A parade of penguin species, overlaid by a veneer-thin storyline.
Starting with one Galapagos penguin and going on up to 10 Emperors, a succession of avian arrivals fills up the house of penguin-lover Penelope Parker—a “stout” redhead who wears only black and white in Rogers’ smooth-surfaced, increasingly crowded illustrations and, just like her surprise guests, “waddle[s] when she walk[s].” Depicted with reasonable attention to details of beak, crest and other physical features, the feathered interlopers snooze atop the piano, pose in front of the television or paddle about the pond in the yard until Penelope at last trucks them away to the zoo, then goes off to buy a dog. Several pages of penguin information (including a cogent note in the fine print that, no, “it isn’t possible… to have penguins as pets”) and discussion questions follow this predictable episode, supplemented by further resources available on the publisher’s web site. A digital version with added features is also available.
A lightweight, undistinguished addition to the flock of similar penguin profiles. Some newly fledged readers may waddle its way. (Informational picture book. 6-8)