Penguin – A Picture Book Review About Communication

Today is Friday – I have a children’s book review to add to the Perfect Picture Book resource list that author Susanna Leonard Hill is building on her blog. For more wonderful reviews from authors, educators and others who contributed today, please go here.

Thanksgiving is next week…it is a time for being thankful for those we love…but sometimes, because of a lack of communication, there can be misunderstanding and unhappiness.

My picture book choice echoes that theme.

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PENGUIN

Written and illustrated by Polly Dunbar

Publisher: Candlewick Press (2007)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Communication, friendship

Opening Lines:

“Ben ripped open his present. Inside was a penguin. “Hello Penguin!” said Ben.”

Synopsis:

From Booklist: “Ben is disappointed that the penguin he receives as a present is mute. He tries everything from tickling it to entertaining it with a song and a dizzy dance, but Penguin doesn’t speak. Ben fires Penguin into outer space, but he returns as silent as ever. Then he tries to feed Penguin to a passing lion, but the lion goes after Ben instead. Penguin saves the day and then recounts all of the preceding episodes in his own, pictorial language. The closing scene, in which Penguin responds to Ben’s hug by uttering a heart-shaped message, warmly conveys that the adversaries have finally found common ground. Dunbar complements her short, straightforward text with equally spare illustrations, judiciously brightened with color, in which Ben, Penguin, and Lion (and little else) appear on completely white pages. This brief, brisk story will hold the attention of impatient children, while its messages about easing standoffs through communication and mutual respect bears repeated reading.”

Why  I like this book:

  • Great read-aloud for younger children…older kids will enjoy reading it themselves
  • Wonderful message about the importance of communication
  • Fabulous illustrations
  • Full of humor

How a parent can use this book:

  • Great read-aloud
  • Fun easy reader
  • Opportunity for discussion about the importance of communicating how we are feeling and what we want and need.

I love Polly Dunbar’s books! One of her other books, Flyaway Katie, and a related craft project and cooking activity appear in my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. What an amazing holiday gift that would make for any parent or teacher of young children! It’s chockful of quick and easy craft and cooking and reading activities and it’s available on Amazon. I want to share the SPECIAL SALE that started today – it’s a Pre-Black Friday EXTRAVAGANZA!

stackofbooks

YOU CAN BUY A BRAND-NEW COPY OF MY BOOK FOR ONLY $10!

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? OTHER SELLERS ARE OFFERING USED COPIES FOR OVER $100.

THIS IS A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY – AT THE PERFECT TIME!

GRAB YOUR HOLIDAY GIFT LIST AND CHECK OFF ALL THE PARENTS, TEACHERS, BABYSITTERS, DAY CARE PROVIDERS AND GRANDPARENTS OF CHILDREN AGES 2-8. ORDER NOW AND YOU’LL RECEIVE THE BOOKS IN PLENTY OF TIME FOR CHRISTMAS! HELP START THE NEW YEAR RIGHT WITH QUICK AND EASY FUN-FILLED SELF-ESTEEM BUILDING ACTIVITIES THAT THE WHOLE FAMILY WILL ENJOY!

First 10 orders receive a handmade fabric bookmark. Next 25 receive a glossy cardstock bookmark. Please order before December 15 to lock in the price and guarantee delivery before Christmas.

Related Activities:

MAKE A PAPER PLATE PENGUIN

ptashapenguin

Photo courtesy: http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/image/ptashapenguin.jpg

You will need: 1 small white paper plate, 1 piece of black construction paper, 1 small piece of orange construction paper and a bit of white, scissors, glue.

  1. Glue the paper plate on the piece of black construction paper.
  2. Cut around the black, leaving an inch or two of black extending from the plate.
  3. Use the excess black to cut a circle for the penguin’s head and eyes.
  4. Cut feet and beak from orange and glue in place.
  5. Cut 2 small circles from white for the eyes. Glue the smaller black circles on the white circles and the white circles onto the head.
  6. Glue the head to the penguin’s body.

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2018), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, cooking, playing Monopoly with my 8-year old grandson and fly-fishing with my husband.

Posted on November 22, 2013, in Black Friday, Communication, Perfect Picture Book Friday, Picture Book Review, Thanksgiving and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. Catherine Johnson

    Cute story, Vivian and fabulous offer of your book too.

    Like

    • Glad you liked the story, Catherine! It was a really fun read.:)
      And I hope people will talk up the sale price of Show Me How by tweets and FB…we are offering it for an unbelievable price right now…used copies are listed at $40 to over $100 a copy!

      Like

  2. I’m not sure, but from your review it looks like Penguin doesn’t actually speak with words but sends a heart shaped message to the boy. I think it’s important for children to understand that not everyone they meet can (due to choice or are ability) speak with words. The heart at the end, is lovely!

