Petunia Goes Wild

Petunia Goes Wild

by Paul Schmid
     
 

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Petunia has had just about enough of being human. All those baths, good manners, clean clothes, even combed hair!

So our clever Petunia hatches a shocking and audacious plan to get away from all the haftas and instead live wild and free.

It is only when Petunia is about to leave it all that she realizes there can be joys and pleasures in being a human child.

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Overview

Petunia has had just about enough of being human. All those baths, good manners, clean clothes, even combed hair!

So our clever Petunia hatches a shocking and audacious plan to get away from all the haftas and instead live wild and free.

It is only when Petunia is about to leave it all that she realizes there can be joys and pleasures in being a human child.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her previous book, Petunia wanted a pet, but now she wants to be one. Donning a tiger tail, she eats her breakfast off the floor, bathes in mud, and insists that her parents find her a cave. Being human is just “Too careful. Too clothed. Too combed. Too quiet.” Her parents don’t understand, but Petunia learns that there are a few perks to being human, after all. Schmid uses naïf crayon lines to convey Petunia’s gentle disobedience and frustration over life’s boundaries. Readers who would rather eat under the table will find an ally in this shrewdly playful heroine. Ages 3�7. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Petunia, heroine of A Pet for Petunia, starts Monday morning growling, snorting, and eating her breakfast off the floor. On Tuesday, she is roaring; on Wednesday she bathes in a mud puddle. By Thursday, when she requests a cave to live in, her parents sternly tell her that she is not an animal. But Petunia feels that being human is just too clean, clothed, quiet, "hafta." She requests to be her parents' pet instead. This is answered with a loud, "NO!" and a tirade. So Petunia gets in a box addressed to Africa. But then, listening to her mother sing, she realizes what she will miss in Africa. She keeps the box as a wild place of her own, but then returns to hear her mother sing again. A rough black line defines our young heroine, very ably communicating her emotions. With rudimentary props, including a striped orange tail, chair, and box, the story of her animal passion is told with humor. Sketches with occasional touches of color have the look of children's drawings: Petunia's large head, skinny arms, and black dots for eyes. We never see her parents at all. But a plate of cookies awaits on the table. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—The spunky protagonist of A Pet for Petunia (HarperCollins, 2011) returns with an existential dilemma in this unexpectedly simple yet satisfying tale. Convinced that she should have been born an animal, the precocious preschooler eats her breakfast off the floor, roars at passing strangers, and bathes in mud puddles. Her parents find her request for a cave to live in horrendous and her suggestion that she be their pet drives them to distraction. For Petunia, though, life as a human is just "too… clean. Too careful. Too clothed. Too combed. Too quiet. Too… hafta." She packages herself into a box labeled "mail to Africa." The sound of her mother singing in the kitchen causes her misgivings, and she creeps silently back to the kitchen, where milk and cookies are waiting for her. Schmid has crafted a fun, well-paced read-aloud. Though never depicted, Petunia's parents are aptly realized through their few pages of wordy counter-dialogue. Petunia, on the other hand—with her wild hair and tiger tail pinned to her striped purple dress—is adorably rendered in Schmid's charismatic charcoal drawings. The art plays a key role in the subtle sense of humor being conveyed, as when the girl peeks around a corner with just her human face and tiger tail on display. With a passionate struggle and simultaneous weakness for the comforts of being a human child, Petunia will charm children and adults alike.—Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews
Petunia decides she's more animal than girl (RARH!). Human behavior requires too much structure: cleanliness, clothing, combing, quiet. Petunia enacts all these banalities, all these "hafta[s]," in an effective spread of c-sounds and frowny-faces. Tiny expressions relay her utter exhaustion with people rules (as well as her joy in running bare-bottomed!). Children will empathize, as they know what it's like to have a wild impulse crushed for millionth time. Careful! After gobbling breakfast off the floor, growling at neighbors and bathing in a mud puddle, Petunia asks to become the family pet, helpfully holding up a leash and collar. Her parents' response suffocates an entire page, filling it with fuming type and angry large letters that gradually dwindle in size but not quantity. This visual tune-out of a parental rant works well optically and rings true to young ears, too. Schmid's suggestive charcoal drawings and purple watercolor accents enjoy lots of white space and clever compositional placement. A mellow orange highlights the animal kingdom (Petunia's pinned-on tiger tail, stuffed animals and the scrawled words MAIL TO AFRICA on a child-sized box). Her mother's singing in the kitchen draws Petunia back to her human house, but readers sense Petunia will always remain a little feral. Simple illustrations convey a simple truth: children love to run wild! (Picture book. 3-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061963346
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/24/2012
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
953,017
Product dimensions:
8.44(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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