From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—Joe and his endearing pet, introduced in My Penguin Osbert
(Candlewick, 2004), take a trip to the South Pole to attend a party to celebrate a display of the southern lights. Joe packs Osbert and his 20+ friends into the helicopter he received from Santa ("I had a little trouble getting everybody into their seat belts, but we managed to take off before noon"). The story bogs down with too many disparate elements, including a couple of superfluous landings and Joe and the penguins twice standing in line to use a restroom, rather than focusing on Osbert falling in love with Aurora Australis. There are some touches of humor: a comment that Joe is not sure that the penguins he returns with were the same ones he brought, but the first book had more humor and child appeal. The colorful and softly muted illustrations created using watercolor, pastel, and digital art depict a fluidly expressive Joe and the personable penguins sneaking upstairs, checking out a globe, landing at the South Pole, one penguin wearing earphones and holding guiding lights, and the magnificence of the southern lights.—Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA
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In this sequel to My Penguin Osbert (2004), Osbert asks Joe to take him to the South Pole and Joe obliges, flying down in his little helicopter. When they land in Antarctica, they watch the southern lights. It’s love at first sight for Osbert and Aurora, who joins them for the return flight. The plot alone cannot convey the charm of this lovable picture book. Joe’s understated first-person narrative is childlike, yet wonderfully evocative, with sentences such as “She smelled like seaweed, but in a nice way.” The well-composed artwork glows with color and warmth. A winner for winter storytimes. Preschool-Grade 2. --Carolyn Phelan