From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2–Once there was a boy who found a penguin at his door. From this opening line to the very end, this gentle story of friendship will capture young readers' imaginations. The child assumes that the penguin is lost, which is logical since the lumpy black-and-white bird does look awfully forlorn. Determined to help the creature find its way home, he discovers that penguins come from the South Pole, and the two board a rowboat. During their long sea voyage, the youngster passes the time by telling his companion many stories. However, when they finally reach their destination, he realizes that the penguin was not lost, but just lonely and looking for a friend. The soft watercolor paintings feature simple shapes and a palette that ranges from pale to bold. The boy has a square body, stick legs, and a round head with tiny dot eyes and an expressive mouth. For much of the tale, the characters are placed on crisp white backdrops, while colorful ocean scenes depict their journey. The text's subtle humor and the appealing visuals make this title a wonderful read-aloud.–Genevieve Gallagher, Murray Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA
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PreS-K. On his doorstep, a little boy finds a penguin looking sad and lost, and he tries to help the wordless bird. When the boy discovers that penguins come from the South Pole, he takes his new friend there by rowboat, telling him stories along the way. He helps the penguin ashore and casts off. The penguin sadly watches him float away. Realizing his mistake, the boy returns for the penguin, misses him, finds him, hugs him, and takes him back in his rowboat. A sense of restraint underlies the illustrations, from the spare use of color to the isolation of the individual characters on the page. With clean lines and varied compositions, the watercolor paintings tell the story with a minimum of fuss but no lack of feeling. But unlike characters in the soppier sort of picture books on friendship, the boy and the penguin don't gush; they just quietly enjoy being together. With a succinct narrative text and a series of expressive illustrations, this is a fine choice for reading aloud. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved