What present do you get for a girl who has everything? What could she possibly want that she doesn’t already have? Why, a parrot of course!
Petunia Paris really does have everything – a swimming pool, a city of toys, and her own personal library. When her parents ask her what she wants for her fifth birthday she can’t think of a single thing she wants, so she says the first thing that comes into her head – a parrot. It is a beautiful parrot all the way from Peru, but no matter how hard she tries she just can’t get it to talk. One day she loses patience and shouts at her parrot but her butler suggests that she ask it nicely why it won’t talk. Petunia learns exactly why her parrot won’t talk and she sets out to maker it happy.
Petunia Paris’s Parrot is a perfectly pleasant and pleasing picture book. It is so much fun to read and it gives your mouth a work-out in several places with all the alliteration. Kids will wish that they were Petunia, with all of her extravagant gifts and a parrot of their very own.
Katie’s delightful text and Jo’s elegant illustrations are the perfect match. Like Petunia and her family Katie’s text has an air of sophistication. I almost feel like I should read the book in a posh accent. Katie uses some lovely language and introduces young readers to words that they’ve probably never heard before, like ‘pertinent’ and ‘perturbed.’ She sprinkles alliteration throughout the text, whether it is Petunia ‘presenting pertinent topics of conversation,’ or ‘planning preposterous new outfits.’ These little touches make the story a joy to read. My favourite part of the story is when ‘persistent Petunia finally lost her composure.’ I absolutely love Jo Williamson’s illustrations too. Jo has used mostly pinks and blues in the illustrations, which give them an old-fashioned but elegant look. Jo includes lots of lavish details that highlight the privileged life that Petunia leads, from her shelf full of toys to the chandeliers in her house and the butler who is holding an umbrella while she swims in her pool. When Petunia’s parrot shows up he really stands out on the page because of the splash of colour that he brings to Petunia’s life. Jo has given the parrot lots of expression too, from his determination not to try the exotic food, to his embarrassment over having to wear a silly outfit.
Petunia Paris’s Parrot is delightful from beginning to end and it is sure to be a picture book that will be shared again and again. I’m certainly looking forward to sharing it with children.
For a sneak peak at Petunia Paris’s Parrot check out the Five Mile Press website.