A penguin and a fish hitch a ride with Antarctic researchers and travel north for Coney Island’s famous opening day parade in this picture book.
Noodles, a penguin, and his friend Albie, an orange fish, have enjoyed two previous adventures. As this story begins, they overhear two Antarctic penguin scientists, Jon and Ken, looking forward to their journey home to Brooklyn, where they’ll be back in time for Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade and aquatic costume contest. It sounds like so much fun that Albie and Noodles ask to come along, and because Capt. Sonja and their parents agree, off they go—the fish in his own tank. They learn about other kinds of penguins and, in the Falklands, they’re joined by two of them: Henry, a king penguin, and feisty Rocko, a rockhopper. During a storm, the penguins don headlamps to help guide an oil tanker away from rocks, preventing an environmental disaster. On Coney Island, everyone enjoys the parade, especially when the two animals win Best Costume. Bennett (Noodles’ and Albie’s Birthday Surprise, 2016, etc.) delights and instructs with this third amusing escapade. The penguin species’ personalities come through; the oil tanker rescue is satisfying; and a final Q&A page provides more background. (A quibble: Experts don’t recommend sweaters for penguins harmed in oil spills.) Debut illustrator Monte provides appealing, softly shaded images that depict expressive animals and a diverse human crew.
Heroism, humor, and penguin facts mix nicely in this pleasing Antarctic-to-Brooklyn tale.