Thursday 26 April 2012

117. Penguin Pandemonium by Jeanne Willis illustrated by Nathan Reed

Penguin Pandemonium by Jeanne Willis illustrated by Nathan Reed
Published March 2012 

From the publisher:

Rory the rockhopper penguin loves showing off, but with few visitors to the zoo, life has become a little dull. If things don′t improve the zoo might have to close. So when the keepers install PENGUINCAM Rory grabs his chance with both flippers, organising a dazzling penguin talent show to pull in the crowds...
An unforgettably funny story about a little bird with big dreams.

Jeanne Willis is one of my favourite picture book authors.  In fact Tadpole's Promise would have to be one of my favourite picture books of all time, but I hadn't ever read any of her novels.

This is a young novel, that looks as though it's going to be a series.  Next to Meerkat's I think that everyone loves to see the penguins at the zoo, they are very funny to watch with their sliding around and splashing.  At the beginning of the book there is a Meet The Penguins section where each of the penguin characters are introduced.  There are four types of penguins in the book, Rockhopper, Fairy, Emperor and Chinstrap...oh and the famous flying penguin (except he is a goose!)  As well as the characters names there is information about each of the different types, giving their size, favourite food, favourite party trick and a 'flipper fact'.

The main character is Rory, when he finds out that the zoo may close due to lack of visitors, he panics, wondering what will happen to him if the zoo closes.  What if he is sent to Chile, it will be too cold and he will freeze!  What about Blue, she might be sent to Australia, and koala's eat penguins, don't they?  So when a 'penguin cam' is set up to watch the penguins every move, Rory decides to put on a talent show...that is sure to bring back the visitors.  And so the hilarity begins.

This is a quick, easy, funny read.  The penguins have many of the same character traits that you would find in any school yard.  There are the group of gossipy girls, daredevil boys, leaders, followers, outgoing drama queens and shy quiet types.  They deal with friendships, loss, insecurity and jealousy...all the while engaging in humourous penguin stunts.

Who will like this book: Girls and boys age 7+
Read it if you like: Diary of a Killer Cat by Anne Fine

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