From School Library Journal
Grade 2-3-In this entry in the beginning chapter-book series, the penguin pals are Winter Olympic hopefuls in the synchronized swimming event. Upon learning that this event is a Summer Olympic sport, Gus and Gertie use the Polaroid pictures they've been taking to detect the thieves who have been stealing athletes' lucky charms, and then use their sliding and swimming skills to apprehend the malefactors after a madcap chase. Language arts teachers will appreciate Nixon's use of alliterative adjectives to describe the multitude of characters in her anthropomorphic cast, from the "gangly goose," "splendid swan," and "raggedy rabbit" to the "downright daffy dingoes." While the characters mimic human life, they retain some natural traits, from the prickly hedgehog official to the tiny information mouse. This story is fun and offers a challenge to sift through many details. DeGroat's bright watercolor illustrations reflect the bustling winter scenes, with animals that convey lots of emotion as they mimic human activity, reinforcing the text with charm and pizzazz. Let Gus and Gertie join the ranks of Pinky and Rex and Cam Jansen as a bridge from easy-readers to chapter books.Laura Scott, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2-4. In this follow-up to Gus & Gertie and the Missing Pearl
(2000), the globe-trotting penguins have arrived at the Animals' Winter Olympics, hoping to compete as synchronized swimmers. They're devastated when they learn that swimming is only a Summer Olympics event, but they quickly forget their disappointment when they are swept into the fast-paced mystery of who stole the athletes' lucky charms. After a high-speed chase over Olympic ski runs, the birds catch the thieves and join the Games, as well. The cutesy, alliterative animal names ("furry fox," "wiggly wallaby") get old quickly, but the story moves along at just the right pace for readers making a transition to longer chapter books, and there's plenty of humor to match the suspense. The expressive, silly animal athletes in DeGroat's color illustrations will help keep new readers engaged in this light but appealing offering that is just in time for the 2002 Olympics. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved