From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4–This hilarious, oversize picture book integrates challenging math concepts and environmental concerns into a clever narrative. On New Year's Day, a family receives an anonymous package containing a penguin. The young narrator chases the bird around the house as it runs amok and knocks over lamps and furniture. His sister, Amy, finds a note, I'm number 1. Feed me when I'm hungry. Just as the message implies, there are more to come; by the end of the year, 365 in all. Penguins, penguins everywhere./Black and white and in my hair, sighs Amy. As they arrive, readers must recall the number of days in each month–by the end of February, they are calculating the number of penguins in all. Then Father decides to organize them, first into four groups of 15, later in boxes by the dozen, and, finally, into a cubic formation. By summer, the heat, noise, and smell are unbearable. On New Year's Eve, ecologist Uncle Victor arrives and the mystery is solved. The engaging story is illustrated in a flat retro design with a palette dominated by orange, blue, gray, and black and white. The comical birds watch TV, dance with their teenage sister, and eat everything in sight. The text provides endless opportunities for word problems, and units on penguins and global warming will never be the same.–Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools
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In this oversize picture book from France, family members deal with penguins that arrive at their home--one a day, for a full year. The high jinks begin on New Year's Day. As the penguin population increases, Dad, Mom, and the kids use multiplication and a few other schemes to organize, feed, and care for the increasing number of birds, but the scheme they hatch only meets with temporary success. At the end of the year, Uncle Victor, an ecologist, arrives; explains why he has sent the birds; and takes all but one of them, Chilly, away. The premise is goofy, but the math is fun, and the generous trim size, eleven by fourteen and one-half inches, allows plenty of room to show the growing penguin population. The illustrations, in orange, blue, and black, give a retro, almost surreal look to the art, which perfectly fits the story. This is a lively romp from the beginning to the end--when the first polar bear arrives. But that's another story. Randall EnosCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved