Penguin in Peril

Penguin in Peril

by Helen Hancocks
     
 

Three hungry cats. One little penguin. The odds don’t look good.

With bare cupboards and hungry bellies, three cats steal a penguin to catch them fish. A hilarious sequence of events unfolds as the penguin makes his escape, gets mistaken for a nun and a waiter, then finds his way safely home. Meanwhile, the cats are caught for their crime and sent to

…  See more details below

Overview

Three hungry cats. One little penguin. The odds don’t look good.

With bare cupboards and hungry bellies, three cats steal a penguin to catch them fish. A hilarious sequence of events unfolds as the penguin makes his escape, gets mistaken for a nun and a waiter, then finds his way safely home. Meanwhile, the cats are caught for their crime and sent to jail — for a lifetime of gruel. Deftly told and beautifully illustrated by exciting debut author-illustrator Helen Hancocks.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/25/2013
A bicycle built for three and a secret subterranean tunnel system are just two of the treats thrown into this madcap adventure by first-time British author/illustrator Hancocks. Three hungry cats snare a penguin from the local zoo, scheming to have it catch fish for them. But the penguin escapes, and although the cats give chase through a crowded city, it eludes them, camouflaging itself in a handy group of nuns and darting into the kitchen of a high-end restaurant. Hancocks’s artwork is first cousin to Maira Kalman’s, a series of cheerful gouaches in which grown-up metropolitan civilization is depicted with childlike charm. Cheeky humor crowds the pages; in the restaurant, the penguin joins a procession of formally dressed waiters into the dining room, holding the skeleton of the fish he’s just downed like a trophy. Penguin fans will sigh with relief as a little bird reveals the underground tunnels: “Luckily, she knew a secret way into the zoo.” The cats’ punishment seems too harsh for the crime—gruel for life behind bars!—but perhaps a sequel will let them stage a jailbreak. Ages 3–7. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
[A] sprightly author-illustrator debut... Graphic shapes in pencil and bold gouache colors not only make for striking compositions, they suggest humor in the simplest of ways. Clever details abound, like the underground map of the penguin’s escape via subway and the animals’ image-only dialogue bubbles.The penguin in peril prevails in this fresh and funny English import.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Hancocks’s artwork is first cousin to Maira Kalman’s, a series of cheerful gouaches in which grown-up metropolitan civilization is depicted with childlike charm. Cheeky humor crowds the pages; in the restaurant, the penguin joins a procession of formally dressed waiters into the dining room, holding the skeleton of the fish he’s just downed like a trophy.
—Publishers Weekly

The fun is finding the waddling penguin as he stays one step ahead of the felines, hiding amongst black-and-white nuns, riding the subway, and waiting on tables. ... The mixed- media pictures are delightfully comical but show serious graphic artistry as well. The design, with its panels and spreads, will keep young listeners—and their readers—on their toes.
—Booklist Online

The cartoon-style illustrations are bright, cheerful, droll, and perfect for this tale.
—Library Media Connection

This wacky tale by Helen Hancocks will keep little ones giggling.
—Parents Magazine

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Three hungry cats, after seeing a fishy feast movie, plan a fishy robbery, for which they need a penguin. They steal one from the zoo one night, and set off with him on a fishing trip. The penguin escapes; the cats chase him through the subway and a restaurant, in vain. Fortunately for the penguin, a little bird not only knows the way back to the zoo. She also has a word about the cats with a friendly police officer. The penguin makes his way back home to the zoo, “Just in time for a fishy feast!” But the cats are sentenced to “gruel for life.” The book’s paper jacket confronts us with a starkly simple black and white penguin, staring at us in front of three cat shadows and a brick wall. The wordless cover displays the penguin chasing a multitude of fish of graduated sizes swimming across a brilliant blue sea. There is a starkness to the stylized symbols that use mixed media to tell the finally happy tale in clear-cut scenes. End pages use small white drawings on brick color to suggest the variety of fishy dishes possible inside. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz; Ages 4 to 8.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-11-27
It is a truth universally acknowledged that cats in possession of a penguin must be in want of fish. In this sprightly author-illustrator debut, three hungry red cats are inspired by a movie about fish-hunting penguins to steal one from the zoo and put it to work for them. As the cat burglars bike through the city with the penguin in a box on their bicycle rack, "[t]he penguin began to sense that he was in peril." As luck would have it, the brave bird breaks free and lands among a flock of nuns, blending right in with their black-and-white habits. The cats don't spot the penguin on the subway escalator behind the bowler-hatted man or in the restaurant (he looks like the tuxedo-sporting waiters), and so he makes his way back to the zoo "[j]ust in time for a fishy feast!" Justice is served with the help of a little bird who tips off the police: The cat gang is sent to jail for a lifetime of gruel. Graphic shapes in pencil and bold gouache colors not only make for striking compositions, they suggest humor in the simplest of ways. Clever details abound, like the underground map of the penguin's escape via subway and the animals' image-only dialogue bubbles. The penguin in peril prevails in this fresh and funny English import. (Picture book. 4-7)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763671594
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
02/11/2014
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
346,028
Product dimensions:
12.40(w) x 14.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
AD560L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Helen Hancocks graduated in 2011 with a degree in illustration and animation from Manchester School of Art. She uses a mixture of crayon, watercolor, ink, and pen, combined digitally. Her work often features cats. Helen Hancocks lives in Lincoln, England.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >