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365 Penguins Hardcover – November 1, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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 Enos
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 7 years
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Tra edition (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081094460X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810944602
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 0.5 x 14.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
On New Year's Day, a delivery man drops off a mysterious package. The family is curious. Who would send such a strange gift? Who would send a penguin?

The next day, another penguin arrives with another cryptic note. The same thing occurs 363 more times---once for each day of the year.

The family uses their math skills to determine how many penguins reside in their house. They also use math to determine how to store them. If they store them like eggs, how many cartons do they need? If they stack them in a cube, how many penguins will fit?

On December 31st, the gift giver arrives and is thrilled to see that all his penguins arrived, even little Chilly with the blue feet. The visitor gives a quick ecology (and geography!)lesson and leaves with all but one of the penguins.

Things return to normal at this house until the next day when the doorbell rings and the story goes full circle.

What a CUTE book! My kids loved looking for Little Chilly with the blue feet on every page. They had fun thinking about the math, although at one point complained, "Do you expect us to be able to do this?" It was fun thinking about the problems the family had sheltering and feeding the penguins.

This oversized book is an entertaining read, but teachers will especially enjoy this book for the classroom. It appears it would tie-in well with third grade geography lessons and introductory multiplication lessons.

Whether or not you're interested in the educational themes, everyone will enjoy the adorable penguins and the zany family who cares for them.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My boys ages 6 and 7 love this book. The illustrations are wonderful, and the story is fun! I like that it covers math concepts of addition, multiplication, etc. For example, 100 penguins plus one more makes 101. Stacking penguins 6 by 6 by 6 in a cube makes ... filing them in 12 boxes of 12 makes ... Some if the math is way too advanced for my children, but I doubt kids much older would be terribly interested in the writing or illustrations. Although some of the math is advanced, my children nevertheless enjoy the book, and I think that exposing them to these math concepts is great!!! We also love looking for the penguin named Chilly in each scene. There is a global warning lecture on one of the last pages, which sounds very preachy and doesn't fit into the rhythm or tone of the story, but I don't mind the message, so it doesn't bother me. This is a good book for kids ages 5 - 9.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wasn't too sure about this choice when I looked it over before giving it to the kids. The size is unwieldy. The "math concepts" are too sporadic and range from simple addition to cubes - there's no one age range that would be appropriate for all of these problems, plus I was expecting a lot more math. I wasn't too keen on the black-white-orange-blue illustration theme. And finally, while I agree with the Message at the end, I felt it was quite heavy-handed, not to mention illogical - exporting penguins is illegal, yet shipping them one at a time to your sister is somehow okay?

But that is an adult's perspective. The true test of a children's book is, of course, how do children like it? My daughters and I agree that the book is too big for comfortable reading, especially while snuggling, but from there we parted company. They thought the story line was hilarious and they loved the illustrations. They were delighted with the arrival of the first penguin and laughed each time a new one arrived. They got a kick out of the various ways the family attempted to organize the penguins and they were intrigued by the problems with caring for that many animals. They especially liked the part about the penguins in the bathtub when the teenage daughter is trying to take a shower.

At ages 3 and 5, the math problems were above their heads, but at least they're getting some exposure. And the book helps give them a better concept of a year. They thought the resolution to the penguin problem was perfect, especially considering that Chilly was their favorite penguin. And they loved the first arrival of the new year.

Having read this with the kids, I now appreciate the book and recommend it, but not without qualifications.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for young children! It helps them to learn better math skills in this book. It's a wonderful way for children to have fun with math by reading about these cute little penguins.

Cynthia Marie Rizzo, author of "Julie and the Unicorn" and "Angela and the Princess"
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Format: Hardcover
Reviewed by Three Silly Chicks - Readers, Writers, and Reviewers of funny books for kids.

It's hard not to love penguins. They are such spiffy dressers and great tap dancers. (This was actually documented in a recent motion picture!) Imagine how exciting it would be to receive a penguin in a box on New Year's Day with only a simple note to explain, "I'm number 1. Feed me when I'm hungry." Now imagine the surprise and joy of receiving another penguin the next morning. And the next and the next and the next . . .

For a full year, the family in this funny picture book receives a penguin a day and problems multiply as their flock grows. Dad becomes obsessed with organizing the penguins. Mom gets more than a little crazed and the kids just go with the flow. Or is that floe?

Simple graphic-arts style illustrations in a limited palette and a large trim size for this book make it great for young kids who will get a kick out of counting the very silly penguins and finding the one with blue feet who shows up on day 144. (Visualize a penguin-Waldo who eats fish.) Older kids and parents will enjoy the family's reaction to the penguins as the year progresses and they are so horribly outnumbered. A bit of math and ecology play into the tale, but never overload the story in this delightful book. Makes you want to put on a tux and dance like a penguin!
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