Skip to main content

Petra's Pier Picnic A Children's Story on Hunger

$15.96 - $17.96
(No reviews yet) Write a Review
Bulk Pricing:
Buy in bulk and save
A Children's Story on Hunger
Petra's Pier Picnic
$15.96 - $17.96

Petra’s birthday gifts—a new fish and a new fishing pole—make her aware of hunger in the world and prompts her need to respond. With fabulous drawings by African-American artist Oscar Joyo, this new children’s book is sure to become a favorite.




Product Preview

Format: Hardcover book
Product code: AP1179
Dimensions: 11" x 8½"
Length: 32 pages
ACTA Publications
ISBN: 9780879466701
1-2 copies $17.96 each
3-5 copies $16.96 each
6+ copies $15.96 each
Written by Phyllis Vos Weezeman
Illustrated by Oscar Joyo


Children have perfect vision when it comes to detecting unfairness or injustice in the world. By contrast, adults, like Saul on the road to Damascus, sometimes need to be struck by lightning before the scales fall from their eyes. Fortunately for us, author Phyllis Vos Wezeman and illustrator Oscar Joyo don't have to resort to nature's pyrotechnics to help them see the world through children's eyes. In Petra's Pier Picnic, their beautiful writing and illustrations allow children and adults alike to learn together to do the right thing.
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President, University of Notre Dame
A wonderful book that was beautifully written. Petra learns about world hunger while fishing with her father. A great story for young and old. Phyllis is a master writer. The illustrations by Oscar adds the perfect touch to the book, artistically beautiful.
Jude Fournier, Religious Educator
In their new book, writer Phyllis Vos Wezeman and illustrator Oscar Joyo bring their concern for social justice to children’s books. Child readers are confronted, as is the story’s heroine, with the terrible problem of haves and have-nots, first in the case of Petra’s pet fish, then in the world of people. How do you begin to talk about what must be a horrible puzzle to children, that is, that in our world some eat while others don’t? Phyllis Vos Wezeman and Oscar Joyo go a long way toward bringing this difficult topic to everyone’s table.
Chris Raschka, Artist/Author
In this story, a little girl, Petra, puts her empathy toward others into action, as she shares what she has with some hungry people she has just met. Because the story is very positive in tone, children (and adults!) will feel inspired to follow Petra's example; the list of suggestions for doing so at the back of the book is helpful. The illustrations are beautiful! Colorful and lovingly painted, they draw in the reader and emphasize the message. Highly recommended.
Margo Shearman-Howard, Editor and Educator
Petra's Pier Picnic is a delightfully written and illustrated story from peerless (see what I did there?) educator Phyllis Vos Wezeman and gifted illustrator Oscar Joyo. Whether you are an educator, a parent, a pastor or just a person who loves good books, Petra's Pier Picnic is a story about a wonderful little girl who delights in putting her fishing pole to good use on her ninth birthday. Feeding the masses is a familiar story to students of the gospels; Petra's Pier Picnic would be a great children's sermon or Sunday School lesson, a terrific gift for any parent or grandparent to give to children to spark conversations about gratitude, compassion and mercy, or for inveterate collectors of children's books, because this one is just plain great. Colorful, winsome illustrations and great text make for a winner of a book.
Jennifer Burns Lewis, Pastor
The well-written text and colorful illustrations bring this story to life. Readers and listeners alike can feel Petra's empathy grow. This a great read for home, school, or church. Petra is a shining example of empowerment and how a child can make a big difference in someone else's life.
Mary Ellen Middleton, Children's Librarian
How does one begin to talk about hunger in a world of plenty? Everything around in the western world is either huge or not lacking. It’s even more complicated to discuss with children about hunger. And yet, in her new children’s book, Petra’s Pier Picnic, writer Phyllis Vos Wezeman and illustrator Oscar Joyo tackle the subject of hunger in such a way that highlights the plight of the hungry and what is of challenge to those that are privileged at the confluence of social interaction. Petra’s Pier Picnic is an illustration of Petra and her family celebrating her birthday. Through warmth and provisions of her family she (Petra) receives a gift of a pet fish and a fishing pole. Petra and her Dad go on a fishing expedition where they meet a hungry family. She ponders how to provide for the hungry family her biggest catch. The gesture strikes at the heart of the reader both young and old. The book brings to the table the subject matter that often goes unchallenged. All of us have a heart of passion. In the presence of the needy we are challenged to act. That is all that matters.
Japheth Mwalija
Great book - great author and wonderful illustrator. Whether you're a teacher looking for hunger and compassion tie-ins, a pastor wanting a great children's sermon (which reaches adults, too), or parent or grandparent - this helps teach the reader and the listener(s) about hunger, caring for others, everybody can make a difference, and leads to discussions and action. Not just for kids!
Jennifer Pitcher, Educator


As a religious educator, PHYLLIS VOS WEZEMAN has served as Director of Christian Nurture at a downtown congregation in South Bend, Indiana; Executive Director of the Parish Resource Center of Michiana; and Program Coordinator for ecumenical as well as interfaith organizations in Indiana and Michigan.

In academics, Phyllis has been Adjunct Faculty in the Education Department at Indiana University South Bend and in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. She is an "Honorary Professor" of the Saint Petersburg (Russia) State University of Pedagogical Art where she has taught methods courses for extended periods on several occasions. She has also been guest lecturer at the Shanghai Teachers College in China.

As founder of the not-for-profit Malawi Matters, Inc., she develops and directs HIV & AIDS Education programs with thousands of volunteers in 200 villages and more than 1,500 schools in Malawi, Africa including “Creative Methods of HIV & AIDS Education,” “Culture & HIV-AIDS,” and “Equipping Women/ Empowering Girls.”

Author or co-author of over 2,000 articles and books, she has written for over 80 publishers.

Phyllis served as President of Active Learning Associates, Inc.; a consultant or board member to numerous local and national organizations such as the American Bible Society, Church World Service, LOGOS, and the Peace Child Foundation; leader of a six- week youth exchange program to Russia and Ukraine; and Project Director for four Lilley Worship Renewal grants. She is the recipient of three “Distinguished Alumni Awards," the Aggiornamento Award from the Catholic Library Association, and the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE).

Wezeman holds undergraduate degrees in Business, Communications, and General Studies from various institutions and an MS in Education from Indiana University South Bend.

Phyllis and her husband Ken (who met when they were in second and third grade in elementary school) have three children and their spouses, Stephanie (Jeff), David, and Paul (Deha); five grandchildren, Quin, Ayle, Lief, Ashley, and Jacob; and two great-grandsons, Maddox and Troy.

View all resources by Phyllis Vos Wezeman