of Sunshine, Sound of Rain, she tackles such difficult themes as alienation, death of a relative, blindness, and mental disability.
A self-proclaimed late bloomer, Heide did not begin writing children's books until after her five children had started school. She quickly established a prolific and award-winning career, and in the course of over more than five decades of writing she has published dozens of titles. Well known for her ability to find humor in parent-child struggles, Heide is often praised by critics for her whimsical imagination and her exuberant, if sometimes irreverent, wit, as well as her strong characterizations and her keen perception of the colorful but often difficult and confusing life of a child. It is a testament to Heide's talent for communicating with young readers that many of her books, including That's What Friends Are For and Some Things Are Scary, have continued to remain in print, and have been re-illustrated for newer generations. "With a few simple, immediate words, Heide gets the child's voice," observed Rochman in a Booklist review of the new edition of Some Things Are Scary.
Many of Heide's novels have been collaborations, first with Sylvia Worth Van Clief, and then with three of her children, David, Roxanne, and Judith. These collaborative efforts have spawned two well-loved mystery series for reluctant readers, "The Spotlight Detective Club" and "Brillstone Apartments," as well as the award-winning picture books The Day of Ahmed's Secret, Sami and the Time of the Troubles, and The House of Wisdom, all of which focus on life in the Middle East.
Heide's own childhood, like those of many of her characters, instilled in her a strong sense of love, hope, and comedy as well as allowing her to experience the insecurities involved in adapting to circumstances beyond her control. Her mother, a successful actress, gave up her career to marry and raise children. When Florence was not quite three years old, her father, a banker, died. Her mother, faced with the immediate need to support her family, left her two children temporarily with her parents, and moved to Pittsburgh, where she established a photography studio and became a regular columnist and drama critic for the Pittsburgh Press.
When Heide's mother was financially able, she brought her children to live with her in Pittsburgh. Missing the constant companionship of the bustling home of her grandparents and competing for time with her mother's two demanding careers, Florence was initially lonely and shy. Her memories of life in Pittsburgh include the anxious moments of a very sensitive adolescent, as well as many good times with friends and family. But throughout her childhood, Heide maintained her belief in the power of a cheerful spirit, a strength she attributes largely to her mother, who so courageously faced the unexpected disaster of her husband's death.
After receiving her bachelor's degree in English at the University of California, Los Angeles, Heide worked for a few years in New York and Pittsburgh in advertising. She then met and married Donald Heide, settling happily into family life. As Heide once noted in an essay for Something about the Author Autobiography Series (SAAS), "Even as a child, I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up—a mother. I'd meet the right person, I'd have children, I'd live happily ever after. And I did, and I am."
When her children reached school age, Heide began to seek another vehicle for her energy. Her first attempt at a career was a joint venture into the hot fudge sauce business with her friend, Van Clief. The two women began daily experiments with hot fudge recipes, but, since neither of them enjoyed kitchen work the project was short-lived. Heide and Van Clief then turned to writing songs—Heide writing lyrics, Van Clief writing the music—but they could not find buyers for their work. When they began to write children's songs, however, they immediately found a market, and Heide settled upon what felt like a natural career: "Writing for children was an unexpected delight: I could reach my child-self (never long away or far from me) and I could reach the selves of other children like me…. Ideas flew into my head. I couldn't write fast enough to accommodate them. I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote."
One of Heide's most popular and acclaimed works is The Shrinking of Treehorn, a story that has spawned several sequels. Treehorn is a very serious and competent boy who wakes up one morning to discover that he is shrinking. In dangling sleeves and dangerously long pants, he reports the strange phenomenon to his mother, father, principal, and teacher in turn. The familiar adult reaction to children's announcements ("Think of that," his mother responds. "I just don't know why this cake isn't rising the way it should." "We don't shrink in this class," his teacher admonishes), are both funny and painful. "That, indeed," remarked Caroline C. Hunt in a Children's Literature discussion of the book, "is a frequent problem of the child in the (adult) world: not to be noticed, not to be taken seriously." The inflexible structure of the adult world is accentuated by Gorey's two-dimensional, ordered, geometric line drawings, which interact as a "brilliant fugue with Heide's witty text," according to Horn Book contributor Gertrude Herman. The reviewer concluded that The Shrinking of Treehorn demonstrates the apparent adult dictum that "wonders may occur, but they are not allowed to disturb this universe." Margery Fisher, reviewing the title in Growing Point, called Heide's story a "classic example of the deplorable lack of imagination and observation in grown-ups which constantly amazes the young."
