A wee, willful penguin learns a valuable lesson on false assumptions—and friendship.
Penguins Percy and Posy warn their pal Plip to finish his fish snack so that Wal-the-Wump won’t snap it up. Plip pooh-poohs this notion, dismissing Wal-the-Wump as just a grumpy old walrus. The trio takes a refreshing swim, with Plip careful to keep his favorite toy, a cloth caterpillar that he calls Sockybug, from getting wet. After the swim, they play Wal-the-Wump games, pretending to be the big creature, until it’s time for a nap—but where’s Sockybug? All the penguins search high and low for the little toy, but there’s not a sign of Sockybug. Snow clouds gather, and the sky grows dark. It’s time to go home, but Plip won’t: “He’s my friend.” Suddenly remembering where he left Sockybug, Plip slides down a snowy hill, with Percy and Posy in hot pursuit. They run smack into Wal-the-Wump, so enormous that he takes up two pages of the book, turned sideways! Wal flashes his giant teeth and lets out a hearty “Ho, ho, ho!” Before long, all three penguins are romping with their huge new friend, and Plip makes each his own Sockybug. The story takes quite a long time to get to where it’s going, with little action to keep readers engaged. The illustrations are genial, if generic.
Well-meaning and cute but ultimately slight. (Picture book. 3-5)