'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 2 July 2010

Review: The Truth About Penguins

Title: The Truth About Penguins

Author: Meg McKinlay

Illustrator: Mark Jackson

Publisher: Walker Books, $27.95 RRP

Format: Hard cover

ISBN: 9781921150487

For ages: 3+

Type: Picture Book

About: The penguins are coming to the zoo! All the animals are trembling with excitement and anticipation as they near closer to the day of the penguins’ arrival.

There’s just one problem: what exactly is a penguin?

One animal declares them to be flying birds, another is sure they fly south for the winter to escape the cold weather. And what do they eat? Pizza of course, says one. Penguins love beaches, they’re lazy and detest swimming, they wear fashionable bathers and throw outrageous parties, and the babies wear cute little booties.

But they are terrible parents – just ask the elephant, who has penguin parents himself.

The zookeeper can stand the gossip no longer, and interrupts with the facts. These are the real, honest facts. Or are they?

Reading this story with children will be the beginning of hours and hours of giggling at the ridiculous nature of the animals’ claims combined with their manner of certainty and wisdom.

If there is one drawback to this book, it is in the outlaying of the truth by the zookeeper. Long and wordy, there are three pages full of text, with intense detail that may have been better as just a simple couple of sentences declaring the animals as wrong.

However, don’t let that stop you enjoying this lovely story. The gorgeous animal illustrations, whacky statements and funny ending certainly make up for any not-so-perfect moments.

This book is available online

Author website