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Ginger and Petunia

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  257 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Virginia Vincent Folsum, better known as Ginger, is a very elegant lady. An accomplished pianist, socially active - and what style! "You are what you wear" is her motto. But Ginger's greatest passion is her pet pig, Petunia, whom she pampers endlessly. When Ginger is called out of town for a performance, Petunia is left on her own. Donning Ginger's stunning gowns, Petunia ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 10th 2007 by Philomel Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Lisa Vegan
This is a very amusing story, even though I thought the ending was a bit weak. It’s the story of a pet pig who takes over for her person when her person, a music teacher who loves her elegant clothes, goes away and the house/pig sitter doesn’t show up. The language used is lilting and lovely. The illustrations are colorful and fun. The humor is droll, and the book is entertaining. There were several pages where I felt gleeful as I read. Perhaps Petunia the pig should have gotten top billing in t ...more
Jun 03, 2011 Kathryn rated it liked it
An amusing story about Ginger, an eccentric, fashionable and warm-hearted musical artist and her pampered pig Petunia. When Ginger is called away urgently to London for a performance, she coordinates with an agency to take care of Petunia and her other affairs while she is away. But, the agency cancels after Ginger has already left! Instead of wallowing in her own misery, Petunia decides to take charge. After all, Ginger always said, "You are what you wear!" Maybe if Petunia wears Ginger's fabul ...more
Nov 22, 2009 Ainsley rated it it was amazing
This book is very sweet and cute because when Petunia was alone she was so funny because she did everything the lady (Ginger) was going to do. My favorite part of this book was when Ginger came home and the two best friends were back together.
Feb 23, 2015 Maria rated it it was amazing

Personal Reaction
I wasn’t exposed to much of Patricia Polacco’s work as a young child, but I know I would have enjoyed this as a young child! Ginger and Petunia is an excellent book, bringing something new to the table on every page. Ginger’s pig, Petunia, pretends to be Ginger herself, dressing up in Ginger’s clothes, putting on Ginger’s makeup, and even going to Ginger’s social parties. Because Petunia is a pig, she cannot keep up the facade up, and the illustrations perfectly depict how badly
Although all the silliness in this picture book is simply too much for my own personal tastes, young readers find the exaggerated tale of a woman and her beloved pig a hoot. The story revolves around Virginia Vincent Folsum, affectionately known as Ginger, and how her pet pig Petunia, impersonates her while she's out of town. A talented pianist who now gives piano lesson to youngsters, Ginger is in high demand. When arrangements for Petunia's care fall apart unbeknownst to Ginger, Petunia takes ...more
Lacey Bolen
Feb 26, 2015 Lacey Bolen rated it really liked it
This book has many great qualities for the second or third grade classroom. I think it could be a great way to introduce a creative writing project in which students are asked to write a story or journal entry of what they would do if they were home alone for a weekend, because in the story Ginger's pet pig, Petunia, is left home alone. Then following this, with a writing (maybe in letter form) about what they are thankful for that their parents/guardians/older siblings help them with. (In the s ...more
Nov 29, 2012 Julee rated it it was amazing
Elegant Virgina Vincent Folsum lives in an equally elegant home in an exclusive neighborhood. She drives a snazzy red sports car, is a wine aficionado, gourmet cook, and quite the clothes horse. Her motto is "You are what you wear!" Ginger, as she is affectionately known, is also an accomplished pianist who trains young piano proteges in her home. Ginger is devoted to her closest confidant and friend- a pig named Petunia. One day, Ginger accepts an invitation to travel to England to perform as a ...more
Feb 07, 2014 Jill rated it it was amazing
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Jan 10, 2013 Carole rated it it was amazing
Patricia Polacco is an incredibly talented author and illustrator. I have a large collection of her books; I am never disappointed when I find a new one. Most of her stories either happened in her life or they were told to her. She didn't learn to read until the 5th grade; she had bluffed her way through school until a teacher realized that she couldn't read. Two teachers worked with her to teach her to read (she had a reading disability that they helped her to overcome). She saw her teacher yea ...more
Jul 22, 2009 Lv2readB rated it really liked it
Polacco, P. (2007). Ginger and Petunia. New York: Philomel Books.

Ginger, somewhat bored with her life teaching children how to play the piano, makes a trip to London to be a guest soloist. She leaves her pet pig, Petunia, at home, not realizing that the petsitter cancels at the last moment. Petunia decides to make the best of it, copying Ginger’s ways (cooking and dressing like her, etc…), including stepping in when her owner was needed- although the other people don’t notice the differe
Whole And
Dec 01, 2013 Whole And rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
"Ginger and Petunia" is sheer fun to read, a complete joy to be immersed in Petunia the pigs predicament when her eccentric pianist owner is called away to London and Petunia is left all alone (not intended by Ginger.)

Petunia the pig takes on a life of her own as she steps in for all of Ginger's students and soirees, goes grocery shopping, prepares her own divine dinners but all the while yearns to be in her gazebo covered mud bath in the backyard.

My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspec
Jul 26, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
Polacco, P. (2007). Ginger and Petunia. New York: Philomel Books.

Summary: When Ginger is called upon to give a piano solo in London, she leaves her pet pig at home--alone. In Ginger's absence, Petunia, the pig, had to stand in for her for several events she was invited to. Petunia dressed and acted like the eccentric Ginger so well that no one noticed she wasn't in fact Ginger. At an art event, Petunia accidentally exposed an unauthentic piece of art, which ended up making Ginger famous.

