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Family fiction in miniature showcased at bookstore event

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Rick Palkovic with shows off his tiny book, “Limit 55.”

Davis writer Rick Palkovic and his siblings will sign their new book, “Limit 55” — a collection of 26 stories only 55 words each and illustrations published in miniature book format — at The Avid Reader on Saturday, April 19. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. at 617 Second St. downtown.

The Palkovic siblings — author Rick, illustrators Tim Palkovic and Carolyn Palkovic Evans, and publisher Mark Palkovic — are practicing their tiny signatures to fit on a two-inch page of “Limit 55.” By definition, a miniature book may be no larger than three inches in any dimension.

Mark Palkovic, owner of Flying Pig Press of Cincinnati, is a miniature book collector and expert on the art. At the Davis book event he will discuss miniature book publishing and display books from his collection, including a copy of the world’s smallest book, a 22-page volume that measures 0.75 mm-square and must be read under a microscope.

He is a board member and past president of the Miniature Book Society.

“Limit 55” was his brother’s idea, author Rick Palkovic says: “Mark thought 55 words would be a natural for the miniature book format.”

The author acknowledges that it can be challenging to get all the classic elements of a short story — a protagonist, an antagonist, a problem to overcome and character development — into exactly 55 words. And if there’s room for a clever twist ending, all the better. If this paragraph were a 55-word story, it would end right here.

Each story in Limit 55 fits on one page, with an illustration on each facing page. Mark Palkovic called on his other siblings for the pen-and-ink illustrations.

“Tim and Carolyn are artists, so we drafted them to join the project,” Mark said. “As a bonus, it gave us all an excuse to get together from time to time.”

“Limit 55” will be available in hardcover for $30 at The Avid Reader.

Rick Palkovic is co-author of a solar cookbook, “Cooking with Sunshine,” and is a Davis songwriter and musician. Mark Palkovic is head librarian for the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He discovered miniature books while cataloging rare books in the 1970s. Tim Palkovic is a painter and retired professor of theater, and Carolyn Palkovic Evans is a graphic designer and teacher’s aide.

Special to The Enterprise

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