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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
We can’t all be good at everything and we can’t expect to love doing everything. That’s a very difficult lesson for everyone to learn, especially Petunia. She enjoys participating in activities at school, but the problem is: Petunia’s a unicorn. Her horn pierces the soccer ball and when she’s jumping on the trampoline, her horn gets stuck in the ceiling, with Petunia dangling below. Frustrated, she asks Auntie Sprinkles for advice. She’s surprised when Auntie suggests she takes up ballet and starts dancing around the house to demonstrate her agility and grace. Petunia goes along, but she’s not very good – at first. Then she works hard between classes and starts to improve. The only problem is Madison. She’s the best and she lets everyone know it. So, when auditions for the lead in the upcoming performance approach, Madison convinces everyone she’ll get the lead. Should Petunia try out anyway? She had improved, but has she improved enough to outshine the obvious star dancer? Sometimes we just need a little bit of encouragement, a whole lot of hard work, and a lot of faith in ourselves to prove to the world (and to prove to ourselves) that we’re always good enough!
R.L. Ullman’s picture book story, Petunia the Unicorn’s Magically Marvelous Ballet, is another exciting book in the Petunia Cupcake Fluffybottom series. Petunia has a lot of lessons to learn and she’s about to find her niche in a very difficult world where appearances matter and pride can easily become one’s downfall. The plot follows Petunia’s journey to discover her talents and the lessons she learns along the way. The language is simple and there’s lots of dialogue to help the story move forward with ease. The illustrations, as always, are bright, bold, and spectacular, just like the main character, Petunia. The entire story is magical and full of charm. And you can’t have a spectacular Petunia adventure without a little bit of humor and a little bit of unicorn magic. It’s not always about winning, but rather about being the best you can be, being proud of your own accomplishments, and being a good friend at all times, even to those who don’t always demonstrate friendly attitudes. Absolutely beautiful!