Inspired by the felt animal finger puppets Spires creates, this illustrator's (The Red Shoes) quirky authorial debut tells of an Antarctic resident who wearies of his fish diet. Tempted by news that creatures in the northern hemisphere lead "the good life eating cupcakes," Penguin sets out to sample this treat. But when he flies off under his own power, Walrus and Polar Bear pop out from behind the page ("Stop right there!") and inform the bird that penguins can't fly. The story resumes, with an airplane transporting Penguin to the Arctic; there he again encounters Walrus and Polar Bear-but no cupcakes (he finally gets some on the flight home). If not especially memorable, Spires's slightly wooden cartoon characters have personality. Adults and kids alike should be amused by the meta-narratives, as well as sidebar notes that "correct" the characters' occasional misinformation (after Walrus claims to be on a "strict kelp" diet: "Walruses don't eat kelp.... Unfortunately this walrus has self-esteem issues. She was trying to meet an unrealistic physical ideal"). A humorous story, but like the confection Penguin craves, light in substance. Ages 3-7. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Penguin and the Cupcakeby Ashley Spires
Most penguins are happy with their all-fish diet, but not Penguin. He’s craving something just a little bit different: something soft, something sweet, something covered in luscious pink icing. There are no cupcakes in Antarctica, but Penguin’s heard that the Northern Hemisphere is a veritable paradise of cupcakes. So, he heads north. On his long… See more details below
Most penguins are happy with their all-fish diet, but not Penguin. He’s craving something just a little bit different: something soft, something sweet, something covered in luscious pink icing. There are no cupcakes in Antarctica, but Penguin’s heard that the Northern Hemisphere is a veritable paradise of cupcakes. So, he heads north. On his long journey, Penguin encounters some other cold-weather natives. Polar Bear and Walrus might not know much about cupcakes, but they have a thing or two to say about Penguin’s storytelling skills! Created with vibrant collage art, this delightfully tongue-in-cheek picture book flows like a graphic novel.
Sticklers shouldn't get distressed when they see Penguin and Polar Bear and Walrus on the book jacket; they'll learn inside how animals who live so far apart can be in the same story. Penguin, tired of fish, has heard from a friend that the Northern Hemisphere has wonderful foods, such as cupcakes. So Penguin flies (in a plane)…a little too far north. "SNOW!?! It couldn't be!" First he meets Walrus, who is on a kelp diet and doesn't eat cupcakes. Polar Bear doesn't eat cupcakes either, but he does eat meaty things like birds. Penguin decides it's time to go home, and on the plane he sits next to a very nice lady who happens to have...a box of cupcakes! Spires's funny, flightless creation is a direct descendant of Willems's Pigeon in his direct address to the reader and desire to manipulate the truth. Several pages have sequential panels as well as jokey editorial notes on "notebook paper." The watercolor animals are based on Spires's finger-puppet line but have a laugh-out-loud charm all their own. (Picture book. 3-7)
- Simply Read Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 7 Years
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