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PENGUIN by Polly Dunbar


by Polly Dunbar & illustrated by Polly Dunbar

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: July 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3404-9
Publisher: Candlewick

In this fanciful tale, a boy unwraps a gift penguin and tries to make it talk. When his entertaining antics fail, Ben tries prodding, imitating and ignoring Penguin, then shifts to even rasher methods, including strapping the bird to an outer-space–bound rocket. When Ben tries to feed Penguin to a large powder-blue lion, the creature swallows the obstreperous boy instead. Penguin, finally galvanized, bites Lion “very hard on the nose,” freeing Ben. Penguin finally lets loose with the speechifying, which Dunbar charmingly depicts as a giant word bubble with child-like pictograms that summarize the adventure. Visually, Ben’s contortions and Lion’s aplomb hearken back to early Sendak. While it’s at first unclear whether the immutable Penguin is a stuffed toy, a pet or something else entirely, kids will know—by story’s end at the very latest—that this bird’s a friend. An attractively designed, child-appealing package. (Picture book. 4-6)