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by Heather Dyer & illustrated by Mireille Levert

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-55074-947-1
Publisher: Kids Can

A penguin stages a breakout from the zoo, aided and abetted by young Tina, in this toast to good intentions, no matter they go astray. On a school visit to the zoo, Tina finds herself being followed by a penguin—“schlep, schlep”—who wordlessly conveys to her his intent to escape. Tina decides to help, handing over her jacket and pink beret as a disguise. They make it back to Tina’s house, where they dodge her inquisitive mother—“When did you get that penguin?” her mother asks. “What penguin?” Tina replies, before fobbing the creature off as a stuffed animal—but they soon start running into difficulties. If the penguin gets too hot, it molts like crazy; when it takes a bath with Tina, she must endure cold water and ice cubes; one afternoon she returns home to find the penguin in the refrigerator, happy if obvious. Late one night, the penguin takes his silent leave through the open window. His destination is unknown, but Tina soon spots a familiar looking animal on a nature show, about penguins in Antarctica, and one of them is wearing a pink beret. The Animal Liberation Front will particularly enjoy this title; so, too, will anyone with a fondness for animals and an appreciation for being footloose. The art is as droll as the story, stiff-limbed characters register surprise with little round mouths and eyes. Funny bits demonstrate the text; don’t miss the penguin in the refrigerator or the room full of penguin feathers. (Picture book. 5-8)