Author: Biddulph, Rob
An unexpected adventure with his friends and a kite convinces Penguin Blue that he is not built for flying, and that he belongs on solid ice.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 1.50
Points: .5 Quiz: 172099
Kirkus Reviews (+) (11/01/14)
School Library Journal (-) (01/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (03/15)
The Hornbook (-) (00/03/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2015 PreS-Gr 2—When Penguin Blue's new kite catches a strong wind, he calls to friends Jeff and Flo for help, but soon all three are aloft. Wilbur the seal and, perplexingly, a polar bear named Clive attempt to reel in the penguins only to find themselves swept away with the others. Crash-landing in the jungle, they find that the novelty of a new environment momentarily distracts them from the uncomfortable heat, but it's not long before these polar animals are piling into Clive's inflatable raft, rigging up some leaves and vines as a sail, and, with a whoosh of air from an obliging elephant, sailing back to their icy home. Biddulph's digital illustrations use clean lines and generous white space to establish an icy setting in shades of blue that contrasts nicely with the greens and yellows of the busy jungle spreads. Plenty of fun background moments, including a whale school bus and a monkey stowaway, will keep young audiences engaged, and the droll, expressionless characters add an additional element of humor. A few continuity issues mar the otherwise excellent art—kite strings and washing lines end abruptly, and there is no indication of how Wilbur gets from the ice to the sky. The text struggles with a rhythm that often feels forced and rhymes, such as fear and idea, that don't quite work. Some readers may also wonder what a polar bear and penguins are doing in the same hemisphere. Overall, the appealing illustrations but weak text make this an additional purchase for larger libraries.—Chelsea Couillard-Smith, Sacramento Public Library, CA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 03/01/2015 When Penguin Blue flies his kite, it ends up flying him, along with some penguin pals who try to help. Then Wilbur, a seal, and Clive, a polar bear in a fishing raft, also find themselves towed along by the kite until it runs out of wind power over a remote, shark-encircled jungle island. Fortunately, Penguin Blue rigs up a parasail-like contraption from leaves and vines and attaches it to Clive’s raft, and the wayward group makes it home (along with a stowaway monkey). The rhyming text scans efficiently, and it offers touches of wry amusement (“Don’t worry, Wilbur’s seen their plight/ . . . Oh, dear. It seems he’s joined the flight”). Geographically savvy youngsters may question what a polar bear is doing in the Antarctic setting, but most kids will just enjoy the fun of this literal flight of fancy. Biddulph’s stylized digital illustrations employ a limited palette of creams, blues, and grays for the Antarctic scenes, with scarlet and yellow accents in the kite, raft, and penguin markings, while greens dominate the jungle island scene and subtle canvas-like textures add warmth to the cool tones. The darkly outlined, streamlined figures of the penguins contrast nicely with the fluffy seal and chunky bear, and small details (a pair of red underpants from Wilbur’s clothesline get transported to the jungle and turn up on a monkey on the endpapers) add interest as well. This would be a comic partner with Judge’s Flight School (BCCB 6/14), and kite- or penguin-themed storytimes will get a boost from Penguin Blue. JH - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.