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Children's Book Review: Petunia, the Girl Who Was NOT a Princess

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Petunia, the Girl Who Was Not a Princess
By M. R. Nelson, Holly Liminton

Funny story. I read Cloud's blog for at least a year before I realized our paths had crossed in real life. She made an offhand reference to her graduate school program and I thought it sounded like mine so I emailed her and found out we did go to school together and know a lot of the same people. Small world.

Cloud has lots of interests and projects, and one of them is authoring children's books. Her second book, Petunia, the Girl Who Was Not A Princess, was released this week in both hardcover and electronic form.

I got to review an advance copy and I really liked it, because it addresses a common "false dichotomy" - that a little girl can EITHER be girly OR she must be a "tomboy".

The majority of little girls I've met (including my own) like Frozen but also Cars. My two year old's favorite activity is going outside on Friday mornings to watch the garbage trucks come (all 3 of them!) while wearing a dress-up tutu. But go down the toy aisles at Target and it's either/or again.

Since it's a short children's book I'm not going to provide a detailed synopsis of what happens, but I will say that it was a refreshing message to hear - girls have varied interests and appearances can be deceiving, so give a new potential friend a chance.

The illustrations were delightfully retro-feeling to me - the pastel color scheme and hand-drawn images reminded me of my own childhood in the 80s and the picture books I loved to read.

I tend to buy a lot of "minimalist", computer-drawn kid's books because I love the clean and simple aesthetic so looking at the detailed drawings by Holly Liminton was a breath of fresh air. And quite honestly, they're probably more appealing to my kids than the stark modern images I tend to gravitate towards.

This one is definitely going on my daughter's Kindle. I think she'll really like it.

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