Saturday, February 25, 2012

Be Patient, Petunia

When it comes to the fruit of the spirit, what do many children lack? PATIENCE! Be Patient, Petunia, by Erin Butler, is a great read aloud for parents wishing to teach their children about patience.

Written in rhyming verse, the story follows Petunia as her impatience leads from one disappointment to another. After each misadventure, Petunia is reminded, “Be patient, Petunia! Be patient, Petunia! It wouldn’t have been too late!/ but don’t you know that good things come to those who patiently wait?”

Though Petunia acts like a typical child—excited, bored, antsy, full of energy—she finally learns to wait. When she does, she gets to view a most spectacular sunrise. The ending pages celebrate her success with a reversal of its earlier refrain: “You were patient, Petunia! Yes, you were! Doesn’t it feel so great?/ Now you know that good things come to those who patiently wait!”

The illustrations, done by Kathy Hoyt, are bright, cartoonish, and kid-friendly. Petunia looks cute with her pigtails and pink outfit. A small brown dog frolics across the pages mimicking Petunia’s emotions.

There is no reference to God, but prior to the start of the story, Butler sites a Scripture reference: Galatians 5:22-23. It’s clear that the whole tale is based on these verses. At the end of the story, information is provided to get a free download audio version of the story.

What I Like: Petunia is spot on for how an impatient child acts and thinks. I love the way the author included a catchy refrain at the end of each incident. Not only do children enjoy spotting patterns like this in a story, it encourages them to join in the reading. Plus the pattern helps children focus on and remember the idea the author is trying to convey. I also appreciated the inclusion of the entire Scripture verse. Finally, the free audio is a big plus. We all enjoy free things.

What I Dislike: Rhyming stories are hard to write well. This one is better than many. Even so, the meter is off in a few places and the wording/ word choice is sometimes awkward. Also, it's a little pricey for a short paperback.

Overall Rating:I really liked this story, but the meter was off just enough for me to give it a VERY GOOD. But it’s a very good with a nod toward excellent. I suspect most kids would give it an excellent rating.

Age Appeal: None is given, but I think it would work for preschool through second grade.

Publisher Info: Tate Publishing, 2011; ISBN: 978-1613464779; Paperback, 28 pgs., $9.99

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Buy it at for $9.99.

Special Info: Read a CCBR review of another book about the fruit of the spirit. Read a Christian K-2nd grade chapter book about patience.

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