Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Alex Latimer & illustrated by Alex Latimer

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-56145-629-1
Publisher: Peachtree

Everybody has some kind of talent.

The big talent show is just days away, and the animals are busy practicing. Bear juggles, Rabbit pulls himself out of a hat, and Fox burps like crazy. Penguin, though, just sits at home, thinking. He doesn't know what his talent is, and he doubts that he has one. Instead of performing, he decides to help organize the event, so he can be involved. The show goes off like gangbusters, with the king of Norway delivering an inspiring opening address. Bear takes home the trophy, several medals are awarded, and a great time is had by all. But the talentless Penguin avoids the after-party, trudging home in the snow. His friends worry about him, so they work late into the night to put together an appreciation party. Truth to tell, it's not much of a celebration, with tacky decorations, misspelled signs and bland food. When Rabbit declares that this party would be so much better if Penguin had organized it, Penguin has a revelation...his talent is party planning! Latimer's offbeat illustrations—stylized pencil drawings, digitized and then finished with color and texture—are delightfully droll. And he tucks many deadpan jokes into the story (the king's pie chart indicates the proportional ingredients of a pie, for instance).

Quirky, with a side of self-esteem. (Picture book. 4-7)