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Author: Judge, Lita
Little Penguin, who has the "soul of an eagle," enrolls in flight school.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.10
Points: .5 Quiz: 168058
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 1.40
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 62981
Kirkus Reviews (02/15/14)
School Library Journal (+) (03/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (06/14)
The Hornbook (00/05/14)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2014 K-Gr 2—Little Penguin, who has the self-proclaimed "soul of an eagle," wants to fly. Steering his motorboat into a dockside flight school for birds, he announces to the other feathery students and teacher that "[he] was hatched to fly." Teacher and Flamingo are unconvinced, but they allow Little Penguin to take lessons anyway. Outfitted with goofy red googles, Little Penguin certainly has the will, if not the talent. Even after practicing for weeks and enthusiastically jumping off the dock with a loud "Geronimo!" he still flops deep into the ocean instead of soaring above. Brokenhearted, he sets sail for home. But then Flamingo has an idea. Tying feathers and a fishing line onto Little Penguin, Flamingo helps lift him skyward while Little Penguin does his best to "Flip, flap, flip, flap, flap." Soon, he soars as he had always dreamed of doing. Alas, it doesn't last. Unfortunately, even with the soul of an eagle, "he still has the body of a little round penguin." Nevertheless, his dream achieved, Little Penguin leaves flight school one happy little bird. So happy, in fact, that he soon returns with another friend with his own dreams of flying-an ostrich with the "soul of a swallow." Judge successfully balances the humor in the storytelling, the drawings, and the situations. Rendered in watercolor and pencil and situated on a bright yellow background, the illustrations perfectly fit this delightful and charming book.—Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/01/2014 A portly little penguin in bright-red flight goggles believes he has “the soul of an eagle,” so he sets out to learn to fly. The teacher at flight school (a pink flamingo) kindly includes him in the flapping lessons, but when it comes time for his first liftoff, he instead plunges with a great “Gablub!” into the sea. “Penguins just aren’t built to fly,” says the teacher. But the flamingo pities poor Penguin, and soon the chubby flightless bird is trussed up with a fishing-line harness and hitched to the flamingo for his very first flight. Satisfied by finally fulfilling his dream of flying, the penguin happily heads home only to return later with a much-larger, similarly flightless bird friend. Judge (Bird Talk, 2012) is well known for her lifelike watercolor-and-pencil illustrations of animals of all kinds, and she uses similarly realistic detail when rendering the birds here, though these creatures have charmingly cartoonish personalities befitting the offbeat story. Little ones who struggle to meet their goals will delight in persevering Penguin. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2014 Little Penguin believes he was born to fly, so he ditches Antarctica for a further-north avian flight school run by a heron-like teacher; unfortunately, even after weeks of lessons, he’s still a lead balloon when it comes to getting airborne. His flight school pals have an idea, though, and wrap his wings with feathers attached with some fishing line. Penguin flaps and sure enough, he takes flight-with the help of a flamingo, who has grabbed the fishing line and is towing the overjoyed Penguin through the air (“Penguin was right. He did have the soul of an eagle. He’d just needed help with the technical parts”). Penguin leaves content and soon returns-with an ostrich who also wants to fly. Judge writes with a simple clarity that avoids any preachiness, and the streamlined emotion will resonate with young listeners: “Penguin was too brokenhearted to even wave good-bye. His teachers didn’t know what to do.” The watercolor and pencil illustrations are warm, robust, and thoughtfully composed, many positioned against a simple sunlit backdrop, with the tall flamingo frequently only partially seen due to its height. Penguin is a charmingly tubby and stout guy, and the skillful positioning of his red flight goggles visually convey his emotions: when he’s happy, the earpieces flip up jauntily, and when he’s sad, they dejectedly droop. This could be a useful tool for many kinds of discussions-from the adaptations that some kids need in a classroom, to creative problem solving, to perseverance-or a cheerful addition to a unit or story hour about birds or penguins. JH - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.