by Robert Duvoisin/ published 1950 by Alfred A. Knopf
My son's bookshelves are double stacked, so every few weeks I rotate the ones in the back to the front so that everybody is getting a fair read. I've previously written up a couple of other titles featuring Petunia and her friends, but the original has made its way back into frequent rotation of late so I thought I'd give it a shout out.
Petunia is such a joy to read out loud and the pictures are absolutely darling. The lines have a real elegance that make the drawings seem contemporary even though it was sketched over 50 years ago. I'm a big fan of Duvoisin, but this is definitely his Great Gatsby. A would even go so far as to call this a must-have for every child's bookshelf. Plus all you bibliophiles will love the story... You see, there's this goose...
In the meadow, early one morning, Petunia, the silly goose, went strolling. She ate a bug here, clipped off a clover leaf there, and she picked at the dewdrops on the goldenrod leaves... then, suddenly, she saw something she had never seen before in the meadow. What was it? Petunia stole closer and closer and sniffed at it from all sides. "By Goosey Gander," she said, "it does not smell like food for a goose. But I believe I have seen such a thing before... yes, I have seen one under Bill's arm when he came out of school. It's a book. That's it. A BOOK!"
Poor silly goose. By simply having the book in her possession, she thinks it makes her wise and smarter than all her friends. Needless to say, Petunia leaves a path of destruction in her wake of genius, until at last she figures out... "It is not enough to carry wisdom under my wing. I must put it in my mind and in my heart."
Really, the message here is wonderful on so many levels. Still in print and available all over the net, if you don't yet possess this title yourself, get one under your wing ASAP.
The Rain Puddle
Veronica and the Birthday Present
A Child's Garden of Verses
White Snow Bright Snow
The Old Bullfrog