Petunia by Roger Duvoisin / ISBN 9781590179642 / 56-page hardcover reprint from the New York Review Children's Collection
Donkey-donkey has a problem. Despite his many friends and his good master, he is sad because his ears are so long and ridiculous. If only Donkey-donkey could have short sensible ears like his friend Pat the horse, he would be content. So he seeks the advice of his fellow farm animals who suggest he wear his ears differently, more like theirs: floppy like the dog’s, to the side like the sheep’s, to the front like the pig’s. But each unnatural arrangement leads to increasing insult and injury. Finally a little girl passing by remarks on the beauty of the pretty little donkey’s ears!
At last Donkey-donkey is happy. A classic tale of vanity and folly, and learning to accept oneself—protrudent ears, redundant name, and all.
Roger Duvoisin (1900–1980) was born to a French Swiss family in Geneva. He graduated from the École des Arts et Métiers and the École des Beaux-Arts in Geneva and early in his career worked as a mural and stage-set painter before settling on textile design. In the late 1920s, he immigrated to the United States, where he soon began writing and illustrating children’s books. The author of more than forty of his own books, Duvoisin also collaborated with many writers, including his wife, Louise Fatio Duvoisin, and Alvin Tresselt, with whom he won a Caldecott Award for White Snow, Bright Snow in 1948 and the Caldecott Honor Award for Hide and Seek Fog in 1966. Today he is best known for Petunia, the story of a not-so-silly silly goose.