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Ginger and Petunia Hardcover – Picture Book, May 10, 2007

4.9 out of 5 stars 42 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 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 Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Socialite Virginia Vincent Folsum, aka Ginger, is an accomplished pianist and devoted owner to her pet pig, Petunia. Called away to perform in London, she arranges for a sitter--who cancels--so Petunia does her best to carry on, as Ginger would. At first Petunia's masquerade goes very well--listening to piano students, tooling around in Ginger's little red sports car, and dancing the tango with the mayor--but her hectic schedule doesn't allow time for her restorative mud baths, and gradually cracks begin to appear in Petunia's perfect facade. In desperation, she dives into a vat of chocolate mousse at the Black and White Ball, temporarily soothing her skin and disposition. Polacco's comic portrayal of pampered pet and attentive owner is spot-on--and her characteristic watercolor illustrations highlight both characters' sense of fashion and joie de vivre. Reminiscent of Jim Henson's Ms. Piggy, Petunia will endear herself to children and adults alike. A delight from start to finish, this makes a great choice for reading aloud or one-on-one sharing. Kay Weisman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Philomel Books; Illustrated edition (May 10, 2007)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 40 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0399245391
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0399245398
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 - 8 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 770L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ Preschool - 3
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.04 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.81 x 0.38 x 11.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 42 ratings

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Born Patricia Ann Barber in Lansing, Michigan, to parents of Russian and Ukrainian descent on one side and Irish on the other, Patricia Polacco grew up in both California and Michigan. Her school year was spent in Oakland, California, and summers in her beloved Michigan. She describes her family members as marvelous storytellers. "My fondest memories are of sitting around a stove or open fire, eating apples and popping corn while listening to the old ones tell glorious stories about their homeland and the past. We are tenacious traditionalists and sentimentalists.... With each retelling our stories gain a little more Umph!"Studying in the United States and Australia, Patricia Polacco has earned an M.F.A. and a Ph. D. in art history, specializing in Russian and Greek painting, and iconographic history. She is a museum consultant on the restoration of icons. As a participant in many citizen exchange programs for writers and illustrators, Patricia Polacco has traveled extensively in Russia as well as other former Soviet republics. She continues to support programs that encourage Russo-American friendships and understanding. She is also deeply involved in inner-city projects here in the U.S. that promote the peaceful resolution of conflict and encourage art and literacy programs.The mother of a grown son and a daughter, Patricia Polacco currently resides in Michigan, where she has a glorious old farm that was built during the time of Lincoln.

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
42 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

V. Mulyanova
5.0 out of 5 stars Oink - oink! Petunia is a genius!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 30, 2010