Don't Be Afraid, Little Pip

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It's the day all baby penguins are going to learn to swim, but Little Pip is afraid....

Nothing scares Little Pip more than the thought of swimming in the deep dark ocean — she would much rather learn to fly just like other birds do. But soon it comes time for all the young penguins to learn how to swim, and while Little Pip might not be able to fly the way she wants to, she discovers she can soar in ways she never thought possible.

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It's the day all baby penguins are going to learn to swim, but Little Pip is afraid....

Nothing scares Little Pip more than the thought of swimming in the deep dark ocean — she would much rather learn to fly just like other birds do. But soon it comes time for all the young penguins to learn how to swim, and while Little Pip might not be able to fly the way she wants to, she discovers she can soar in ways she never thought possible.

Following the success of Where Is Home, Little Pip? comes this reassuring tale about the lovable Little Pip that will leave readers cheering — and perhaps a little less scared to try something new. The bestselling author and illustrator team of Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman has created a wonderful story about all the exciting adven-tures that await us once we conquer our fears.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Pip, the adorable penguin with the ocean-blue plumage, makes an observation: she has “wings” and she's a bird, so she should be able to fly. With the advice of a supportive snow petrel and a rhyming flight song—“Pick up your feet, run down the shore./ Flap your wings and flap some more”—she runs, flaps and leaps, only to land in the sand. A giant albatross also tries to help, but when Pip lands in the water, she discovers, “Swimming is flying!” Pip's determination and exuberance will easily endear readers to the spirited heroine. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Little Pip is a penguin just learning, along with friends, to swim in the ocean. All are excited when Mr. Tucks, their teacher, lines them up to begin. Pip, however, is afraid of the dark, deep ocean and wants to fly instead. How she comes to experience the joys of swimming makes an entertaining tale where young readers can also meet birds who do fly—a snow petrel and a black-and-white albatross. Though her immersion is accidental, Pip (with help from a friend) overcomes her fear of the unknown and sings, "Into the water, under the sea— / that's the best place for a penguin to be." This universal message for timid beginners neatly echoes Edel Rodriguez's 2008 picture book, Sergio Makes a Splash!, which would be fun to use for discussion and comparison. While Chapman's Pip is feathery and blue and white, Sergio is starkly black and white in Rodriguez's spare graphics without benefit of extra birds, though both little penguins have enthusiastic friends and a penguin teacher (Sergio's is Mrs. Waddle). While each plunges into the ocean awkwardly from above, Sergio's mishap causes greater tension and suspense. Pip's adventures are painted in many shades of blue, aqua, and turquoise; Sergio's palette is starkly confined to black and white for the penguins, a smooth, uniform aqua for water with touches of golden yellow for accessories. Cheering on the successful swimmers, kids and adults alike could enjoy contrasting the stories and illustrations. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
PreS-K—In this companion to Where Is Home, Little Pip? (S & S, 2008), readers are reacquainted with the small penguin on the day she is supposed to learn to swim. She is a frightened and unwilling participant in the lesson. Pip asks the Snow Petrel and the Giant Albatross if they would show her how to fly, but because they are different types of birds, their suggestions are not helpful. Finally, she soldiers on toward a successful conclusion. Deliciously cool watercolor endpapers in shades of aqua carry over into the large acrylic illustrations enhancing the text. The font is an effective size—large for Pip's announcement, "I want to fly," yet tiny when she whispers back to her parents, "I still just want to fly." Rhyming couplets vary the narrative by presenting occasional four-line poems as a song. Children will be reassured that their fear of trying something new is universal and can have a happy ending.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689859878
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 9/22/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,545,488
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD370L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.28 (w) x 10.22 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Karma Wilson

Karma Wilson is the bestselling author of several picture books for Simon & Schuster, including the Bear series and Where Is Home, Little Pip? Karma lives in Idaho.

Jane Chapman has illustrated numerous picture books, including Bear Snores On and the Happy and Honey books by Laura Godwin. She lives with her family in Dorset, England.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    Many of us have enjoyed Wilson and Chapman's initial Little Pip tale, Where Is Home, Little Pip? It was a warm reassuring story for youngsters to hear or read. The same is true of Don't Be Afraid, Little Pip, again relating to a feeling young ones can understand, fear, and presenting the joy and adventure that awaits when fears are overcome.

    This story begins on the day all young penguins will be learning to swim. Oh, oh, Pip is afraid, thinking, "The ocean looked awfully dark and deep. She gazed up. The blue sky looked bright and cheerful. I think I'd much rather fly than swim..."

    So, when the other young penguins lined up to go into the ocean Pip skittered away down the shoreline. First, she asked a Snow Petrel to show her how to fly, and then a Giant Albatross. They were both helpful, but, after all, penguins are not meant to fly.

    It takes Pip a tumble and some time but she learns how important it is to be yourself, and discovers the great happiness to be found in doing just that.

    The acrylic full page illustrations are the beautiful colors of sea, sky and shore. And Pip, of course, with her sprouting feathers is endearing.

    - Gail Cooke

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