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A MOUNTAIN OF FRIENDS by Kerstin Schoene Kirkus Star

A MOUNTAIN OF FRIENDS

by , illustrated by

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: March 30th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-55455-313-6
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside

A charming picture book about the lengths friends will go to for one another.

The little penguin protagonist is sad, as while he is a bird, he cannot fly. Thus his wish to “soar above the clouds” is destined to fail, try as he might. But while penguin may not possess the ability to fly, he does have a caring and determined group of animal friends who work to make his dreams a reality. Turning their delightfully expressive gazes outward at readers, penguin’s friends ask them for help (“Yes, you!” exhorts the sign held in elephant’s trunk). A page turn instructs readers to turn the book clockwise and “see what happens,” resulting in a 90-degree change of orientation that has pages turning up-to-down instead of left-to-right. Readers are then made privy to the ways little penguin’s friends endeavor to help him achieve his goal. First, the animals take penguin to a hill...but the clouds are still far away. They then pile stones for penguin to stand on, and when that doesn’t work, they stack themselves in a teetering tower that occupies four vertical double-page spreads, till, finally, the “clouds are not too high.” Although some of the animals in the pileup are previously unintroduced in the story, they appear in the portrait gallery on the rear endpapers.

This darling story that celebrates love, friendship and perseverance is a thoroughgoing delight. (Picture book. 3-5)