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A Pet for Petunia
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A Pet for Petunia (Petunia)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,072 Ratings  ·  137 Reviews
Meet Petunia.

More than anything, Petunia wants a pet.

I'll feed my pet every day, she promises her parents. I'll take her for walks. I'll read stories to her and draw her pictures.

Petunia knows she can take care of a pet, but what happens when the pet she most desires is a skunk?
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2011)
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Lisa Vegan
Aug 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: kids who long for pets, any pets, but especially unusual pets; fans of wildlife
Charming! This is a really fun book to read aloud. It’s also amusing, hilarious in spots.

The purple and black and white illustrations are very appealing, and I love how stripes make many appearances.

Petunia sure is persistent. Some will think she’s annoying but for the most part I thought she was cute, and I think kids will certainly identify with her yearnings. I would definitely have understood Petunia, what with growing up in an apartment that didn’t allow dogs or cats and always wanting a d
Feb 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
When I was in ninth grade or so I learned that a fellow classmate owned a pet skunk. I joke not. Apparently these things do happen. While not strictly domesticated, it is possible to remove the scent glands from the animal, rendering it relatively harmless (teeth and claws aside). This was a good thing since if you grow up in Michigan you're pretty much guaranteed to know the stink of the skunk (hopefully not firsthand). I assume that there must be kids in the world who don't know this particula ...more
else fine
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, read2011, bestof2011
Yes, it's adorable. And yes, SKUNKS! But I'm going to go a step farther and say that this book has the kind of instantly iconic art that kids born today will be tattooing on themselves in 18 years. My prediction: new classic.
Mar 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Title: A Pet for Petunia by Paul Schmid
Summary: Petunia begs her parents for a pet. However, she doesn’t want a dog or a cat, she wants a skunk!
Age: 4-6 years
Rating: Maybe
I love the fact that the main character has a unique name.
Skunks are not often celebrated in literature. I think it’s great that Petunia loves skunks, that detail is delightful and humorous.
The illustrations are minimal but lovely; Schmid does a wonderful job of conveying Petunia’s energy and lively personality.
Karen Arendt
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The perfect story for any child who has always wanted a pet but was told no. Petunia wants a pet skunk. She promises to take good care of it, but her parents still say no. After she has a meltdown on a page where she screams and says her parents don't love her, she decides to run away. She runs into a real skunk and finds out how stinky they really are. Still, she giggles and wants that skunk! Until, she decides another animal would be the perfect pet. (love the picture of the porcupine!)

The ill
May 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
At 10:30 am on Monday, May 9th, I conquered one of my greatest fears --- story time at the bookstore.

Of the three books I read (this, I Must Have Bobo, and The Pigeon Wants a Puppy), the crowd, by which I mean approximately 8 toddlers and 6 adults, liked Petunia best by far. I thought the book was adorable and funny to begin with, but now that I get to associate it with MY OWN COURAGEOUSNESS, I like it all the more!
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love Petunia! She loves the animals no one else does no matter how stinky or scary they are- no judgment. I loved the colors and drawing style of the illustrations as well- all added up to a really cute, fun book.
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a really funny book. However, Petunia would give the younger students so pretty iffy ideas...
Maria Bulfamante
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a very amusing book! I loved every part of it!
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Pet for Petunia
by Paul Schmid
A very cute book about wanting something and not seeing the truth because of your desire. This is a lesson for kids wrapped in a familiar connective power. The moral of the story you don't always get what you want, and sometimes when you get it there is something else you want even more dangerous. Petunia wants a pet, she will accept nothing less than a skunk, but she would not believe that they have a single flaw. She wants what she wants, and when she gets it sh
Cara Byrne
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Petunia doesn't care that skunks stink - she wants one - desperately. The concept, illustrations, and plot twists are well done, though some of the phrasing in the book is awkward, even when reading aloud to a preschooler. A library storytime read.
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
When most people think of cute pets a skunk is not the first animal which comes to mind, but if you were to ask Petunia Stripes I’m sure she will gleefully list off hundreds of different reasons to why skunks are the best and cutest animals in the world. Like most children her age Petunia wants a pet to play with, but for petunia a typical cat or dog will just no suffice. She eventual asks her parents if she can get a skunk, they of course tell her no because quite frankly skunks stink. Petunia ...more
An Abundance of Books
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reviews
Featured at An Abundance of Books

Petunia likes skunks.
No, that's not exactly right.
Petunia LOVES skunks!