The "Treehorn" sequels continue to juxtapose youthful wonder with the rigidity of adult order. In Treehorn's Treasure, no one pays any attention to the boy when he discovers a money tree in the backyard, and in Treehorn's Wish, his parents have forgotten his birthday and refuse to take any hints to rectify matters. Hunt observed that the "sequels explore the same idea of marginalization through different central metaphors," but felt that "the alternative metaphors have less immediate appeal than that of size alone."
Size rears its head again in The Bigness Contest in which Beasley the hippopotamus despairs that he is too large, until an aunt assures him that hippos are meant to be big. This aunt holds a bigness contest to bolster Beasley's spirits, and he is sure to win, until a huge cousin emerges from the water to take the title. Not to worry, for Beasley finds a second contest where he is certain to claim first prize: a laziness contest! "Beasley is a lovable character with a sincere heart," observed Lynn Cockett in a School Library Journal review. In Booklist Hazel Rochman concluded of The Bigness Contest that "silly humor can do a lot for self-image."
More inflexible adults trouble Noah, the main character in Heide's humorous books Time's Up! and Time Flies! The young boy has his hands full, both adapting to life in a new neighborhood and dealing with the thought of a new baby brother or sister. His mother, busy with her college work, leaves Noah to the care of his father, an efficiency fanatic who times the boy performing his chores. With parents who seem to make life more difficult for him, Noah finds the strength, both within himself and in people around him, to adapt to his circumstances. Reviewing Time Flies! in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Zena Sutherland noted that "Heide's at her best when she writes with a light, wry touch, and in this book that's maintained throughout."
Parents are similarly unhelpful in The Problem with Pulcifer, in which a boy who prefers reading to television becomes a subject of concern among his parents, teachers, and a psychiatrist. "A very funny book," The Problem with Pulcifer "is written with acidulated exaggeration but that has a strong unstated message," summarized a reviewer for the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. Jonah, the star of Banana Twist and Banana Blitz, is a boy who hopes to escape adult supervision altogether by applying for admission to a boarding school that promises a television set and refrigerator in every dorm room. His parents, on the other hand, are health-food fanatics who think television is the devil's doing. At his new school, Jonah hopes to satisfy his twin desires for non-stop television and banana splits. A reviewer for Booklist called Banana Twist a "laugh-filled story."
While adults are always in nominal control, the Pulcifers, Jonahs, and Noahs of Heide's books are by no means powerless. In a playful spoof on the struggle between parents and children, her Tales for the Perfect Child presents a series of manipulative, willful, and often deceitful children who manage to get their own way in spite of their less-calculating parents' authority. Sutherland, writing in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, felt that "the bland, sly humor" of the seven gathered stores "is Heide at her best," and "the fact that her protagonists prevail over fate and mothers will undoubtedly win readers." More anti-cautionary advice is served up in Fables You Shouldn't Pay Any Attention To, which contains "seven brief morality spoofs glorifying greed, laziness, dishonesty, etc. in which the evil doer is always rewarded and the dogooder suffers," as Laura Geringer described the book in School Library Journal. Yolen, writing in the New York Times Book Review, called the collection "offbeat, silly, and outrageous." Teaming up with daughter Roxanne Heide Pierce, Heide provides advice for young readers in Oh, Grow Up! Poems to Help You Survive Parents, Chores, School, and Other Afflictions, and with this one, the title tells it all. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly dubbed Oh, Grow Up! a "droll collection" that is "always full of fun."
