Heads Up: ‘A Penguin Story’

Lisa Von Drasek: Early Word Kids

It can be easy to overlook books published at the very end of the year, but do not miss A Penguin Story. It’s a read-aloud treasure.

A Penguin Story

Antoinette Portis

  • Hardcover: $17.99; 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (December 23, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061456888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061456886

The bestselling breakout author/illustrator of Not A Box surprises this jaded children’s librarian again with A Penguin Story. A penguin looks around and wonders about the colors prevalent in Antarctica. Portis, using her sophisticated simplicity of bold line lays down a subtle palette of whites — the short brushstrokes of white of falling snow, distinguished from the white of the ground cover and also the white of the horizon. She presents the same treatment for the black of night — the black ice, the penguin’s black feathers and the black shadows cast from penguins’ form.

Yet our little penguin protagonist yearns for more than white, black and the blue of the sea. She ventures forth to find another color.

Only a handful of libraries have ordered this. Don’t overlook it in the end-of-the-year rush. Although officially published in 2009, this humorous picture book will be released at the end of December.

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