Author: Meg McKinlay
Illustrator: Mark Jackson
Publication Date: June 1, 2018
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher
The Penguins Are Coming is a massive hit in our house. Master 4 and I have read it, I think, 4 times today and he is a fan.
I asked him what his favourite part was and he said the hippo hugging a baby crocodile. He couldn’t get past penguins can’t fly because one of the pictures at the end of the book shows a penguin diving from high ice that looks like perhaps it’s flying, but it’s really diving.
The book is for ages from 3 up and I think that UP is all the way up because it is quite humorous, as well as informative and cute. I don’t know that my littlest quite has the concentration span but the 4 year old may well wear it out.
The Penguins Are Coming takes place in a zoo, where all the animals are super excited about their new neighbours. Excited, even though none of them are quite sure what a penguin actually is, but that doesn’t stop them having an opinion.
The pictures are bright and interesting. The pages talking about baby penguins have a hippo snuggling a crocodile that my boy thought was awesome, it also has an elephant whose mother was a penguin… well I’d like to see that.
Both my son and I were amused by the farfetched opinions held about penguins, which are an animal we both love and my little guy saw up close when we were at the zoo earlier this year.
The best bit is that in the last couple of pages the zookeeper steps in to tell the animals that he’s an expert and he can tell them the truth about penguins, and proceeds to do just that.
Penguins are a fascinating creature and this vibrant and entertaining picture book helps youngsters learn about them. This is a book that delights before leaving with you the cold hard facts that make penguins unique.
In the opening pages it’s a squirrel that asks the ultimate question, What’s a Penguin? He then spends the book wandering through the zoo speaking to the animals and getting their thoughts.
The giraffe says they are small, round and sort of penguin-y. Honestly, how can you do better than that. McKinlay does do better than that as she talks about their migrating, eye-catching swimwear, diet and childcare habits. All of which are ridiculously over the top and beautifully illustrated by the talented Mark Jackson.
The Zookeeper then pipes in to tell us how it really is, but I’m not sure his penguins are in complete agreement.
Illustrations are quite eye-catching and I kept being interrupted by a chatterbox to tell me what he saw, maybe tomorrow we will read the pictures. Or I’ll let him read it to me.
The Penguins Are Coming is a great read for all ages and I think even my older two will get a kick out of reading this one aloud to the little one.
The Penguins are Coming is book #32 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2018.