A little penguin tries to outshine his zoo friends, but there’s a surprise in store for him.
Penguin Orville lives in the zoo and has many big friends, such as an elephant, a giraffe, and a lion. These big friends go on big adventures, and Orville is sad because he misses out. He wants to feel big too, so he decides he is going to go to the moon. With some trial and error, he manages to build a spaceship. He defiantly proclaims, “I can do this myself,” when his friends offer to help him or express doubt. His big adventure is successful, and he lands on the moon—but while he’s thrilled to have made it, soon he starts to miss his friends and wonders if this is what he really wanted to do. With some introspection and the support of his friends, Orville discovers his biggest adventure yet! This empowering story is conveyed beautifully with simple text that’s distinguished by gentle wordplay and remarkable mixed-media illustrations. Yarlett’s detailed depictions, including the cartoon-style portraits of stylized, friendly-looking zoo animals, bring the story alive. Small details delight, as when Orville sketches his diagrams on the elephant’s hide. The satisfying tale also leaves room for an interesting conversation about whether adventures would be more fun with or without friends.
A funny and sharp story with nuance. (Picture book. 3-7)