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Heidi Petach


Artist Heidi Petach has provided drawings for numerous picture books since her first illustrating job, A Child's First Book of Bible Stories, in 1983. But drawing is not Petach's only artistic skill: before turning to illustration, she was a highly accomplished concert pianist. Petach quit playing shortly after a disastrous (through no fault of her own) recital in the small town of Lithopolis, Ohio, in the late 1970s, and Lithopolis also played a role in Petach's later decision to give up illustrating. Both times, before going to Lithopolis, Petach had already started to become dissatisfied with her career. "I was feeling seriously dog-eared, in a burned-out sense," Petach told Cincinnati Post interviewer David Wecker, referring to the sixteen-hour days that resulted from her high popularity as an illustrator. So when she was asked to speak at the Young Authors Conference there and realized as soon as she walked into the room that it was the same place where she had fought with an untuned, falling-apart piano twenty years earlier, it seemed to be a sign to again pursue a new occupation.

During her time working on children's books, Petach created two self-illustrated fractured fairy tales, Wee Three Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Hares. The former, a Christmas story, features pigs named Comet, Cupid, and Rudolph acting out the traditional story of the three pigs, with Santa Claws in the role of the Big Bad Wolf. Their building materials have been updated—Comet uses old computer boxes, and Cupid candy canes—and the book is filled with puns, such as "the three little pigs had a great time 'bacon' Christmas cookies." Such puns also feature prominently in Goldilocks and the Three Hares. As a reviewer wrote in Publishers Weekly, "Petach wastes no opportunities for silly scenarios, and her wordplay is of the no-holdsbarred variety."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Petach, Heidi, Wee Three Pigs, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 2002.


Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, OH), February 13, 2001, Sara Pearce, review of The Night Before Valentine's Day, p. C03.

Cincinnati Post (Cincinnati, OH), March 17, 2001, David Wecker, interview with Petach, p. 1C.

Publishers Weekly, November 13, 1995, review of Goldilocks and the Three Hares, p. 60.

School Library Journal, July, 1990, Gloria Amann, review of Air, Air All Around, Water, Water Everywhere, Fire, Fire Burning Bright, and Rocks, Rocks Big and Small, p. 67; May, 1991, Lauralyn Persson, review of The Chicken Pox Party, p. 86; April, 1996, Blair Christolon, review of Goldilocks and the Three Hares, p. 116; October, 2002, Eva Mitnick, review of Wee Three Pigs, p. 62.


Heidi Petach Home Page, http://home.fuse.net/heidipetach/ (January 20, 2004).

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Jan Peck Biography - Personal to David Randall (1972–) Biography - PersonalHeidi Petach Biography - Personal, Sidelights - Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings