Just Enough and Not Too Much.jpg

Just Enough and Not Too Much

Written & Illustrated by Kaethe Zemach

Is it possible to have too much? 

This is the story of Simon who is happy and content with his simple life. He has food when he’s hungry, friends when he’s lonely, and a beautiful violin to play.

But one day something makes Simon him wonder if he truly has enough.

He has one good hat. But might two be even better? What about a collection of hats? What about chairs? Toys?

Before long, Simon is overwhelmed. There’s no time to spend with his friends, and no room to move. He can’t even FIND his lovely fiddle.

So Simon throws a glorious party. And with his friends around him again he finds a perfect – and generous! - way to restore harmony.

Anyone young or old who feels a little overwhelmed by their STUFF, needs just one more thing; this book.

Reviews and Awards

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Medal
Children's BookSense 76 Selection

“Here's a wonderful message wrapped in a honey of a tale.… Zemach, daughter of Margot and Herve, provides a straightforward and effective telling illustrated by watercolor-and-gouache artwork that moves from simple to swarming to simple once more as Simon learns that having everything is worth nothing when it keeps you from the things and people you love. Parents and teachers will find plenty here to start a discussion.” - Booklist

“Zemach applies her cozy, colorful illustrations to this tale of a fiddler whose short bout with greed wakes him to the meaning of true contentment. Simon is "perfectly happy" keeping house, spending time with friends and playing his fiddle until he abruptly decides one day he doesn't have enough. "I want more!" he exclaims from atop his sole wooden chair, the shout arching over his head in large, blue typeface. … At once modest in their composition and involved in their variety of colors, patterns and textures (e.g., a blowzy floral motif on a chair, a cotton-candy pink braided rug), Zemach's light and bright paintings-complete with rosy-cheeked characters-maintain a cheerful mood. Realizing his added possessions fail to deliver lasting happiness as they clutter his simple lifestyle, Simon throws a party and sends guests home with the extraneous belongings. A good read to temper a case of the ‘Gimmees.’” - Publishers Weekly

“Zemach's keen sense of color and shape and use of white space adds to the homey feel of this book. The rich watercolor-and-gouache illustrations, many emphasizing rounded forms, are full of movement and joy. Readers will breathe a sigh of relief with Simon at the story's end. Perfect for storyhours or individual readings.” - School Library Journal

“Simon the Fiddler goes on a bender in Zemach’s folksy parable…Zemach’s uncluttered writing and engaging watercolors, presented as full-bleed spreads, framed vignettes, and more, get the message across. She delivers an important lesson here, from which young readers and not a few adults will benefit.” - Kirkus Reviews 

Purchase Options
Indiebound • Amazon • Barnes & Noble

Fall 2003
Picture Book
ISBN: 0-439-37724-2
Price: $16.95/$24.99
Trim Size: 8 1/2" x 11"
Page Count: 32
Foreign Rights: Scholastic
Translation Rights: Scholastic
Rights Available? yes

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