Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE OLD MAN AND THE PENGUIN Plus Double Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. I’m so encouraged by the fact that beautiful books continue to appear on the shelves. Yes, I know that the publishing industry has been hard hit by Covid, as have so many other fields. With almost everyone working from home, everything seems to be taking longer. But hurray for authors who keep writing wonderful stories and illustrators who keep drawing glorious images and editors who keep acquiring exciting manuscripts and publishing who keep publishing great books…like this one by one of my dear critique buddies, Julie Abery. And guess what? Julie is offering a double giveaway…one winner overseas…and one winner in the USA. And Julie will be stopping by tomorrow to chat with us about her writing journey.


Written by Julie Abery

Illustrated by Pierre Pratt

Published by Kids Can Press (2020)


Themes: Friendship, compassion, ecology

Synopsis: From Amazon:

Told in rhyming verse, this is the touching true story of an oil-soaked penguin, the man who rescues him and an unlikely friendship.

João hears a sorry screech as he walks along the shore near his home. It’s from a penguin, whose feathers are soaked in oil.

Barely moving on the sand,
too tired to swim, too weak to stand …
João must save this little guy.
Without his help, he’ll surely die.

João takes the penguin home. He cleans him, feeds him and nurses him slowly back to health — and the pair develop a special bond. When the penguin is fully recovered, João knows it’s time to return him to the wild where he belongs. But the penguin has other ideas

Told in rhyming verse, this heartwarming picture book tells the true story of João Pereira de Souza of Brazil, who cared for a Magellanic penguin that had been caught in an oil spill. When João tried to release him back to the wild, the penguin returned to João’s home and stayed for months. The penguin, named Dindim by João, did eventually leave, but he now returns to visit his friend for five months of every year. A charming read-aloud showcasing a tender relationship between an animal and human, this book also promotes environmental awareness and stewardship, and explains how human activities often threaten wildlife. Author Julie Abery includes information about João and the penguin, how wildlife is affected by oil spills every year, and what to do if you find wildlife in distress. The lively art by award-winning Pierre Pratt brings a touching sweetness and emotional depth to the story. There are character education lessons here on empathy, kindness and caring.

Why I love this book:

  1. I love the message of kindness, caring, compassion…so important always…but especially now.
  2. I love the additional back matter about caring for wildlife – what a great resource for parents and teachers.
  3. I love the lively illustrations that perfectly capture Joao’s emotions…his sadness when he must say goodbye to his friend…and his joy when Dindim returns.
  4. And I love the rhyming format…author Abery makes magic happen with her low word count and spot on rhyme.


Photo courtesy:

WOW…look at these amazing penguin craft projects! Websites like The Best Ideas for Kids are great go-to places these days when parents and teachers are looking for things to do with the kiddos. For detailed instructions on any of these:

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the double giveaway…and please come back tomorrow when Julie stops by to chat. Sharing the post on social media and/or following Julie on Twitter @Juliedawnabery will get you extra tickets in the giveaway hat.

And for more wonderful picture book reviews and activities, please hop over to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday linky list.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Stay safe and be well!

56 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE OLD MAN AND THE PENGUIN Plus Double Giveaway

  1. What a great story! It looks perfect to bring up discussions about the environment with young kids (I know the kids in my class are always fascinated by penguins).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Books containing penguins are always popular for my readers. Add the wonderful rhyming text and I know this book will be a hit. I can’t wait to read it and then share it with my students.


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