'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 17 April 2019

Review: Petra

A beautifully presented book about a smooth, grey, round, solid object named Petra.

Told from Petra’s view the story follows her journey in self-discovery with amusing events which cleverly show perspective, perception and context. Petra’s inspiring confidence is shown early in the story when she announces I am strong. I’m a fearsome, fearless mighty, magnificent mountain!

But is Petra really a mountain? With such confidence and certainty Petra shows us that your belief in yourself matters more than your actual size and that your surroundings can change it all in a heartbeat anyway.

I adore the modern design of this book; it features plenty of white space, minimal text, a soft colour palette and delightful illustrations. Despite appearing simple the illustrations deliver great depth, in particular the expressions on Petra’s face—created with only a few circles and lines are brilliant.

While it’s listed for ages 6-7, I think children of all ages and even adults would enjoy Petra. My 2-year-old stayed focused and enjoyed it, while I felt joyful anticipation when turning each page.

Petra is a lovely book to read aloud, with lots of space and opportunity to discuss the scenes and topics of perception, context, perspective and confidence. With 48 pages it is a little longer than usual picture books but it certainly doesn’t feel longer.

Marianna Coppo is an author/illustrator from Italy where Petra was originally published.

Title: Petra
Author/Illustrator: Marianna Coppo
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd, $28.95
Publication Date: 1 August 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780735262676
For ages: 6 – 7
Type: Picture Book