Monday, February 1, 2010

A Penguin Story

I was considering doing a post about a winter reading list for children because very often reading lists are associated with summer and because there truly are so many beautifully illustrated winter tales, but in the end I found that I only wanted to talk about A Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis. It is just that good.

Edna is our penguin heroine on a quest for something different. She knows very well the black of the night, the white of snow and ice, and always the blue, blue, blue of the sea, but there has to be something beyond this.... Her determination in the quest is unwavering as she searches tirelessly for her something else. When she finds it in the form of visitors in orange she celebrates and gleefully shares the newness with her penguin family. It doesn't end there though- it is just the beginning - "What else could there be?"
Portis creates this happy marriage of storytelling and design with a wry humor that builds to genuine excitement. The text is perfectly paced and the illustration simplified, but never simple. The intelligent use of color coupled with abundant expressive details is the author/illustrator's triumph. I always think it is a little trite to describe a book as "heartwarming", but no matter the age of the reader here, the chest is bound to be a bit toasty.

1 comment:

  1. I've never heard of this story before. I'm a sucker for children's books... and penguins. Oh that brings back memories of my childhood books!



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