Cheerful little Penguin continues to expand his world with a story about celebrating Christmas with friends and family.
On Christmas Eve, Penguin, little brother Pumpkin, friend Bootsy, and Grandpa pack up ornaments, Christmas lights, and presents and set out in search of a Christmas tree. They decorate Penguin’s first pal, Pinecone, as their tree, but during the night a blizzard blows everything away. Penguin improvises presents from sticks, and the group has a fine Christmas day. By nighttime, they realize the decorations and presents are stuck in nearby trees in the forest, and other animals arrive for a larger celebration with multiple Christmas trees. Yoon’s distinctive illustrations use simple shapes, bold colors, and thick, black outlines to delineate the characters against snowy backgrounds. Each penguin has a distinguishing characteristic (hat, scarf, or hair bow) to help children keep the characters straight. The spread with many trees sharing the decorations is a little hard to decode at first, as it is illustrated from an overhead perspective, and it’s hard to tell that the green circles with white streaks are evergreen trees with snow on the branches. But understanding different perspectives is part of visual literacy, and the final spread shows the trees from a more conventional side view.
Grandpa’s touching words about the meaning of Christmas and Penguin’s sweet presents of sticks add depth to this unassuming but satisfying story. (Picture book. 3-7)