Ginger and Petunia

( 1 )

Overview

Virginia Vincent Folsum, better known as Ginger, is a very elegant lady. An accomplished pianist, socially active—and what style! “You are what you wear” is her motto. But Ginger’s greatest passion is her pet pig, Petunia, whom she pampers endlessly. When Ginger is called out of town for a performance, Petunia is left on her own. Donning Ginger’s stunning gowns, Petunia poses as Ginger and conducts business as usual, with no one the wiser. Hilarity ensues as Petunia becomes the toast of the town, proving Ginger’s...

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Overview

Virginia Vincent Folsum, better known as Ginger, is a very elegant lady. An accomplished pianist, socially active—and what style! “You are what you wear” is her motto. But Ginger’s greatest passion is her pet pig, Petunia, whom she pampers endlessly. When Ginger is called out of town for a performance, Petunia is left on her own. Donning Ginger’s stunning gowns, Petunia poses as Ginger and conducts business as usual, with no one the wiser. Hilarity ensues as Petunia becomes the toast of the town, proving Ginger’s motto that you really are what you wear.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Droll text and playfully hyperbolic art serve up a piggish portion of humor in Polacco's (The Graves Family) tale starring a porcine pet with plenty of personality. Petunia's owner, a "brilliant pianist" who teaches musical prodigies, lives in a "scrumptious home" and wears delightfully flamboyant outfits. Elegant Ginger showers oodles of affection on Petunia, for whom she has installed a mud hole in the backyard, topped by a gazebo to make it "look like a spa." When Ginger is invited to be a guest soloist in London, the sitter she hires to tend to her pampered pet is a no-show, but Petunia takes care of herself—and then some. Disguised in Ginger's eccentric ensembles (which would turn Miss Piggy green with envy), Petunia presides over the prodigies' piano lessons. An inspired spread depicts the porcine impersonator striking the very poses Ginger assumed in an early group of vignettes. Though she wreaks comic havoc as a socialite, Petunia can do no wrong. She knocks over and shatters a statue in an art museum, and reveals it to be a forgery made of plaster rather than marble. At a dinner the mayor then throws in her honor, she ignores her silverware, slurps soup from a bowl and burps loudly, inspiring her admiring fellow diners do the same. In her pièce de resistance, Petunia, esteemed guest at the governor's ball, dances her host right into a huge vat of chocolate mousse ("It looked just like mud!") and everyone "that was anyone" follows suit. Polacco's porcine protagonist will also endear herself to readers, who will happily wallow in this lighthearted caper. Ages 4-up. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature
Virginia Vincent Folsum (a.k.a. Ginger) is a brilliant pianist and teacher, and an elegant lady with a passion for beautiful clothes. She is also, incidentally, the owner of a pet pig named Petunia, for whom she has even built a mud hole. When Ginger takes off for a concert in London, she thinks she has arranged a sitter to care for for Petunia, but the agency cancels. How Petunia manages Ginger’s life on her own, including teaching Ginger’s students, shopping, and even attending a museum opening, dinner party, and grand ball, makes for quite a wild and entertaining (if incredible) story. Missing her beloved mud baths, Petunia does a grand finale dive into the chocolate mousse before her happy reunion with Ginger. Naturalistic, detailed scenes drawn with pencils and markers emphasize the humor in the situations. Petunia applying mascara at a table littered with make-up, dressed in Ginger’s finery, her bright red cupid’s bow lips surrounded by her piggy snout, is only one of the really funny scenes. Polacco brings the entire large cast to life in ornate settings filled with details to enjoy. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4
Ginger is an eccentric pianist with plenty of money, fame, and accomplished young students to whom she listens raptly each day. She also has a closet full of flashy clothes ("'You are what you wear,' she always says") and plenty of makeup that she applies liberally. As if that's not enough to make her a bit unusual, Ginger has a pig named Petunia. She adores her pet so much that the porker's rather elaborate house is under the staircase and her every whim is catered to, including a fabulous outdoor mud hole with a gazebo over it. ("'My Petunia does so love her mud soaks,' Ginger always says.") But when the pampered pet is accidentally left to fend for herself for a few days, the fun really begins. She fills in for Ginger, attending openings and parties, wearing Ginger's clothes and makeup; the fact that no one notices is hilarious. Polacco's illustrations are filled with movement and humor. The dance sequence with the governor ("Petunia grabbed his ankles and swung him round and round and up into the huge vat of chocolate mousse") is worth the price of the book.
—Lee BockCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
With her long, flowing headscarves and '30s-style gowns (think Tallulah Bankhead), elegant piano virtuoso Ginger Folsum is the unlikely-and doting-owner of a big, pink pig named Petunia. After the warm-hearted bon vivant is invited to perform in London, and the housesitter fails to show up, the porcine Petunia takes on Ginger's identity-without anyone noticing. Not Ginger's music students, not the museum patrons where Petunia exposes a forgery, not even the smitten governor. As with the prolific and popular Polacco's other picture books, this somewhat overextended, yet gently amusing tall-tale is based on characters from real life. Featuring contrasting colors, Polacco's vibrant signature artwork contrasts expressive cameo portraits set against crisp white backdrops with more expansive compositions that spill over from one page to the next. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399245398
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/10/2007
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 343,784
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.86 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Polacco
Patricia Polacco lives in Union City, Michigan.
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