Synopses & Reviews
Harvey Potter was a very strange fellow indeed. He was a farmer but not like any farmer you've ever met. He didn't grow corn, okra, or tomatoes. Harvey Potter grew balloons. No one knew exactly how he did it, but with the help of the light of a full moon, one friendly child catches a peek of just how Harvey Potter does it. And keeps some magic for herself.
"This is the best sort of fantasy imaginative, inventive, and believable. Harvey Potter is a wonder he's the owner of a genuine U.S. Government Inspected Balloon farm. And Nolen's tale about this man, narrated by the African-American girl who learns balloon-farming magic from him, is equally wondrous.... This title should sail onto every library shelf. May Nolen grow a bumper crop of books." School Library Journal.
"Downright glorious."Publishers Weekly(starred review).
Harvey Potter is a very strange fellow indeed--it seems that, instead of growing corn or tomatoes, he grows balloons! No one knows exactly how he does it, but with the help of the light of a full moon, one friendly child catches a peek--and keeps some magic for herself! Full color.
About the Author
Jerdine Nolen grew up with five sisters and two brothers in Chicago, Illinois. She is the author of Big Jabe, In My Momma's Kitchen
and Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm,
which won the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award, the Kentucky Bluegrass Award, the Delaware Blue Hen Award, the Arizona Young Readers Award, the Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award, and the Indiana Young Hoosier Award, and was named both an ALA Notable Book and an IRA-CBC Children's Choice. Jerdine lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband, Tony, and their two children, Matthew and Jessica.
In Her Own Words...
"I was born in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, and raised in Chicago, Illinois, along with five sisters and two brothers. Growing up in such a large family, I had to have a good sense of humor--to make up for a lack of space. My sisters and brothers were pretty funny, too--but my father said I was 'right witty.'
"During author visits, children sometimes ask where I got 'such a good imagination.' I tell them that while I was growing up, being bored was out of the question! You see, if we told our parents we were bored, they were sure to find some work for us to do. So we made sure to keep busy. We told stories; played 'rock teacher,' baseball, dodgeball, and Red Rover; had tea parties; and-my favorite--dressed up and put on our plays.
"I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing and collecting words. Cucumber was a favorite word once, then chutney. 'Chutney, chutney, chut-ney,' I would chant over and over again. I still love the sound of words and the feelings they evoke as they come out of me.
"In fact, I love everything about writing right down to the sound my pencil makes as it travels across the page. In second grade, I had a Thanksgiving poem published in our school newspaper. It was printed on pink paper, and I still remember the joy I felt to see my name in print. Sometimes people think I'm weird when I tell them how much I love having my stories edited and critiqued by my editor. I tell them that editing means that someone cares about my work as much as I do. I have to admit, I don't often agree with my editor at first, but on my second or third reading, I usually come around.
"I'm probably most well known for my book Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm, but publishing takes time, and it seemed like it took forever before Harvey Potterwas finally published. It was worth the wait, though. I tell kids that things don't always happen overnight--you do the work, and then you wait, sort of like waiting for holidays or birthdays. I always autographHarvey Potterthe same way: Hold fast to your dreams, as you would your balloons!"