Posted by Elise Hooper, A Path Made Straight--Children's Book Monday on January 19, 2015 on January 18, 2015
by Roger Duvoisin
Petunia is a silly goose. When she finds a book lying in the meadow one day, she recalls having heard somewhere that "He who owns Books and loves them is wise."
Being silly AND a goose, Petunia believes that if she only loves her Book, she will finally be wise. As she swims with the Book and sleeps with it, her neck stretches out with pride, until the other animals notice and begin to believe that she really IS wise!
They ask her for advice and opinions, and she gladly gives both, misguided though they may be. For example, Ida, the hen, asks Petunia to help her count her chicks, for they have been on a walk in the woods, and she thinks some might be missing. "The farmer says I have nine, but I can't count so very well. Please, wise Petunia, count my chicks to see if they're all here."
Poor Ida is worried, "Is six less than nine?"
"That's more than nine, not less," said Petunia. "Lots more, my dear!"
Poor worried Ida. "More than nine? Good gracious! As if I hadn't enough worries with my own nine chicks. And where do those other chicks come from? Oh dear, I'll never be happy again..."
Once Petunia's advice has affected all the animals in the field, a catastrophe occurs that blows open the pages of her Book, and Petunia realizes that there is something written inside which she cannot read. After she thinks for a bit, Petunia sighs, "Now I understand. It is not enough to carry wisdom under my wing. I must put it in my mind and in my heart. And to do that, I must learn to read."
So many lessons abound in this sweet book: wisdom, which you may delve deeper into by reading some of the book of Proverbs with your little ones; the benefit of knowing how to read, especially so that we may read the Word of the Lord; "pride goes before a fall"; a humble spirit when asked for advice.
Not to mention lessons in counting! Multiplying! Common sense!
I read this book as a child and always knew that when I had my own children, I would want to read it to them as well. There are many other Petunia books, too: Petunia Beware; Petunia’s Christmas; Petunia’s Treasure; Petunia, I Love You; Petunia Takes a Trip; all notable for the lessons the silly goose learns, lessons easily applied to a young child's (or adult's!) character.
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