Thursday, June 29, 2017

Favorite Picture Book: Petunia

Petunia by Roger Duooisin is one of mine and BMW's favorite picture books. BMW can't quite say, "Petunia." When he wants me to read this book he brings it to me saying, "Tuna, Tuna." 😊

This is a cute story about a goose, Petunia, who finds a book in the meadow. Upon this discovery, she remembers having heard that, "He who owns books and loves them is wise."

Petunia wants be wise so that the barn yard animals won't call her a silly goose any more. She takes the book. She sleeps with it, she swims with it, she takes it every where she goes.

Having spent so much time with the book she thinks she must be getting very wise. This "wisdom" makes her puffed up with pride. Her neck stretches out several notches.

Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
1 Corinthians 8:1 KJV

The other barnyard animals notice the change in Petunia. Since she carries around a book all of the time they think she must be wise and they begin to ask her for advice. Petunia is always glad to "help."

Her "advice" is quite ludicrous, and even young children will laugh at her solutions. She tells King, the rooster, that his comb is red because it is made from red plastic and the farmer probably stuck it on to tell him apart from the hens. When Straw, the horse, complains of a tooth ache Petunia inspects the situation. "Why! Look at all these teeth! No wonder you have a tooth ache! Let me get some pliers...."

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18 KJV

Eventually, her "wisdom" leads to a grave disaster. Many of the farm animals get hurt. Petunia's pride is deflated. She realizes that if she is really going to be wise she needs to learn how to read what is written in the book.

She says, "Now I understand. It is not enough to carry wisdom under my wing. I must put it in my mind and in my heart."

Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. 
Deuteronomy 11:18 KJV

I love this picture book! The characters are all charming. I like to give them all different voices to go with their personalities. The other great thing about this story is that several spiritual lessons can be pointed out. Many verses popped into my mind the first time I read this story.

This book was copyrighted in 1950 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.  I am not sure if this book is widely available, but if you run across it, I highly recommend you check it out!

1 comment:

A.J. said...

It's available! And on my wishlist. I wondered about a children's book with these morals... then I saw the date you mentioned and I understood. Too bad books like these aren't written nowadays!