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Flight School Hardcover – April 15, 2014
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Little Penguin, who has the self-proclaimed "soul of an eagle," wants to fly. Steering his motorboat into a dockside flight school for birds, he announces to the other feathery students and teacher that "[he] was hatched to fly." Teacher and Flamingo are unconvinced, but they allow Little Penguin to take lessons anyway. Outfitted with goofy red googles, Little Penguin certainly has the will, if not the talent. Even after practicing for weeks and enthusiastically jumping off the dock with a loud "Geronimo!" he still flops deep into the ocean instead of soaring above. Brokenhearted, he sets sail for home. But then Flamingo has an idea. Tying feathers and a fishing line onto Little Penguin, Flamingo helps lift him skyward while Little Penguin does his best to "Flip, flap, flip, flap, flap." Soon, he soars as he had always dreamed of doing. Alas, it doesn't last. Unfortunately, even with the soul of an eagle, "he still has the body of a little round penguin." Nevertheless, his dream achieved, Little Penguin leaves flight school one happy little bird. So happy, in fact, that he soon returns with another friend with his own dreams of flying-an ostrich with the "soul of a swallow." Judge successfully balances the humor in the storytelling, the drawings, and the situations. Rendered in watercolor and pencil and situated on a bright yellow background, the illustrations perfectly fit this delightful and charming book.—Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA
A portly little penguin in bright-red flight goggles believes he has “the soul of an eagle,” so he sets out to learn to fly. The teacher at flight school (a pink flamingo) kindly includes him in the flapping lessons, but when it comes time for his first liftoff, he instead plunges with a great “Gablub!” into the sea. “Penguins just aren’t built to fly,” says the teacher. But the flamingo pities poor Penguin, and soon the chubby flightless bird is trussed up with a fishing-line harness and hitched to the flamingo for his very first flight. Satisfied by finally fulfilling his dream of flying, the penguin happily heads home only to return later with a much-larger, similarly flightless bird friend. Judge (Bird Talk, 2012) is well known for her lifelike watercolor-and-pencil illustrations of animals of all kinds, and she uses similarly realistic detail when rendering the birds here, though these creatures have charmingly cartoonish personalities befitting the offbeat story. Little ones who struggle to meet their goals will delight in persevering Penguin. Grades K-2. --Sarah Hunter
Top customer reviews
No one gives up and everyone wins in the end--except perhaps the kind and over-zealous flight school instructors. Parents and children can talk about what they are likely to do now. (Maybe they can open a balloon school?)
When a little penguin wants to fly but his body doesn't cooperate, his friends help him soar.
Book brings a gentle message about reaching goals using alternate pathways.