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by C. Nash, illustrated by Luana Rinaldo

Age Range: 1 - 3

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-87121-4
Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Poor design and bland text sinks this bird dead in the water.

This little penguin enjoys exploring with friends. Donning an adorable knitted pink hat (and nothing else), this snuggly tyke enjoys some independence before her parents prepare her for bed. The voice is relentlessly saccharine. “Penguin loves to play!” Uninspired sentences wade along, punctuated by forced cheer (“Wheeee!”; “Cowabunga!”). Rounded, smiling characters embody sheer cuddliness, but there's no depth in this slight romp across the ice. Layout choices are constrained by the book's small, penguin-shaped trim. Though the text reads horizontally, loosely shaped foam pages present a vertical outline of the webbed-foot youngster. There's a hole for small fingers to grasp in the top corner. Thick foam backings work well with the miniature format and allow the spreads to “clack” together. Unfortunately, the binding prevents most scenes from opening fully.

This tiresome novelty sinks instead of swims. (Board book. 1-3)