Heide also employs humor in the service of dealing with childhood fears. In Grim and Ghastly Goings-On she uses poems to "indulge kids' delicious fear of monsters," according to Rochman. Timothy Twinge, also a rhyming story, deals with every childhood fear imaginable, from monsters to aliens, the last of which do come at night, but quiet Timothy's fears. Jacqueline Elsner, writing in School Library Journal, praised the book for allowing Timothy "to solve his problems without parental involvement." Heide and her daughters also employ rhyme in It's about Time!, an "inviting collection," according to Robin L. Gibson in School Library Journal, whose "overall tone is light and humorous."
Additionally, Heide has written numerous books for adolescents that directly confront pain and alienation. In her first novel, When the Sad One Comes to Stay, Sara—a young girl whose ambitious and rather insensitive mother has taken her away from her home with her kindhearted father—receives comfort and friendship from an eccentric old woman named Crazy Maisie. When a choice must be made between her mother and Crazy Maisie, Sara casts her lot with her mother—and with probable loneliness as well. Focusing on different manifestations of realities that are beyond one's control, Heide wrote Sound of Sunshine, Sound of Rain about a blind boy in order to help her readers understand what it would be like to be blind. In Secret Dreamer, Secret
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Dreams she explores the consciousness of a mentally handicapped young woman who cannot communicate with anyone. Although these works do not offer happy or resolved endings, they have been commended by critics for their sensitive characterizations and realistic perspectives. Selma K. Richardson, writing in the St. James Guide to Children's Writers, commented on the quality of these books, writing that "keenly sensitive characterization and tight prose distinguish Heide's first-person narratives for emerging adolescents."
This same sensitivity to theme and subject appears in Heide's books for younger readers. In Tio Armando, she joins daughter Roxanne to tackle the difficult topic of death in a story about a beloved relative who passes away. A contributor for Kirkus Reviews called the picture book a "graceful chronicle of the last year in a beloved great-uncle's life," and further applauded the "unusually well-crafted" prose produced by the mother-daughter collaboration.
Mysteries comprise a significant percentage of Heide's published books, with many falling into her "Spotlight Detective Club" and "Brillstone Apartments" series. She began writing mysteries in order to draw in reluctant readers with easy, intriguing, and fast-paced plots, and the first mysteries were written with friend and partner Van Clief. When Van Clief died, Roxanne took her place and collaborated with her mother on the mystery series and several other projects. One of Heide's sons, David, and her other daughter, Judith Gilliland, have also co-authored books with her. In a School Li-brary Journal review of Body in the Brillstone Garage, Robert E. Unsworth noted that there is "enough action to keep even reluctant readers turning pages."
Teaming up with daughter Judith Gilliland, who spent five years in the Middle East, Heide has produced several award-winning books set in that region. In the picture book The Day of Ahmed's Secret, a young Egyptian boy describes his daily life in Cairo and waits to share a surprise with his family in the evening: he is now able to write his name. Mary Lou Burket, reviewing the book in Five Owls, called The Day of Ahmed's Secret a "seamless evocation of a day of work for a boy in modern Cairo" that "has been sensitively written." Set in war-torn Lebanon, Sami and the Time of the Troubles follows the daily life of a boy living in troubled and dangerous times. "While the physical and emotional desolation of Sami's world is painfully felt," wrote Horn Book critic Ellen Fader, "children will be left with a sense of hope that Sami and the other young people of the city will be able to make a difference and stop the war." Geared for older readers and featuring what a Publishers Weekly contributor described as "lushly colored pastel" art by Mary GrandPré, The House of Wisdom which is set in Iraq during the ninth century. Ishaq, the son of a translator, roams the world searching for books of learning to bring back to his caliph's library, the House of Wisdom, in Baghdad. "The narrative transports readers to the Islamic Empire, at a time of dramatic academic and cultural growth," observed the reviewer for Publishers Weekly.
