One of my all-time favorite children's book authors, Florence Parry Heide, died recently at age 92. Read her New York Times obit here.
an interview with Curious Pages, she shared that it had originally been titled, The Shrinking of Harold. More recently, she wrote the picture books Dillweed's Revenge, illustrated by Carson Ellis, and Princess Hyacinth: The Surprising Tale of the Girl Who Floated," illustrated by Lane Smith.
In all her works, Heide was a champion for children, an advocate who presented kids as they really are and not how adults prefer to see them. And she did so with a large serving of humor.
The other story characters are similarly passive aggressive. In "Gertrude and Gloria" Gertrude is the careful sister. She carries the supper dishes without dropping them. She puts the dried ones back in their proper place. Gloria is not careful. She breaks dishes and put them back any old way. Their mother, seeing the results, won't let Gloria help any more. But Gertrude, because she did such a good job, gets to help with the dishes every day. As Heide ends her tale, "Good for Gertrude." Like Gorey, Chess is an excellent match for Heide's deadpan style. Her detailed pen and ink drawings capture each monster's smirk or gleeful look as they manage to get their way.