When You Give an Imp a Penny

Title of Book: When You Give an Imp a Penny

Time length to read: 5-7 min

Age recommended: 6 and up

Authors: Henry Herz, Josh Herz & Harrison Herz

Illustrator: Abigail Larson

Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company

Best place to purchase: Amazon (Click word for direct link)

Price: $16.99 (Hardcover)

Today I bring you another book from Henry, Josh and Harrison Herz. You may recognize their previous book that we spotlighted, Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes. Today, their newest book is: When You Give an Imp a Penny. This book takes a twist off of the beloved classic, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Once again the Herz’s have done it, giving this twist a mythological type of story with the creature called an Imp. With the Imp’s good intentions, it ends up mostly backfiring and leaving things a mess. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel…perhaps some gold maybe? 😉

I really enjoyed reading this book. It did remind me of their previous book that I reviewed for them, as mentioned above. This is a great book for children and gives a great message not only to children, but parents as well. I think all parents can agree that kids do things sometimes that drive them crazy, and end up leaving things in a big mess. However, sometimes the children do things like that out of trying to do good, like the Imp. This Imp definitely shows parents and children the message of patience and to look at the good though behind the messy action. 😉

The illustrations in this book were really well done. Again, giving the medieval/fairytale look. I really like how that sets these books apart from others.

So if you are looking for a good book to add to your 2016 collection, check it out! Another thing to check out is the Author interview that I was able to do with Henry Herz himself. His interview is below. I hope you all enjoy!


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Henry Herz earned an engineering BS from Cornell University, an engineering MS from George Washington University, and a political science MA from Georgetown University – none of which help him write picture books. Aided by his two sons, Henry authored the picture books MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES and WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY. He’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Henry hosts a blog on KidLit, fantasy, and science fiction at www.henryherz.com.

He has three more picture books scheduled for publication. LITTLE RED CUTTLEFISH (Pelican, 2016) is an aquatic retelling of LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, but with a sassy cephalopod protagonist. MABEL & THE QUEEN OF DREAMS (Schiffer, 2016) is a bedtime picture book inspired by Mercutio’s soliloquy in Romeo and Juliet. Little Mabel was an expert at not going to sleep. But Mom had the Queen of Dreams in her quiver of bedtime tales. The Queen paints children’s dreams, so she only visits when their eyes are closed. DINOSAUR PIRATES (Sterling, 2017) is a comical mashup of two kid favorites. A T-rex with a piratey patois!? Cap’n Rex leads his dinosaur pirates in search of booty. As they encounter obstacles in their quest, the apex predator “encourages” his crew to think outside the box. When the treasure is found, Cap’n Rex wants to keep it for himself, but the clever crew turns the tables on him.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I like hanging out with friends and reading… fantasy! For turning off the brain, nothing works better than watching TV. Working in the yard is also very relaxing and gratifying. ‘m thrilled to be moderating a children’s literature panel at WonderCon in Los Angeles on March 26. The panelists will be award-winning authors and illustrators Bruce Hale (CLARK THE SHARK), Jon Klassen (THIS IS NOT MY HAT), Laura Numeroff (IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE), and Dan Santat (THE ADVENTURES OF BEEKLE: THE UNIMAGINARY FRIEND), and Antoinette Portis (WAIT).

 What inspired you to write your first book?

A few years ago, I wanted to share my love of fantasy with my young sons. They were too little for watching most of the fantasy and sci-fi movie classics, and there are only so many good fantasy books available for that age range. Struck by inspiration one day, I came up with a way to share the joy of entering the magical realms of fantasy. I would write a fantasy book for them.
What I did not anticipate was that my boys would give me feedback on the story. They devised some of the character (Nimpentoad) and creature (Neebel) names, and made plot line suggestions. And who better to help make the story appealing to kids than other kids? So, the goal of interesting my sons in fantasy transformed into also encouraging them to write.
Originally, I only shared the story of NIMPENTOAD with family, for their own enjoyment. My sister-in-law suggested that I consider publication because she felt the story was much better than many of the books she was seeing for her similarly-aged kids. We decided to give it a try, and that launched my writing career.

 How did you come up with the title?

I’m a huge fan of Laura Numeroff’s IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE. Being the fantasy geek that I am, I wanted to do a medieval fantasy homage to Laura’s work.

Where do you get your ideas?

Soak up everything around you. View, listen, sniff, taste, and feel. Watch people (in public, not with a telescope from your house), read books (especially picture books), and watch TV and movies. Take notes. Even the most mundane situations can unexpectedly feed your muse. Combine elements into unlikely (and therefore hilarious) pairs, as in Doreen Cronin’s CLICK CLACK MOO: COWS THAT TYPE. Practice riffing on the things you soak up. I did a classroom reading where this boy had a torn-up sneaker. I thought, picture book title: The Boy With Exploding Sneakers. Let your creativity run free.

 Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

The theme of WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY is: it’s the thought that counts. The imp is really trying to be helpful, even if the results are quite the opposite. I’m a big fan of irony.

What books have most influenced your life most?

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE and THE LORD OF THE RINGS made me a lifelong fantasy reader. From there, I became a children’s book writer.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I would direct you to read my animal-based advice at HYPERLINK “https://henryherz.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/be-an-animal-to-write-a-picture-book”https://henryherz.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/be-an-animal-to-write-a-picture-book. Here’s an excerpt: Be A Dung Beetle: Be tenacious, even on crappy days. Becoming published isn’t easy. But it won’t happen if you stop trying. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a one step. Revise, revise, revise. But remember that perfect can be the enemy of good enough. At some point, you need to submit! Be An Armadillo: You need to be thick-skinned and learn to roll with the punches. Understand that a publisher’s or agent’s rejection isn’t personal, but it is highly subjective. Many great works of literature were rejected repeatedly before being published, so you’re in good company.

 Do you have anything specific to tell your readers?

My latest book is WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY, from Pelican Publishing. Before you lend an imp a penny, there’s something you should know—such a simple act of generosity could set off a side-splitting chain of events! A colorful picture book full of mythology, mischief, and magic, WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY shows us just what happens when an accident-prone—but well-intentioned—imp comes along asking for favors! The same writer/illustrator duo that brought you MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES brings to life a comedy of fabled proportions.
From tracking mud on the floor to setting the broom on fire, this clumsy little imp causes accidents wherever he goes, but he’s determined make things right again. The only thing it will cost his host is a little patience—and maybe a bit of time cleaning up some messes! It won’t be long before this troublemaker has won over the entire family (except for the cat) with his irrepressible charm.
Readers and parents can connect with me via:

Blog: http://www.henryherz.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/henry.herz/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nimpentoad

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free in an electronic copy, from the author, in exchange for a fair review and book spotlight. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.