#73 – Be Patient, Petunia by Erin Butler

 4 Stars

This is a cute story about a young girl named Petunia.  Petunia has a big problem.  She is impatient about everything.  She will not wait for a cake to finish, other kids to arrive, or for a fish to bite.  Each time she is disappointed in what she missed because she simply could not wait.  Finally, Petunia reflects on her impatience and vows to be still and wait.  That night, at the park with Mom and Dad to watch the sunset, Petunia is bored and anxious.  She wants to run around the park.  Instead, Petunia realizes if she did what she wants she will miss the sunset.  She stays and sees the most beautiful sunset and is glad she was patient.

Be Patient, Petunia is written in rhyming verse that at times tied up my tongue when I read it aloud.  The rhythm sometimes missed a beat or stopped where is had not in the lines before.  Overall, this is a fun book about a little girl who learns to control her behavior.  I am not fond of “lesson/message/moral books,” especially when the lesson is front and center.  I think kids prefer not to read these, but I could be wrong.  I prefer a more subtle touch with a great story.

Given that the intended audience for Be Patient, Petunia are children ages two to six (author tells me the range is 2 to 8), this should sell well.  Younger kids are more tolerant of these kinds of books and will like this one.  The illustrations are expressive.  Even when Petunia pouts, you can see joy in her face.  She has two ponytails and big wondrous eyes.  I like her.  She is the perfect character for the story.  Girls will have an easy time identifying with Petunia because of the illustrations.

This is the author’s first published book.  Writing books for children and teens is not as easy as many authors make it seem.  For a debut young children’s book, I think Ms. Butler can be proud.  With continued writing, reading, and learning, this up and coming writer will be an author your kids will enjoy reading.

 Be Patient, Petunia

Author:  Erin Butler
Illustrator:  Kathy Hoyt
Publisher:  Tate Publishing
Publication Date:  November 29, 2011
Number of pages  : 28
ISBN:  978-1-6134-6477-9



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