It’s a penguin family reunion in Antarctica for Crystal’s birthday.
Little blue penguin Periwinkle, who lives in Australia, gets an invite to her cousin’s birthday. Periwinkle is worried that she is the only blue penguin and the smallest (by species, they are the smallest), but Mama counsels that it’s the insides that matter. Next she and her platypus buddy learn from wise koala Mr. Wendell where Antarctica is (and that there are no polar bears there). Perwinkle’s set to go. Albert Albatross straps on a passenger platform and flies Periwinkle and New Zealand cousin Rocky Rockhopper to South Africa to pick up Cappy. Albert can’t carry all of them, so they catch rides on humpback whales heading to meet the rest of the family in the snow. After much penguin frolicking on the ice and in the water, Periwinkle loses the gift that she brought but finds the inner strength to give Crystal a special, personal gift. Petersen-Fleming’s slim story functions as a vehicle for facts and a moral of individual specialness. Spafford’s signature illustrations from her line of cards, books, and (soon) television show can be a bit twee with all those very joyous penguins. But for those young naturalists who are interested in penguins as more than funny, flightless fowl, Periwinkle’s tale with penguin facts and maps on the endpapers is a good start.
Worth a look for penguin fans. (Picture book. 3-7)