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November 28, 2019

Impeccable Petunia Part I & Part 2 by Katie Christine ~ a Series Review

by MK French


Petunia is an extraordinary chicken, not just because of her unusual feather coloring, but because she enjoys creating a garden and doesn't care about the endless gossip that the other chickens engage in to solidify their ranking in the pecking order. The human that takes care of the house is a tearful thing and takes a shine to Petunia. This friendship isolates her from the main chickens further, but also expands her horizons even more. Illustrations help the reader visualize the characters and the intensity of the situations.

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May 2012; 978-1720067962
ebook, print (107 pages); women's fiction
The story is split up into Part I and II because thematically they're very different. In the first, Claws, Paws, Feathers, and Jaws, Petunia is largely occupied with chicken coop life even though she wishes for more. The friendship with her human, Silkie, also leads to a friendship of sorts with Macy the cat. We deal with social ostracism, bullying, and fears of the unknown; as much as these characters are all animals, there are very real parallels to human emotions and motives. Situations leading up to the drama are particularly animal-related: Macy climbing up the tree and falling onto the fencing around the coop wouldn't occur if they were all human, for example, but predators taking advantage of weaknesses would occur no matter what.

Buy Claws, Paws, Feathers, & Jaws at Amazon

September 2018; 978-1719822855
ebook, print (227 pages); women's fiction
In Part II, The Two Tails, Macy is blamed for a lot of the fighting and difficulties the chickens go through and is removed by Animal Control. That leads the wild animals to be able to prey on the chicken coop, and Petunia makes an unexpected alliance with Macy's friend Winchester, a raccoon. She also has to deal with Felix the dog and Thatcher the Possum in an effort to get Macy back. Chaos has broken out among the hens, and the control that the Orpas had over the other hens are broken with the fox attacks. In addition to the prior issues of power imbalances, bullying, and ostracism, we have a wider world to add to this. It's an interesting look into how animals might think and feel, and how they view humans. There continues to be a lot of upheaval among the hens as Petunia has her adventures, even until the last page. This makes me feel like there is likely going to be a lot more to Petunia's story, because it doesn't feel finished and there are a lot of unanswered questions regarding the fate of the chickens.

I enjoyed these books more than I thought I would, as I was drawn to Petunia and the very human feeling she had, as well as the plight of finding a place to belong in the face of bullying and external dangers. I'm not sure how I feel about all of the characters, though. Winchester and Thatcher's motives are too tangled and opaque, so that I couldn't trust them at all. There aren't any further volumes of the Impeccable Petunia series. Given the amount of time that had passed between the publication of Part I and Part II, I wouldn't be surprised to eventually see a part III published to answer the questions that are left behind at the end of part II.

 Buy The Two Tails at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband and three young children.

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