VIRGIL & OWEN by Paulette Bogan


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 5
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A bow tie–resplendent penguin finds a fluffy polar bear and declares he is going to keep him.

Displaying a fierce possessiveness (not unfamiliar to toddlers), Virgil the penguin tells Owen, “You are my polar bear.…Come with me.” But Owen has too much fun sliding with the seals and splashing with the terns. Virgil repeats his refrain, getting more and more angry: “You are my polar bear! Come with me!” Finally, (also true to toddler form) Virgil stomps away, flops onto the snow and has a tantrum. As a solution, Owen offers the tentative suggestion that they all play together. Deceptively simple, this lesson in friendship may strike some adults as shocking—Virgil never even asks Owen his name. It’s important to remember, though, that children need to learn how to be social, which this book wisely acknowledges. It beautifully captures how some toddlers enter play groups or friendships with force because they don’t know any other way. Perhaps this unlikely duo from opposite polar ends of the ice caps will help struggling toddlers become more self-aware of friendship faux pas.

A story so simple it appears to only skim the surface, but it just might be what territorial toddlers need to hear. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 27th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-6196-3372-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2014


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