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The Perfect Gift

Written & Illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma


A celebration of books, teamwork, and the joy of a gift for someone you love.

Lori has the perfect gift: a bright red strawberry that Grandma will just love!

But what happens when hip! hop! plop! the berry falls into the river where a crocodile lurks?!

All Lori's friends have to work together to give this story a happy ending that will last as long as a lovingly made book.


Reviews and Awards

“DePalma's (A Grand Old Tree) scratchy-textured acrylic illustrations depict the river in cross-section, as blue-green drops, splashes, and waves convey drama. The crisis with the crocodile has the grace of a ballet... Lots of action and a satisfying ending will please young readers.” - Publishers Weekly

“DePalma’s acrylics use bright springtime colors. Her characters are facially expressive, and the scene with the croc is just scary enough for the youngest listeners. A solid salute to friendship, the power of creativity and the wonder of a homemade gift.” - Kirkus Reviews

“While DePalma uses delightfully expressive, rhythmic language to tell her accessible tale, her acrylic illustrations are the standout. The artwork is a mix of spreads, spot art, and panels in quirky shapes populated with endearing characters and objects flying out of the frames to depict multiple scenes.... [T]he eventful plot and playful pictures will pull children in and may make them echo Lori's last line in the book, ‘Read it again!’” - School Library Journal 


Purchase Options
Amazon • Barnes & Noble


Spring 2010
Picture Book
ISBN: 0-545-15402-2
Price: $16.99/$21.99
Trim Size: 8 1/2" x 11"
Page Count: 32
Foreign Rights: Scholastic
Translation Rights: Scholastic
Rights Available? yes


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