Petra: an endearing tale of optimism

Take responsibility of your own happiness, never put it in other people’s hands.
— Roy T. Bennett

My kids have a thing for rocks. Our house is full of ‘cool rocks’ that have been picked up nearly every time we go outside. They use them as a phone, a pet, a magic crystal and everything in between. I’m still trying to work out what exactly it is that makes some rocks ‘cool’ and others just a rock. I think in the end it comes down to perception – the potential the kids see in each rock, and there’s an important life lesson in that.

It’s a lesson that is taught in a gentle way in Petra by Marianna Coppo.

Petra may be a rock, but she’s not ‘just’ a rock.

 ‘Nothing can move me.


Not the wind. Not time.

I don’t go anywhere.

Everyone else comes to me.


I’m a fearsome, fearless,

mighty, magnificent mountain.’

One day Petra is picked up by a dog and then dismissed as a simple ‘pebble’. Shocked by this news Petra tries to make the best of it with an infectious positive attitude - maybe she’s not a mountain, maybe she’s an egg, or an island. But in the end it doesn’t really matter because:

‘Whatever I become, I’m bound to be amazing!’

It’s a simple and fun tale full of many life lessons and can lead into discussion around thing like:

-       How we view ourselves matters

-       How we perceive and treat others can have an impact on them

-       Our attitude can help us make the best of a situation

-       Sometimes we just need to keep trying

-       We all have potential – limited only by what we accept

Full of beautiful and expressive artwork that adds character and charisma to a rock, Petra is a beautiful story that would make a wonderful gift.

Petra: Written and Illustrated by Marianna Coppo – Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2018
ages 2 to 8 years

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