A rhyming picture book about the perils and joys of travel.
When Penguin Blue, in the Antarctic, test-flies his new kite on a windy day, it carries him into the air. Penguin-friends Jeff and Flo try to pull him down, but they too are blown along. Seal Wilbur—hanging clothes on his clothesline—and polar bear Clive, fishing (very far from home), also try to help, but soon all are careening through the sky, pulled along by the kite. When they see a tropical island, they let go. The island is filled with friendly jungle animals, including a gorilla, but the travelers are homesick (and hot). Using ingenuity, they get themselves home (with a monkey stowaway), and all is back to normal. Or is it? While the monkey stowaway finds the Antarctic too cold and flies back to the jungle island with another kite—reinforcing home’s emotional connection—the last page shows the gorilla holding Clive’s fishing pole and dressed in clothes from Wilbur’s clothesline. Home is comfortable, but contact with other cultures has its advantages too. This tightly crafted tale shines with the hallmarks of accomplished picture-book making. From the clever (never cutesy) rhyming text through the visual jokes within the whimsical illustrations that amplify the storyline to the expert design of the endpapers—everything works, and it works together.
A master-class of picture-book writing and illustrating. (Picture book. 3-7)