×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Penguin Problems
     

Penguin Problems

4.5 2
by Jory John, Lane Smith (Illustrator)
 

See All Formats & Editions

Have you ever thought: I have so many problems and nobody even cares? Well, penguins have problems too! Discover them in this hilarious collaboration from Jory John (All my friends are dead. and Quit Calling Me a Monster!) and Lane Smith (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales)!
 
This

Overview

Have you ever thought: I have so many problems and nobody even cares? Well, penguins have problems too! Discover them in this hilarious collaboration from Jory John (All my friends are dead. and Quit Calling Me a Monster!) and Lane Smith (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales)!
 
This penguin has come to tell you that life in Antarctica is no paradise. For starters, it is FREEZING. Also, penguins have a ton of natural predators. Plus, can you imagine trying to find your mom in a big ol’ crowd of identical penguins? No, thank you.
 
Yes, it seems there is no escaping the drudgery of your daily grind, whatever it might be. Or perhaps we’ve just learned that grumps are everywhere. . . . 
 
This book is sure to tickle kids’ funny bones and will elicit appreciative sighs from the adults reading it aloud.
 
"We are all Mortimer [the main character in Penguin Problems]." —The New York Times

“Bursting with humor.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“The snark level is cranked up high.” —The Horn Book, Starred
 
“Will be right at home with fans of Jon Klassen’s This Is Not My Hat.” —Booklist
 
“Classic comedy.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Rib-tickling.” —School Library Journal

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Michael Ian Black
…funny and acerbic…[with] Lane Smith's evocative illustrations of endless cold, frightful inky depths and the spartan beauty of Antarctic mountain peaks.
Publishers Weekly
06/13/2016
Being a penguin is no day at the park: “It’s way too early. My beak is cold. What’s with all the squawking, you guys?” John’s bumbling, bleary-eyed penguin has a hard time on land, and the ocean depths are even worse: “Oh, great. A leopard seal. Oh, great. A shark.... What is it with this place?” Then there’s the matter of parents: “Mom?” the penguin asks another penguin near a crowd of look-alike penguins. “I literally have no idea who you are,” the other penguin replies. Just when things look hopeless, a passing walrus offers a comforting (if long-winded) sermon, and the penguin gets a moment of respite from his angst. John (I Love You Already) delivers a rat-a-tat series of laughs, and Smith’s (There Is a Tribe of Kids) mottled, minimalist polar landscapes highlight the penguin’s awkward moments. His story is classic comedy, an examination of the delicate balancing act between total despair (“I have so many problems! And nobody even cares!” the penguin cries) and the resolve to stumble on. Ages 3–7. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
08/01/2016
PreS-Gr 2—It's not easy being a penguin. As a world-weary avian narrator points out, there's plenty that can (and does) go wrong: "My beak is cold." "It snowed some more last night, and I don't even like the snow." "The ocean smells too salty today." An even chillier fishing expedition does not improve his demeanor: "Oh, great. An orca. Oh, great. A leopard seal. Oh, great. A shark. What is it with this place?" Smith's sponge-textured illustrations expand upon the text's downbeat doldrums with visual humor and delightfully deadpan facial expressions. Still hungry, the penguin pulls out of the water just before being gulped down by the bigger seal (which is about to be consumed by the even larger shark, about to be swallowed by the huge orca). His melancholy monologue continues until a stately walrus catches his attention and delivers a wise (and lengthy and slightly bombastic) oration about appreciating the good things in life. Grudgingly, Penguin embraces a new perspective. He sits on a pristine peak, gazes at gracefully falling flurries, and muses, "Maybe things will work out, after all"—or not (the page turn reveals that the gentle snowflakes have turned into a full-fledged storm and Penguin has resumed his grousing). This sublime pairing of author and artist results in a rib-tickling exploration of what it means to look at the unsunny side. VERDICT Share this book with Claire Messer's Grumpy Pants for a storytime starring persnickety penguins.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-06-22
Being a penguin isn't all it's cracked up to be in John and Smith's debut collaboration.A small penguin sleeping on a snow mound reluctantly wakes up, instantly exasperated with everything. Bemoaning the cold, the snow, and other things readers might take for granted as penguin pleasures, the protagonist heads off to begin a day full of one downer after another. The fish the penguin would like to eat for breakfast are disobliging about being caught; the ocean is too salty and cold, and it is inconveniently full of predators; and even the smallest things about being a penguin (waddling, flightlessness, and looking exactly like everyone else) are intolerably irritating. Increasingly outraged by a litany of injustices worthy of Judith Viorst's classic grump Alexander, the penguin is offered a more balanced if somewhat lofty perspective by a walrus who suggests that, difficulties notwithstanding, the penguin is surrounded by beauty and love. Smith's singular visual characterization follows through on John's ironic humor throughout the narrative, and though both the visual and textual fall momentarily and appropriately flat when the walrus' speech takes over an entire page, the penguin, who concedes the walrus' point, nevertheless gets the last word in an admirable and important validation of personal feelings, grumbles and all. Well-paced, bursting with humor, and charmingly misanthropic. (Picture book. 3-7)
From the Publisher
"Well-paced, bursting with humor, and charmingly misanthropic."— Kirkus Reviews starred review