Petunia can think of nothing better to have than her very own pet skunk. Using her toy skunk as a model, she extolls the the virtues and cuteness of skunks. They have stripes, big black eyes, and cute little noses!

She tells her parents how responsible she'll be. She'll feed it everyday, take it for walks, read stories and draw pictures with it, and clean it's litter box every hour even! Petuni
Gregory Walters
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A few years ago, kids were obsessed with penguins. Not practical as pets, but no doubt common items on Christmas wish lists.

Petunia has a different black and white critter in mind: a skunk. Schmid writes, "Petunia wants, wants, wants! a REAL pet skunk." And Petunia is a persistent child.

Parents and children will be able to relate to the pet-begging pitches and promises. If Petunia gets a skunk, it will surely be one pampered pet. But Petunia's parents hold strong, daring to assert that skunks s
Sarah BT
Mar 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Oh Petunia, how I can relate. I wanted a monkey for a pet, but my parents always said no-how mean! Any child who has longed for a pet, unconventional or otherwise, will relate to Petunia's plight. She begs her parents for a pet skunk, she promises to feed it, and gushes over how cute they are. But Petunia is in for a surprise. Readers of course, know that skunks are stinky and that it's not the kind of pet Petunia would want, which makes the book that much more fun-kids are in on the joke from t ...more
You may be thinking, Not another pet book! While the premise is unoriginal, I find the dialogue authentic, spunky, and fun. You can't help but be drawn to Petunia and her request for a pet. Another element I am attracted to is the character's name- Petunia. I also like her choice of pet- a skunk. I already imagined all sorts of fun problems with having a pet skunk, but author Paul Schmid took a different approach and kept it simple with one encounter with the skunk. A cute book that stays true t ...more
Nov 17, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Petunia wants a pet, but not just any pet. She wants a skunk (a live one, not a stuffed one like the one she carries around for almost the whole book). Her parents are naturally horrified by this, but Petunia is persistent. She promises to feed it and brush it and be responsible for it. Her parents tell her that skunks stink, but this does not seem to phase her. Will her opinion change once she runs into a skunk for real? I'll let you read and find out. I must admit the twist at the end surprise ...more
An excellent entry in the picture book readaloud / breaking down the fourth wall category. Petunia wants a pet. The problem? The pet she wants in particular is a skunk. When her parents remain adamant in their No Skunk policies she pitches a small fit and runs out of the home. Outside, she encounters the very animal she was hoping for . . . and also the accompanying stench. Fun to read with great subdued art, this is a great author/illustrator debut for Schmid. I hope we see a lot more of his st ...more
Becky B
Petunia really wants a pet skunk. She is convinced she'll die without a pet skunk. Her parents say no based on the stink factor, and Petunia pitches a fit convinced they are just being unreasonable. She runs off into the forest...and meets a real skunk. Needless to say, Petunia will never be the same again.

