HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Author and Illustrator: Roger Duvoisin
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers, republished in 2000
ISBN-13: 978-0394808659 (hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0394808657 (hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0440417545 (paperback)
ISBN-10: 0440417546 (paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Duvoisin, Roger. Petunia (originally published in 1950; republished in 2000 by Knopf Books for Young Readers). Petunia is a proud and silly goose who finds a book and decides that if she owns a book she must be wise. However, when she starts dispensing hilariously mistaken advice based on her “knowledge” to the other animals on the farm, the barnyard is ripe for one calamity after another. Then she comes across a box, and she thinks she knows what to do, but unfortunately her advice is not good for dealing with what’s in this particular box!
The gentle lesson about books and their value, that one is not necessarily smart just because he has a book, is told with the kind of humor which kids love best. Petunia and her friends are colorful and comical in the illustrations. Roger Duvoisin (1900-1980) wrote and illustrated 40 books, including those featuring Petunia, the silly goose and her friends, such as Veronica, the conspicuous hippopotamus. Other books in the series include Petunia, Beware; Veronica on Petunia’s Farm; Veronica; and Petunia’s Christmas. He also illustrated more than 100 written by other authors including the “Happy Lion” books by his wife Louise Fatio, receiving a Caldecott Medal and a Caldecott Honor.