by Polly Dunbar
When Ben tears the ribbon and wrapping paper off a present, he is thrilled to find a stuffed penguin. In Ben’s mind, the penguin has great potential as a playmate, and he’s sorely disappointed when it won’t do anything at all. Penguin doesn’t smile when Ben makes his best funny face or when he tickles it. Penguin doesn’t even react when Ben does rude things such as sticking out his tongue or making fun of him. Penguin just stands there, doing nothing. In frustration, Ben tries to feed the penguin to a passing lion, but the lion doesn’t want to eat Penguin—he wants to eat Ben. And he does, which elicits a surprising and hilarious a reaction out of Penguin at last. Mixed media illustrations cleverly set up a delightfully predictable contrast between Ben’s exuberant antics and Penguin’s static state. (Ages 2–5)
CCBC Choices 2008. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008. Used with permission.
“Hello, Penguin” says Ben (n.p.). But “Penguin” does not speak no matter whether Ben tickles him, stands on his head, or tries to feed him to a “passing lion” (n.p.). The lion, however, eats Ben when Ben yells, “Say something!” at the top of his voice (n.p.), but a peck from his penguin’s beak finally rescues him. Only then does Ben learn how his friend communicates—in pictures. This whimsical story is told in short sentences, while expressive cartoon-style illustrations in mixed media depict Ben’s small figure in con stant motion in opposition to his static penguin . hc
Originally published by Walker Books Great Britain, in 2007.
Bridges to Understanding: Envisioning the World through Children's Books. © USBBY, 2011. Used with permission.
An amusing story with simple text for young children relating an unusual friendship as a young boy attempts to persuade Penguin, his new friend, to speak. A Welsh adaptation of Penguin.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.