    Like

    • Great observation, Juliana…I should have made that clear.:) Yes, Penguin does not ‘speak’…you are so right that we need to help children be understanding and accepting of those who are different.
      Have a beautiful Thanksgiving.:)

      Like

  3. Your book is a terrific gift idea for parents, teachers, grandparents, and aunts/uncles!

    Like

    • Nancy…you are such a great champion of Show Me How! I hope that everyone will take a little time to share this info on FB, Twitter and other social media channels…we need to get a BUZZ going. At $10 a copy, it is a steal…there is not much of value that you can get for $10 these days.:)
      By the way, loved your post today…so funny about the flour/flower. 🙂

      Like

  4. I love that cover!! And I can relate to the story for sure. I often have trouble understanding humans and communicating to them what I want or need. There are sooo many ways to communicate! I’ll have to look for this book. It sounds pretty special!

    Like

    • Communication is key in relationships…you are so right, Rhythm! And one doesn’t need to ‘talk’ in order to let people know how you feel.:)
      I hope there is a yummy bone for you for Thanksgiving!

      Like

  5. I love Ben’s quirky solutions to his problem. This book is definitely worth looking for, especially during PiBoIdMo. Thank-you.

    Like

    • Thanks for stopping by, Joanne! I’ve seen your name in the comment stream (over 200 comments every day…unreal) at PiBoIdMo…I’m loving the posts – I take away a golden nugget from each one. 🙂
      I’m glad you loved the book…it has a great message delivered with simple text and bold illustrations.

      Like

  6. What a cute story, Vivian! It’s sure to please little ones. And your own book is a great resource!

    Like

    • Glad you liked it, Jarm! My grandson asked for it to be reread…that is always a good sign.:)
      Thanks for the kind words about my book…I’m hoping to create some BUZZ about it with the very low price…if you can spread the word via Twiiter or FB or other social media, I would so appreciate that.:)

      Like

  7. Sounds like a great story, I’ll have to check that out at the library. It reminds me of the Oliver Jeffers’ books with the little guy and the penguin (Lost And Found, and the sequel I forgot right now). Penguins make for cool characters in picture books.

    Like

  8. Great review! This sounds like an amazing book!

    Like

    • Thanks, Erik! It’s a fun story…and a great message.:)
      Are you excited about Ms. Hill’s Holiday Writing Contest? I’m excited to see all of the entries!
      Please wish your family a Happy Thanksgiving from me.:)

      Like

  9. We love a good penguin book and craft. (We found one to review in a few weeks).

    Like

  10. What a cute book. It reminds me a bit of the Velveteen Rabbit, for some reason.

    Great offer on your book! It’s on Amazon or through you?

    Like

    • Yes, I can see what you mean about the Velveteen Rabbit, Pat. This one has a great message about communication and accepting differences.

      Thanks for asking, Pat. Show Me How is on Amazon…I have them also…but if you order from me, you have to send me a check…whereas with Amazon, people can pay through paypal with a credit card. But anyone is welcome to order directly from me.:) If two books are ordered directly from me and are going to the same address, I’ll only charge $5 shipping for both copies and send it Priority. So for $25, you get two copies and that includes shipping…pretty good deal considering other sellers are offering used copies for more than $100 plus shipping. Pat, I’d appreciate any BUZZ you can help create by shouting out about this to your social media network. 🙂

      Like

  11. I do love this story. Sweet craft activity. Good luck with the special sale!

    Like

    • Glad you like the PPBF choice, Joanna…and kids AND parents love using paper plates to do craft projects…so easy AND inexpensive.:)

      Thanks for the good wishes for the Show Me How sale…if you can pass along the info, I’d really appreciate it. The sale is only as good as the buzz that is created…the more tweets and FB posts about it, the more people will get excited. It’s too helpful a book for parents and teachers to stay in the box…I want to get it into the hands of those who can benefit from using it.:) At this price, libraries and preschools need to grab copies.:)

      Like

  12. Vivian,
    Your blog–and your talents, your caring about family, your wonderful recipes and your life–remind me so much of all my mother devoted her life to before the dementia took over. You are a positive, bright light and make such a difference.
    Please accept my nomination for you to have THE WORDPRESS FAMILY AWARD.

    Like

    • Marylin,
      Blogging is all about connections…connections are all about finding incredible people…and you and your mom are two of the most incredible people I have ever ‘met’.

      I am honored to receive this nomination for the WordPress Family Award from you. I’ll be doing a post on Monday about it…I’ll send you the link when it goes live.:)

      Have a beautiful Thanksgiving!

      Like

  13. I love this cover! And every Polly Dunbar book I’ve read!

    Like

  14. Vivian, I come to you via Marylin’s blog “Things I want to Tell My Mother”. Congratulations on receiving The WordPress Family Award from Marylin and Mary. You have a wonderful blog and I look forward to your future posts. I am a strong believer in children’s literature and reading to children and encouraging them to read. I noticed that you support JDRF as well. Another connection we share. I look forward to your posts! Blessings, Robyn

    Like

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Robyn! I’m touched by your comment and went to see your wonderful blog…what exquisite photography!!! I look forward with delight to receiving your posts as well.:)

      Like

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