A package in the mail helps a baby penguin know that his mother loves him even though miles separate them.
Kipling’s Mama has to go on a trip (where and why are never explained), and he misses her, especially at dinner and at bedtime. The next morning, he tries some clever surrogates, “But Pillow Mama wouldn’t read, / Picture Mama wouldn’t laugh… // …and Snow Mama was too cold to cuddle.” (Pillow Mama is a square cushion with glasses that look like Mama’s perched on top.) And though Kipling wishes for Mama on each of his wishing rocks, all he gets is a soggy box—but it’s from Mama! It contains treasures for Kipling as well as a paper heart expressing Mama’s love and a picture of her hugging that heart. Kipling immediately sets out to make Mama her own care package, and before he knows it, she’s back, his package tucked under her wing. Roly-poly Kipling belongs to a family of chinstrap penguins. All the animals are anthropomorphized, from the penguins’ house and Kipling’s red boots to all the species—Arctic terns, pelicans, whales, and seals—that are involved in delivering the packages (some even punch a time clock!). The artwork works with the spare text to keep the focus on how Kipling is feeling; readers are sure to empathize.
This will provide both reassurance to children missing their own loved ones and ideas for staying connected. (Picture book. 3-8)