Award: R
Dec 05, 2014 Isabel rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
A strange story about a lady, Petunia, and her pet pig Ginger. In this story, materialistic Petunia is called away to do some work in London and hires a pet sitter for Ginger. The pet sitter quits immediately and Ginger is forced to fend for herself. Ginger begins posing as Petunia in order to salvage her owner's reputation, however, Ginger is longing to have time to take one of her daily mud baths. Ginger begins to gain fame for Petunia and is getting sadder and sadder by the day. A happy endin ...more
Eva Leger
Aug 26, 2010 Eva Leger rated it did not like it
We didn't finish this and to be honest we only got a few pages in before giving up. I could see right away on Julia's face that she wasn't into it and I'd be lying if I said I was.
I'm all for children learning new words but this just doesn't seem geared towards toddlers at all. There aren't too many I don't think. judging from the pages I read, but there are enough that it takes away from the fun of the book in my opinion.
If a book is going to teach new words to kids the execution needs to be
Tahya Bruce
Sep 19, 2016 Tahya Bruce rated it it was amazing
This book has long paragraphs (something Patricia Polacco is very known for) and that is why I would recommend it to 4th grade and up. Since it does have longer paragraphs it is harder to keep kids paying attention to it so that is why I would not recommend it to kids any younger than that. Her illustrations are great and I believe kids would love them. I personally liked the book and would definitely recommend it to anyone that was looking for a good book to read to their class or to their kids ...more
Jul 06, 2011 Brianna rated it really liked it
Patricia Polaco's "Ginger & Petunia" is as charming as it is sassy. With illustrations that accompany the book to the "T", the story follows a cultured woman of decadence and luxury--who plays the piano and teaches piano lessons all the day long--AND has a pet pig. Her pig, Petunia, has been left along while Ginger is on a trip to London as a guest soloist in the International Congress of Pianists. Petunia must fend for herself, and fend for herself she does, amongst all of Ginger's luxuries ...more
Linda Lipko
Virginia Vincent Folsum is quite a social butterfly. A diva who is a world renowned pianist, she owns a pet pig named Ginger. When she must leave town, the person scheduled to take care of Ginger cancels. Unknown to Virginia, Ginger does just fine without her.

Dressing in Virginia's gowns, cooking special dishes and holding court, Ginger fools the masses into believing she is her master.

This is cute, but not as in depth as other books by this author.
Aug 16, 2011 Lorna rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Pollaco is one of my favorite picture book authors, and while my favorites tend to be her books that celebrate the messages of family and acceptance, this book is pure fun. Ginger, the glamorous piano teacher, leaves her beloved pet pig, Petunia, alone while on a trip. The pig assumes the identity of her owner in several comical outings, all the while longing for her mud bath. My youngest gave this lots of gigles. Great for for ages 4-8 years.
Mar 26, 2011 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This was a fun and quite silly story about a pig who disguises herself as her human mistress while the mistress is called away suddenly. The tale is very humorous, very unbelievable, and very entertaining. Patricia Polacco's illustrations are terrific in this tale and we really had fun reading this book aloud together.
Jul 08, 2012 Shelli rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Ginger is needed out of the country for several days for work. Who will take care of her beloved pet pig Pentunia? An babysitting agency must be phoned, and care must be lined up before Ginger can feel confident about leaving her porcine wonder. When the pig sitter cancels past the last minute, and no one is there to care for Pentunia what's a pig to do?
Apr 24, 2008 Rachel rated it it was ok
Ginger is a refined, wealthy music teacher with a great love for her pet pig, Petunia. When Ginger goes on vacation, Petunia dresses up and plays the role of her owner. Cute! Polacco is becoming one of my favorite children's authors.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I thought this story was going to be stupid, but I got sucked right into it and enjoyed it very much. As Petunia becomes more mud-deprived and her behavior deteriorates, she nevertheless ends up saving the day. A very clever, humorous story!
Is it just me, or does anyone else think the illustration of Virginia Vincent Folsum on the first page of the story looks like Liza Minelli?

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Kate Gessling
This is a fantasy about a pig who takes the place of her owner at many town events. I did not like this book and would not use it in the classroom, but it could be appealing to students who are interested in animals.
Rebecca Waack
This book is about Petunia the pig and her owner Ginger. Ginger goes away for business and Petunia pretends to be Ginger while she is out. She listens to each of the piano students and attends Ginger's events.
Kelly Triplett
Oct 13, 2012 Kelly Triplett rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book, fantasy
...a fun story with great illustrations for any read-aloud opportunity. Patricia Pollaco is well known for her message-filled pictures books, but this one is a great read based solely on the fact that it is fun and silly. I imagine children will love it.
Victoria Lowman
Sep 05, 2012 Victoria Lowman rated it liked it
I thought this book was very funny. I was more intrigued by the illustrations versus the story though. The bond between Ginger and Petunia was cute and reminds me a lot of the relationships mst people have with their pets. They are not just pets, they are part of the family.
Mar 10, 2014 Joanna rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
An eccentric lady leaves town for a week and when her pig-sitter doesn't show, the pig decides to become her master! By the end of the week, however, she finds it rather exhausting and just wants to roll in the mud.
Ms Threlkeld
Aug 31, 2015 Ms Threlkeld rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
One of the quirkiest and most outrageous picture books I have read in a long time. A pig who drinks wine and dance a mean tango? Fabulous! This would make a delightful read aloud for the intermediate grades.
Jun 05, 2014 Bree rated it really liked it
like most of Polacco's books this is best appreciated by kids age 9+; lots of great new vocab words and unique outlandish story; we read this over and over
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