"The temperature may be below freezing, but the snark level is cranked up high in this collaboration between funnymen John and Smith."— Horn Book starred review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553513370
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
09/27/2016
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
10,240
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.20(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

JORY JOHN is the author of the picture books I Will Chomp You!, Quit Calling Me a Monster!, and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor Book Goodnight Already!. He is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling novel, The Terrible Two, and the national bestseller All my friends are dead, among many other books. He is also the editor of Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: Kids' Letters to President Obama. For six years, Jory taught writing at 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and educational center in San Francisco.
 
LANE SMITH has written and illustrated a number of novels and picture books for children, including two Caldecott Honor titles and four New York Times Best Illustrated Book awards. He was a 2014 recipient of a Society of Illustrators Lifetime Achievement Award and was named an Honor Artist by the Eric Carle Museum. He lives with his wife, book designer Molly Leach, in rural Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Penguin Problems 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Penguin Problems by Jory John & Lane Smith Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers Publication Date: September 27, 2016 Rating: 4 stars Source: Review copy sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): A penguin levels with human readers about what penguin life is really like—and it isn’t all fun and games. Have you ever considered running away to Antarctica? Of course you have! Because it’s a land free of worries and responsibilities! All of your problems will surely be blown away by the icy winds of that lawless paradise! . . . Won’t they? Think again, my friend. This penguin has come to tell you that his life down there is no more a picnic than yours is here. For starters, it is FREEZING. Also, penguins have a ton of natural predators. Plus, can you imagine trying to find your mom in a big ol’ crowd of identical penguins? No, thank you. Yes, it seems there is no escaping the drudgery of your daily grind, whatever it might be. Or perhaps we’ve just learned that grumps are everywhere. . . . What I Liked: Maybe I'm an odd duck (or... penguin?) but I love picture books! They are so cute and funny, and wonderfully uplifting. This book spoke to me, which I thought was amazing. The fact that a message for a small child could also be applicable to a twenty-one-year-old, or adults in general, is amazing. In this book, an adorable penguin has so many complaints and problems, and it seems like no one is listening. Life is hard, and it feels like he is shouting into the void. Will things start to look up for the penguin? This review is going to be fairly short, and hey, the book is only thirty-two pages. I loved the story, as short as it was. It is rather dense if you read between the lines. For a kid, it might seem like a funny story about a penguin who has a lot of complaints (some silly, some exaggerated), but for an adult... it represents the real world, and real life. There are so many things that all of us could complain about, and it seems like no one is listening. The ending is very interesting. A walrus approaches our grumpy penguin and talks to him. You'll have to read it to know what I mean. But the messages in this book are so powerful, for children and for adults alike. You know Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss, a children's book that has a lot of attention in the adult world? I personally think Penguin Problems should be right up there with Oh, The Places You'll Go!. One final note - the illustrations are amazing! I love the style. Seriously, there should be a Penguin Problems coloring book with this novel! What I Did Not Like: Nothing here! This book was great. Would I Recommend It: I highly recommend this book, for little kids or for adults (or both). Sometimes we adults can learn a lot from kids, and from kids' books. I am definitely going to share this one with my little cousins! Rating: 4 stars. This book is cute and funny but it is also so meaningful and important.