That is, until one day, a family of penguins gets awfully lost and find themselves face-to-face with a big, furry, white thing that only ever lives at the NORTH pole.
The penguins and the big fuzzy thing (aka Mr White) soon become fast friends and head off on an adventure to other parts of the world including America, England, Italy, chatting away in local dialect and enjoying the sights.
I liked the concept for this book (always love a tour of other places) but I found the storyline a disjointed--I had no idea why the penguins and the bear were suddenly off on a journey together. They just do it because 'daddy says we should always follow him, so lead the way, Mr White'. They seem to be in search of a place to picnic, but each site they visit is concluded with a 'but it wasn't home' before heading to the next spot. This did make the storyline feel a little addled.
I also found the slew of dialogue (most of the text) distracting. When picture books use so much dialogue, the readers becomes an observer, rather than a part of the story--sort of like when someone coughs at the cinema and takes you out of the magic.
Nonetheless, this is a fun story with humorous dialogue, adorable characters and a premise kids will love. The illustrations are absolutely divine--a beautiful colour palette, rich details and gorgeous textures.
A fun book for exploring the world, either at home or at school--and a treat for illustration lovers.
Title: Poles Apart
Author: Jeanne Willis
Publisher: Nosy Crow, $22.99 RRP
Publication Date: 23 September 2015
Format: Hard cover
For ages: 3 - 8
Type: Picture Book