Yeh it’s Penguin Awareness Day! I confess, I am penguin potty and just adore these comical, clumsy little creatures but how have these photogenic stars managed to bag their own National Day of celebration? Is it their cute waddle? The way they flap their flippers like an excited child? Perhaps we admire their brave, reckless abandonment as they throw themselves off cliffs into the thrashing sea? Do we empathise with their affection for one another? Or are we in awe of their endurance of cold, harsh conditions? There’s no doubt they are fascinating creatures which have captured the hearts of millions of us but beware Protect a Penguin Day could become the harsh reality if we don’t do our bit for global warming – Emperer Penguins are now endangered, warn biologists, The Telegraph.
It’s hard to take penguins for granted in our house, whether it’s on a scarf, disguised as a biscuit tin or peeping out of a picture, there’s usually at least one in view in some form or another! So as I haven’t been able to resist passing on the love to my children and we’ve been enjoying some fantastic picture books about them lately. Each book has been rated out of ten by my nine and six year old boys but it seems they’re all very popular in our household judging by the lack of deviation from a resounding ten all round!
The Night Iceberg – Helen Stephens (author/illustrator); Published: Alison Green Books 2010. Rating: 10/10 – 10/10
Tofta wanted her iceberg to be a place she could call her own … until a penguin appears followed by his entire family & friends so she soon finds out that sharing with others can also bring a lot of pleasure. A story to be read again and again with illustrations to be admired.
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Penguin – Polly Dunbar (author/illustrator); Published: Walker Books 2007. Rating: 10/10 – 10/10
A beautiful book which uses simple but striking illustrations and hints of humour to convey the importance of actions speaking louder than words. It’s not what Penguin says (which is not a lot), it is what he does that says everything!
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Up and Down – Oliver Jeffers (author/illustrator); Published: Harper Collins Children’s Books 2015. Rating: 10/10 – 10/10
From the well known author of Lost and Found, yet another beautiful story of the friendship between the boy and his penguin. Penguin is determined to fly high but how will he do this? Will he fail? Will the boy be there for him if he falls? The classic conundrum of how to allow a loved one to find the confidence to fly the nest whilst trying to keep them safe is written with true Oliver Jeffers’ eloquence.
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Blown Away – Rob Biddulph (author/illustrator); Published: Harper Collins Children’s Books 2015. Rating: 10/10 – 10/10
An effortless rhyming story about Penguin Blue and his adventures with a kite. With gorgeous vivid, contemporary illustrations that invite you to study each page, it’s easy to get pulled along with Penguin Blue on his journey.
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Could a Penguin Ride a Bike? – Camilla Bedoyere (author) & Aleksei Bitskoff (illustrator); Published: QED Publishing 2015. Rating: 10/10 – 10/10
A very fresh approach for a factual book about penguins as the facts have been cleverly weaved into a fun story. Could a penguin go bowling, ride a bike or join a choir? You can find out from this book how a penguin might fair in these and many other situations he could find himself in if he came to stay with you.
CLICK TO BUY Could A Penguin Ride a Bike?
Penguin in Peril – Helen Hancocks (author/illustrator); Published: Templar Publishing 2013. Rating: 10/10 – 10/10
Three hungry cats on the hunt for a penguin to catch them some fish. But the penguin doesn’t want to catch fish, he just wants to get home. The full colour illustrations bring his story to life as the cats chase the penguin around town.
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The Not-so-Perfect Penguin – Steve Smallman (author/illustrator); Published: QED Publishing 2014. Rating: 10/10 – 10/10
Often the things we love about others are their imperfections. Percy is no exception. Percy is always acting the clown while his sensible friends are being very sensible and always raising their eyebrows at him. However when Percy goes missing one day they soon realise that it is his playful ways that they love. A sweet story about true friendship and accepting others.
CLICK TO BUY Storytime: The Not-So-Perfect Penguin
Cuddly Dudley – Jez Alborough (author/illustrator); Published Walker Children’s Books 2007. Rating: 10/10 – 10/10
You can never get enough hugs! Everyone wants to cuddly Dudley but Dudley gets a little tired of the constant attention and just wants to be alone until he realises that sometimes a cuddle is all he needs.
CLICK TO BUY Cuddly Dudley
Dragon Loves Penguin – Debi Giliori (author/illustrator); Published: Bloomsbury Childrens 2014. Rating: 10/10 – 10/10
Knowing that things happen for a reason. What happens when a lonely egg and a egg-less dragon meet? A heart-warming tale of an unexpected friendship. You can feel, see and read the quality of this book.
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As an extra penguin treat I’ll leave you with this wonderful blog from Making Them Readers reviewing the book 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joelle Jolivet.
Source: Own or public library.
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