Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2010
: Oliver Jeffers has created an enchanting story of two friends, a boy and a penguin, whom we first met in Lost & Found
. In Up & Down
, the penguin dreams of flying--he has wings, after all--but nothing seems to be working until he spots an advertisement looking for a living cannonball. The penguin’s excitement overtakes him and he sets off to fulfill his dream without telling the boy, only to realize later how much he misses his friend. Fortunately, the boy and the penguin are soon reunited, because it’s all well and good to fly through the air alone, but the best part is having a friend to catch you on the way back down. Wonderfully expressive illustrations complement this story of independence and friendship.--Seira Wilson
From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2–Once upon a time, in a book called Lost and Found (Philomel, 2006), a penguin appeared at a small boy's doorstep. Since that adventure, in which the two traveled to the South Pole in a rowboat, the boy has crash-landed his plane on the moon and rocketed into space to catch a star. In this installment, the fearless, practical, and sympathetic child–drawn as a circle (head), square (striped shirt), and two lines (legs)–is back with his penguin friend. They play Telephone, Parcheesi, and tuba-guitar duets–until the penguin decides that he must learn to fly. “He did own wings after all, although they didn't seem to work very well. But that didn't stop the penguin trying.” Quirky watercolor illustrations enrich the plot with examples–e.g., increasingly large balloons tied around the bird's middle, or the penguin leaping from a desk chair mounted atop a dresser while the boy sets out a pillow for a landing pad. A chance sighting of a circus help-wanted poster takes the penguin off on his own and both friends must follow exciting, suspenseful, and wistful paths back to one another. Jeffers has an endearing, deceptively simple style that will warm the hearts of children and adults. An expert draughtsman and a gifted colorist, he creates artwork that is as masterful as it is eccentric. (Devoted readers will be delighted to find pictorial references to his earlier books.) His peculiar plots combine with a saccharine-free sensitivity to the nuances of friendship, making this book just plain special.–Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.