A somewhat humorous book about a girl who has unrealistic expectations about an animal. The illustrations are minimal in color but still plenty of fun. Glad that after Petunia's tirade against
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Petunia wants a pet skunk more than anything in the world. She will do everything to take care of it, even change its litter. When she is informed that they stink, she doesn't believe it...until she happens across one in the forest. Petunia comes up with a sweet solution to solve her stinky skunk problems.
The voice of Petunia is pin-pointed perfectly. I'm sure that many parents can relate to similar begging and pet-pleading from kids :) The striped theme in the book is cute and is accentuated w
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Petunia wants nothing more in the world than to have a pet skunk. She loves stripes, she loves their cute noses, and big black eyes. She is very frustrated that her parents will not give her what she wants. Like many children she runs away and finds her dreams come true. This is a fun little story. At one point Petunia is very frustrated and calls her parents a name. Some parents may not like this aspect of the book, however I think that it is wonderful to show that all children get frustrated w ...more
I picked up this book because I loved the illustrations for "Perfectly Percy", plus the story sounded cute. Petunia loves skunks. She loves that their cute little noses, their stripes, and everything else about them. She desperately wants one for a pet, but her parents say no. So she decides to run away. On her way, she meets an actual skunk and boy is it stinky! So stinky in fact, that she runs all the way home. Then she realizes it was "awesomely stinky" but she'd rather have her stuffed skunk ...more
Bridget R. Wilson
Nov 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, pets
Petunia wants a pet. Not just any old pet but a skunk. Undeterred by her parents' claim that skunks stink, Petunia heads to the forest to fins herself a skunk.

What I thought: Love it! Petunia has such character and attitude. I think A Pet for Petunia will fast become a story time favorite. The illustrations are wonderful. I like Schmid's use of purple. My favorite illustrations are Petunia finding the skunk and the porcupine (such a horrified expression!). I can't wait for the next Petunia book.
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
What's black and white and soft? Why, Petunia's dream pet, of course!
Speaking of dreams, this book is a story time dream-come-true, which explains why I launched our "Panda" story time with a book that has absolutely nothing to do with pandas. You see, Petunia "wants, WANTS, W A N T S! a REAL pet s-k-u-n-k."

Conveniently (for me) skunks and pandas have the same number of letters and even better, the same number of letters as B I N G O which are easily adapted to the spelling / clapping song betwe
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Nov 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Petunia wants a pet skunk. Desperately. But her parents refuse. They tell her that skunks stink. Petunia is so angry that she sets off into the woods to get a skunk for herself. She finds a skunk and he sprays Petunia. The skunk does stink. Petunia returns home to her stuffed pet skunk. And then she decides she wants a pet porcupine.

“Petunia likes skunks.
No, that’s not exactly right.
Petunia loves skunks.

‘They have cute little noses.
They have big black eyes.
They’re black and white
and they have
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Extra star for use of the word "lunkheads" as in, "With such disappointing lunkheads for parents, naturally Petunia MUST leave home." This is picture book perfection: overall design is fresh and crisp, rough pencil sketches with lavender wash have great movement and expression, and the voice of our heroine, Petunia, is classic I-am-six-and-I-know-everything-except-when-I-learn-something-new. I LOVE Petunia!

Story: she wants a pet skunk, parents say no because they stink, she vehemently disagrees,
Jessica Bingham
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals, children-s, pets
I use this for my "Pets" themed storytime. Petunia wants a pet and not just any pet...she wants a skunk! Through the course of this book Petunia tries to convince her parents that a skunk is the best pet for her. After they tell her "no" multiple times, she goes into the woods and guess what she finds? That's right, a skunk! But maybe the skunk is not all she thought it would be. What happens when she actually smells the skunk? Is there another animal in the forest that would make an even better ...more
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
THIS is one of the bestest children's books EVER!!!!! It's just soooo much fun to read, and I totally can hear Petunia's voice as she goes on and on to her parents about wanting a totally cute skunk to have the awesomest pet possible.

Great pictures all in black, white and purple. Great story of a little girl wanting a pet skunk because she thinks skunks are cute and using all the tricks a little girl has to get her parents to agree, but to no avail. Then discovering just why a skunk may not be t
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, pets, 2011
This is a funny and sweet story about a little girl who pleads with her parents to get the perfect pet...a skunk. It's an entirely too believable tale, with Petunia promising to take care of the pet, cajoling, whining, complaining and begging for the creature. She eventually discovers that there's one flaw in her perfect pet, but she finds a good solution. Until...

We've experienced similar situations in our household and our girls still beg for more pets despite the fact that we already have fou
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Paul Schmid is an author and illustrator of children's picture books.
He lives in Seattle. You can visit him online at
More about Paul Schmid...

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“With such disappointing lunkheads for parents, naturally Petunia must leave home.” 2 likes
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