Module 6: Ginger and Petunia

Ginger and Petunia

Book Summary:

Virgina “Ginger” Folsum is a classy, impeccably dressed woman who loves nothing more than her pet pig Petunia. When Ginger is called away from her home, Petunia and her piano students she frets about being away. But Ginger manages to arrange for a pet sitter to take care of things and cancel her engagements. Unfortunately, Ginger is already gone when the sitter calls to cancel. Petunia is worried, but she decides that she is an independent pig and that she can take care of it by herself. So Petunia gets all dolled up in Ginger’s clothes and makeup and gives her piano students their lessons, does the grocery shopping and attends Ginger’s social engagements. What can possibly go wrong?

APA Reference of Book:

Polacco, P. (2007). Ginger and Petunia. New York, NY: Philomer.


I have a hard time not loving a book in which a pig makes her own dinner, drinks wine, dresses up in a ball gown and dances the night away while her owner is out of town.  I saw the bright and fanciful cover and just couldn’t help but pick it up. The story was on the long side, but I thought it was a lot of fun. The illustrations however were really the highlight for me. I think that kids of all ages can enjoy this beautifully illustrated tale of a pig in woman’s clothing. Or maybe that’s just because I have always dreamed of having a pet pig. Either way, I highly recommend this fanciful story for everyone who needs a smile.

Professional Review:

“Droll text and playfully hyperbolic art serve up a piggish portion of humor in Polacco’s (The Graves Family ) tale starring a porcine pet with plenty of personality. Petunia’s owner, a “brilliant pianist” who teaches musical prodigies, lives in a “scrumptious home” and wears delightfully flamboyant outfits. Elegant Ginger showers oodles of affection on Petunia, for whom she has installed a mud hole in the backyard, topped by a gazebo to make it “look like a spa.” When Ginger is invited to be a guest soloist in London, the sitter she hires to tend to her pampered pet is a no-show, but Petunia takes care of herself—and then some. Disguised in Ginger’s eccentric ensembles (which would turn Miss Piggy green with envy), Petunia presides over the prodigies’ piano lessons. An inspired spread depicts the porcine impersonator striking the very poses Ginger assumed in an early group of vignettes. Though she wreaks comic havoc as a socialite, Petunia can do no wrong. She knocks over and shatters a statue in an art museum, and reveals it to be a forgery made of plaster rather than marble. At a dinner the mayor then throws in her honor, she ignores her silverware, slurps soup from a bowl and burps loudly, inspiring her admiring fellow diners do the same. In her pièce de resistance, Petunia, esteemed guest at the governor’s ball, dances her host right into a huge vat of chocolate mousse (“It looked just like mud!”) and everyone “that was anyone” follows suit. Polacco’s porcine protagonist will also endear herself to readers, who will happily wallow in this lighthearted caper.”

(2007, April 9). [Review of the book Ginger and Petunia, by P. Polacco]. Publishers Weekly. Retrieved from:

Library Uses:

This would be a great book to use for a story time. I would read the book and then ask the kids to dress up a picture of a pig. I would give them colored paper, pipe cleaners, pom poms and other art stuff to let them dress Petunia in Ginger’s finest clothes.


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