Petunia Goes Wild by Paul Schmid. Book Review.

 Click here to buy Petunia Goes Wild

This picture book is illustrated with simple black pastel or crayon drawings and touches of purple and orange watercolor. The pages are mostly white. However, the simple drawings are engaging.

Petunia is a little girl who wants to be free of societal restrictions and bathe naked in mud puddles, eat her food off the floor, and live in a cave like an animal. Her parents are not at all supportive of her desires. In fact they come across as cold and shrill.

Petunia finally has enough of their criticism and decides to mail herself to Africa to live with the animals. Then she hears her mother singing and remembers how much she loves it. She decides to stay.

I like the idea of this book but it ends rather limply. After the shaming given by her parents, I felt they needed to redeem themselves more. Neither showed any love or affection to the child although we are told that she sometimes received tickles at bedtime. We should have seen the parents showing some understanding for Petunia’s wild nature.


Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages


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