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Penguin Paperback – September 28, 2010
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is a warm and charming story told without the cloying sentimentality that can mar books for this age group ... Dunbar's characterisation is a treat. The Bookseller Polly Dunbar's sympathetic artwork captures the seesaw of Ben's emotions with humour and an almost heartbreaking accuracy. Child Education PLUS With simple, rhythmic text, flat colours, crisp shapes on white space and a big blue lion, this heart-warming book conjures - by minimal means - imagination, anger, danger and love, while encouraging small children to remember events, read pictures and laugh. -- Nicolette Jones The Sunday Times An animated tale of an unusual friendship, sweetly illustrated, with great comic moments as little Ben tries to entertain an expressionless Penguin and a final outcome that leaves readers with a warm glow Junior --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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).