If You Were a Penguin

Overview

If you were a penguin . . .

You could swim really fast and toboggan on ice.

Sing a happy duet, once or twice.

You could live on land but dive under the sea.?

There's a lot penguins can do, just like you and me!

Wendell and Florence Minor create a charming tribute to all the playful fun and activity that ...

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Overview

If you were a penguin . . .

You could swim really fast and toboggan on ice.

Sing a happy duet, once or twice.

You could live on land but dive under the sea. 

There's a lot penguins can do, just like you and me!

Wendell and Florence Minor create a charming tribute to all the playful fun and activity that comes with being a penguin—which young readers can delight in too!

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Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist
“Wendell’s vibrant large-scale figures, set against bracing polar landscapes, have enough personality to captivate a crowd.”
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"If you were a penguin, what could you do?" is the question answered in brief, informative rhymes that stretch across double pages filled with the active Antarctic varieties of penguins. They leap into the water, make funny faces, join groups of friends, and do "lots of things that you can do too!" The few words of text are set in large type and are more like captions. The illustrations depict the birds in naturalistic interactions that engage both esthetic sensibilities and curiosity about life in their snow-dominated world. Although the only characters are the various types of penguins, they are set in carefully composed scenes of interest. "Penguin Fun Facts" and websites are included. On the last page, small pictures of the 10 different kinds of penguins in the illustrations help identify them for the curious reader. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2

A playful and lightly informative look at the life of penguins. Children will love the upbeat rhyming text: "You could fly underwater/or sing a duet/You could live on land/but get really wet." The lively gouache and watercolor illustrations feature 10 different species of adult and young penguins engaged in mostly naturalistic activities. The spreads are eye-catching and fun. The use of both soft and sharp shapes and colors brings out the harshness and warmth of the penguin communities. This delightful book will naturally lead to one-on-one conversations and group discussions, as will the ending, "Penguins do lots of things/that you can do too!" It's a perfect introduction for a unit on penguins or wildlife that live in both temperate and Antarctic waters, as well as an excellent storytime addition. Helpful back matter includes fun facts, easy identification of the different species, and some good Web sites.-Anne Beier, Hendrick Hudson Free Library, Montrose, NY

Kirkus Reviews
The second from this husband-and-wife team (Christmas Tree!, 2005) explores the many things that penguins can do and suggests to readers that they can also share in these activities. For instance, penguins swim, sing duets, wear tuxedos and make funny faces. "If you were a penguin . . . / You could live underground / or on top of the ice. / Penguin pals all around / make it twice as nice!" Full-bleed paintings fill the pages with huge, realistic close-ups of many different species of penguins. Rhymes that start strong in the beginning weaken toward the end, steering the story rather than serving it. While the text falls flat, it does give illustrator Minor a window of opportunity for some clever images that readers will remember long after the words are forgotten. Backmatter includes lists of fun facts and websites to consult for further information as well as an identification key for all the species featured. Not a standout as either a rhyming picture book or a beginning nonfiction title about penguins. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061130977
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/23/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 220,927
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD310L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Florence Minor is the author of Christmas Tree!, illustrated by Wendell Minor, which Kirkus Reviews praised for its "imaginative Christmas trees and poetic, rhyming text." If You Were a Penguin, her second collaboration with Wendell, was selected by Pennsylvania for its "One Book, Every Young Child" early literacy program. If You Were a Panda Bear is her third picture book for children.

Wendell Minor is the illustrator of more than fifty award-winning picture books for children, including Mojave by Diane Siebert, Abe Lincoln Remembers by Ann Turner, The Seashore Book by Charlotte Zolotow, and the New York Times bestseller Reaching for the Moon by Buzz Aldrin, as well as numerous books about the outdoors with his frequent collaborator, Jean Craighead George, including their classic Everglades.

The Minors live in Connecticut, where they share their home and studio with their cats, Sofie and Cindercat.

Wendell Minor has illustrated numerous award-winning picture books, including Sierra by Diane Siebert, Reaching for the Moon by Buzz Aldrin, and America the Beautiful, based on the poem by Katharine Lee Bates. Mr. Minor's art has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Norman Rockwell Museum, among other prestigious institutions. He lives in rural Connecticut with his wife and their two cats, Cindercat and Sofie.

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