Review Blog

Jan 29 2018

Perfect Petunias by Lynn Jenkins

cover image

Ill. by Kirrili Lonergan. EK Books, 2018. ISBN 9781925335583
Loppy LAC is very worried about not doing his homework well enough. He is always focusing on what he hasn't done rather then what he has, and he becomes very frustrated. So, his friend Curly teaches him about how petunias grow - in lots of different, imperfect directions that we can't control! Loppy learns that by trying to control whether he makes mistakes or not it's as if he's always trying to grow 'perfect' petunias. Sometimes he just needs to accept that things go a certain way and to change his definition of 'perfect' to mean trying his absolute best.
This is the third in a series to help Loppy the LAC (Little Anxious Creature) deal with his anxieties, in this case not being satisfied with anything that he sees as being less than perfect. Children like Loppy are present in every class, either being afraid to start something in case it is not perfect on the first attempt or giving up in tears, frustration and even anger, so a story and strategies that help them focus on the things that they have done well rather than the 'mistakes' they have made can go a long way towards helping them accept themselves, their activities and other people with all their imperfections.
Helping them to see the glass half-full, the silver lining, the rainbow rather than the rain can lay the foundations for strong mental and emotional health in the future. Developing a mantra of "I can" rather than "I can't" is so important if they are to take risks to try new things that will open up so many new worlds to them.
Barbara Braxton

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