Did you know that although most penguins lay their eggs in nests built of sticks, grasses and even rocks, the two largest penguins, the emperor penguin and the king penguin, carry their eggs on top of their feet? The egg is kept warm by a flap on their bellies called a brood pouch. This fact-filled book explores the habits, habitat and lifecycle of this funny looking, flightless bird from the Southern Hemisphere. The illustrations include maps, diagrams, and labels to clarify the text. The text seems a bit cramped on the page, but overall this is an interesting look at penguins.
- Jan Lieberman
Gibbons makes penguin facts accessible to young readers in an easy to read format with detailed drawings. Even though there may be hundreds of penguins in a rookery, each chick will recognize its own parent's call. This is an ideal accompaniment to Judy Sierra's poetry book, Antarctic Antics.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Another in the parade of books from Gibbons's busy pen and paintbrush, this one deals with those fascinating denizens of the Southern Hemisphere. The simply written, clear text describes penguin physiology, geographic location (via a color-coded map), lifestyles, and nesting/brooding habits (with an emphasis on emperor penguins). It concludes with a discussion of survival difficulties and efforts being made to protect these birds. A final page gives some statistics and drawings of the five species not shown elsewhere in the book. The full-color illustrations are sketchbook style and some children may find it difficult to differentiate among the various crested varieties, while the little blue penguin is shown as blue all over (despite assurance in the text that "All penguins have...white bellies."). The oversized format, brightly colored illustrations, and large type font result in an eye-catching appearance that will attract young researchers and the curious minded alike. Even if you already own Bobbie Kalman's Penguins (Crabtree, 1995) or Annette Barkhausen's Penguins (Gareth Stevens, 1994), you should make room for this title.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY