Penguin in Peril
Written and Illustrated by: Helen Hancocks
Templar/Candlewick Books, 2013
Suitable For Ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: scheming cats, wily penguin, crazy caper
Opening: “One afternoon, three hungry cats ran out of food. They searched the house high and low and found three gold coins. They set off for the grocery store.”
Brief Synopsis: Well, those foolish cats don’t get to the store – they spend their coins on movie tickets. Still hungry but now inspired, they hatch a plot to kidnap a penguin from the zoo to serve as their fishy meal catcher. The penguin balks and manages to escape, leading to a hilarious cross-city chase.
How does a penguin hide in the city? By ducking past nuns, men in black bowler hats, and bow-tied waiters of course. Each new scene made us howl with laughter as we searched for the cats, hats and habits. But will the penguin make it safely back to the zoo?
Links To Resources:
Make an origami penguin
Try this fun penguin balloon craft
Stage a penguin puppet show after creating paper bag penguin puppets
Ranger Rick from the National Wildlife Federation has a good article on Adelie penguins
Why I Like This Book:
It’s an multi-award nominee!
In December 2013 Penguin in Peril was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal, Peters Books & Furniture Book of the Year, the Oxfordshire Book Awards and the Waterstone’s Children’s Book prize.
Its just plain fun!
There is no moral or message to be discerned, beyond perhaps “Crime does not pay.” This is a perfect silly book to share with a TV-cartoon obsessed reluctant reader and show them just how fun books can truly be. Plus they will learn some great new vocabulary words. Gruel anyone?
April 25 is World Penguin Day!
With this much of a headstart, we can plan a penguin-tacular celebration!
For a complete list of great books with resources, please visit Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.