Title : Impeccable Petunia (Part I : Claws, Paws, Feathers & Jaws)
Author : Katie Christine
Pictures By : Jonathan Edward
I always maintain that animal stories are a sure way to entice a young readers's heart. Here in 'Impeccable Petunia' the readers actually get to peek into the high drama life of a chicken who happens to have unusual tastes and likings.
Petunia is a chicken who has fascination and appreciation for everything colourful and beautiful and this talent of hers makes her stand out from the rest of her mates. The other hens are happy following the regular routine and are not into trying anything new or different. But Petunia's quirky nature does not go very well with the hens at higher pecking order and this gives rise to many gossips and interesting incidents in the hen house.
Various characters join the storyline - Silkie the kind woman, Macy the house cat, Ronald the one-eyed fox and many more. Each character is beautifully sketched and their unique personalities add flavour to the story. The adventure packed days in a chicken's life make a delightful read.
I liked the subtle message of how sometimes the pressure to conform builds too much but still standing for what you believe in and not wilting under the pressure is the best way to go about it. It is very important to appreciate the uniqueness in every individual and just because an individual is different does not make him/her bad.
A very cute, interesting and engaging story and author does a brilliant job of bringing the animal characters to life. However I feel the vocabulary is a little overwhelming for the target readers. I like the challenging vocabulary in the books for children but it should not be to that extent where it becomes a dampener and the effectiveness of the book gets compromised. I guess, a right balance is very important. Having said that, I would look forward to Part II of this series.
The illustrations by Jonathan Edward take the story to an entirely new level and the bright colours of the pictures beautifully reflect what a palette of vibrant colours does to Petunia and her inner feelings.