Whether writing of shrinking boys or wandering scholars, Heide's "particular strength lies in her delineation of character," as Richardson noted. Her underlying message, whether presented in humorous or dramatic form, is one of personal responsibility and empowerment. As Heide commented in SAAS, she wrote When the Sad One Comes to Stay "because I wanted you younger readers (yes, you) to understand that although you may feel you have no choices, that the decisions are made for you by the GrownUps: where you live and who you live with, how late you stay up, where you go to school, whether you're rich or poor—everything's decided by THEM! All but the most important thing: what kind of person you're going to be. And this is a choice you make each day."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Authors of Books for Young People, 3rd edition, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.
Children's Books and Their Creators, edited by Anita Silvey, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1995.
Heide, Florence Parry, The Shrinking of Treehorn, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1971.
Richardson, Selma K., St. James Guide to Children's Writers, 5th edition, edited by Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999, pp. 489-492.
Booklist, February 15, 1982, review of Banana Twist, p. 762; September 15, 1992, Hazel Rochman, review of Grim and Ghastly Goings-On, p. 144; March 15, 1994, Hazel Rochman, review of The Bigness Contest, p. 1372; October 15, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of Some Things Are Scary, p. 434; March 15, 2003, Karin Snelson, review of That's What Friends Are For, p. 1332.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 1982, review of The Problem with Pulcifer; December, 1984, Zena Sutherland, review of Time Flies!, p. 66; November, 1985, Zena Sutherland, review of Tales for the Perfect Child, p. 48; September, 1999, review of The House of Wisdom, p. 14; December, 2000, review of Some Things Are Scary, p. 146.
Children's Literature, 1995, Caroline C. Hunt, "Dwarf, Small World, Shrinking Child: Three Version of Miniature," pp. 127-135.
Five Owls, October, 1995, Mary Lou Burket, review of The Day of Ahmed's Secret, pp. 21-22.
Growing Point, November, 1989, Margery Fisher, review of The Shrinking of Treehorn, p. 5260.
Horn Book, January, 1989, Gertrude Herman, "A Picture Is Worth Several Hundred Words," p. 104; July-August, 1992, Ellen Fader, review of Sami and the Time of the Troubles, pp. 445-446; September, 1999, review of The Shrinking of Treehorn, p. 581; January, 2001, Martha V. Parravano, review of Some Things Are Scary, p. 83.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 1998, review of Tio Armando, p. 339; April 15, 2003, review of That's What Friends Are For, p. 608; May 1, 2007, review of A Promise Is a Promise.
New York Times Book Review, October 18, 1981, Karla Kuskin, review of Treehorn's Treasure, p. 49; November 19, 2000, Jeanne B. Pinder, "Things That Go Squish in the Night," p. 44.
Publishers Weekly, February 5, 1996, review of Oh, Grow Up!: Poems to Help You Survive Parents, Chores, School, and Other Afflictions, p. 90; August 23, 1999, review of The House of Wisdom, p. 58; October 15, 2000, review of Some Things Are Scary, p. 76; May 5, 2003, review of Hello Again, p. 223; May 21, 2007, review of A Promise Is a Promise, p. 53.
School Library Journal, February, 1979, Laura Geringer, review of Fables You Shouldn't Pay Any Attention To, p. 56; November, 1980, Robert E. Unsworth, review of Body in the Brillstone Garage, p. 47; October, 1992, Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, review of Grim and Ghastly Goings On, p. 88; November, 1993, Jacqueline Elsner, review of Timothy Twinge, p. 82; May, 1994, Lynn Crockett, review of The Bigness Contest, p. 95; May, 1999, Robin L. Gibson, review of It's about Time!, p. 107; July, 2002, Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, review of Sami and the Time of the Troubles, p. 64; May, 2003, Lauralyn Persson, review of That's What Friends Are For, p. 120; June, 2007, Catherine Callegari, review of A Promise Is a Promise, p. 107.
Candlewick Press Web site,http://www.candlewick.com/ (August 15, 2008), "Florence Parry Heide."