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Penguin Hardcover – June 12, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ben is disappointed that the penguin he receives as a present is mute. He tries everything from tickling it to entertaining it with a song and a dizzy dance, but Penguin doesn't speak. Ben fires Penguin into outer space, but he returns as silent as ever. Then he tries to feed Penguin to a passing lion, but the lion goes after Ben instead. Penguin saves the day and then recounts all of the preceding episodes in his own, pictorial language. The closing scene, in which Penguin responds to Ben's hug by uttering a heart-shaped message, warmly conveys that the adversaries have finally found common ground. Dunbar complements her short, straightforward text with equally spare illustrations, judiciously brightened with color, in which Ben, Penguin, and Lion (and little else) appear on completely white pages. This brief, brisk story will hold the attention of impatient children, while its messages about easing standoffs through communication and mutual respect bears repeated reading. Enos, Randall

Review

"The illustrations - some of the best in children's books - are gently animated but the words hold as much sway as they do in the books. Great fun for children who already know the stories or alternatively a way in for newcomers." THE Book Magazine" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763634042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763634049
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 10.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,813,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Penguin seems not to be able to talk.

This won't surprise parents and other adult readers since he's a present in a box wrapped in polka dot paper. Ben, the recipient, rips off the paper, opens the box, and the action gets underway.

"Hello Penguin" says Ben.

That's when the problems start.

Penguin, who looks like a fat tuxedoed bowling pin with undersized feet and an oversized beak, doesn't respond.

Oh yeah. He also has a tail. It looks to be about the right size.

Ben tries just about everything (including trying to feed Penguin to a passing lion) in the effort to elicit a response from his new friend.

Nothing works.

Finally, in sheer exasperation he shouts, "SAY SOMETHING!"

This is when things spin out of control.

Lion, who happens to be a shade of turquoise with a bright blue mane, is apparently startled by the loud noise and gobbles up Ben.

After this, Lion looks quite contented, but suddenly Penguin looks mad. He glares at Lion, and then, most unexpectedly, bites him on the nose, securing Ben's release.

This catharsis cures Penguin of his speech-impaired condition. He now waxes eloquent, in a rich and colorful pictorial language all his own.

Polly Dunbar has written a delightful and very satisfying book, clearly deserving of its status as 2007 Booktrust Early Years Awards Winner (Pre-School Category).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this to my 2.5 year old last night (recommended reading after a bath, in jammies, snuggling outside) and she loved it. Although minimal in words, the pictures were very expressive, and my daughter could follow along easily. By the second reading, she told ME the story. Unlike the recommendation of starting with 4 year olds, definitely a hit with toddlers as well... although she didn't care for the brief appearance of the lion.
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By dkh on August 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
We've purchased about 30 books in the past 6 months for our 2-year-old and this is definitely one of the better books we've read. The illustrations are good (not-too-cluttered) and the language is age-appropriate for the 2 to 4 year old range. The book has continued to make both me and my wife smile even after multiple readings to our child.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Spoiler Alert: After trying everything to get a toy penguin to talk, child yells "SAY SOMETHING!" Toy lion eats child, penguin bites lion on nose and child pops out of lion's mouth. Weird unnecessary twist. The author should have worked a little harder to come up with a more interesting and appropriate arc for this otherwise cute story.
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Format: Hardcover
Penguin is a delightful picture book that not only is likely to appeal to imaginative young children but also can shed some light for parents on the frustrations of early language development. Children whose language is still emerging can act the little boy in the story--or the penguin as they try to find the right words to say or to respond to someone else. One of the delights of the book is the way imaginative play is built right into the book as a toy lion turns ferocious and then is tamed again.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I brought this for my son last summer, we just got another copy for a nice young lady's first birthday. This book really is wonderful. The pictures are bold and clear set against white background, and very funny. The story is charming and written with wit. I have read this book almost everyday for six months, sometimes several times a day and I still like it! That is valuable in a book, and not something I can say about many kids books. I have yet to meet a child who doesn't like it. A five year old told me last week about how good this book book is and we saw a grandpa laughing out loud the first time he read it. Buy it you won't be sorry!
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Format: Paperback
In this delightful little tale from Polly Dunbar, a little boy named Ben receives a live penguin as a present. The boy is eager to become friends with the animal and have it talk. He tries everything to get the animal to speak, but the penguin doesn't say a word. Then a lion comes along and really makes the story interesting.

This is a wonderful book that will appeal not only to younger children who can't read, but to children who are just beginning to read. The book is very playful and imaginative with just the right word combination.

I love penguins and I loved this book and look forward to sharing it with children I know.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We lost our first copy (left it on the airplane, I think), and needed to have it back. It is predictable without being boring and has some very silly spots. It is an easy book to initiate interaction with your child.
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