Taking a wrong turn on the way to a picnic results in a grand world tour in this tale of penguins who find themselves at the North Pole.
The British tradition of the “right to roam” takes center stage as the Pilchard-Browns, a family of penguins, drift quite far from their home in the South Pole. Luckily, Mr. White, an enormous, furry, white polar bear, knows they are 12,430 miles north and offers to take them home. Apparently walking most of the way, this band of travelers wanders through the United States, England, Italy, India, and Australia, with the little ones chirping in each local dialect while seeing each country’s major landmarks. The illustrations are captivating, offering a colorful bounty of people, places, and things. The penguin parents and Mr. White are depicted with British reserve and determination as they just keep walking south. The penguin children, however, provide comic relief in their dialogue and their curiosity about new cultures. The story’s ending has a hiccup that may cause a “Wait, what?” reaction, but turning back a few pages allows readers to fully enjoy the clever details and richly saturated colors of the illustrations.
A cheery introduction to a few major cultures across the globe, with both poles as anchors. (Picture book. 3-7)