Without You
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Without You

4.2 4
by Sarah Weeks, Suzanne Duranceau
     
 

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Where would I be, What would I do, Without you?

While a mother penguin leaves her mate and newly laid egg to feed in the deep blue sea, the father penguin protects the egg by holding it on his feet until it hatches. In one of nature's rare and heartwarming role reversals, father and chick stay together, braving the Antarctic winter as they wait for the mother's

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Overview

Where would I be, What would I do, Without you?

While a mother penguin leaves her mate and newly laid egg to feed in the deep blue sea, the father penguin protects the egg by holding it on his feet until it hatches. In one of nature's rare and heartwarming role reversals, father and chick stay together, braving the Antarctic winter as they wait for the mother's return.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Weeks and Duranceau (previously paired for Follow the Moon) bring readers' attention to one of nature's most dramatic and odd stories. After giving birth, Antarctica's female emperor penguin entrusts the egg to her mate and leaves for a two-month-long underwater feed. Despite the unrelenting darkness and subzero temperatures, the father penguin keeps the egg safe and warm by balancing it on his feet and covering it with his feathery bulk. After a detailed and stirring prose introduction ("Each bird gets his share of protected time in the warmer inner circle as well as on the chilly perimeter, serving as a wind barrier for others"), Weeks launches into sentimental lyrics (also sung on the enclosed CD) in the voice of the egg-turned chick: "I know that she's somewhere out there/ Without us. / But I've got to believe/ She's thinking about us/ .../ Where would I be, / What would I do/ .../ Without you?" If youngsters listen to Weeks's lilting melody-part love song, part lullaby-Duranceau's images take on a cinematic quality. Her artwork, with or without the music, scores in both its artistry and emotional immediacy from the very first spread, which shows the mother penguins diving into the sea as the stars seem to freeze in the sky. Casting icy light over her scenes, the artist plunges readers into the unforgiving, endless winter of the South Pole, while reassuring them that the family will reunite (as they do in a final image). Ages 3-7. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In an amazing role-reversal, the father Emperor penguin faithfully takes care of the egg for two months in the freezing Antarctic winter as the mother goes out to sea. All the vigilant fathers take turns in the outer circle to buffer the inner circle against the chilly below zero temperatures. Throughout the "black as pitch days" and blinding sleet, and blizzards, the Emperor penguin fathers faithfully tend to the eggs and youngsters until the mothers return. The mates find each other through voice recognition and the young chicks are tenderly transferred to the feet of the females. "Where would I be, /What would I do, Who in the world would see me through... /Where would I be, /What would I do, /Without you?" The tender lines are repeated throughout the text to capture the bond. Stunning paintings evoke emotion and capture the heart. A lovely CD containing a ballad sung by the author is included. Fathers will surely understand and enjoy sharing this amazing text with their special young one. 2003, Laura Geringer Books/HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 3 to 7.
—Laura Hummel
School Library Journal
PreS-K-An illustrated song about a baby emperor penguin who waits with his father while his mother hunts for food. This story is told from the chick's point of view, and describes his total dependence on Dad: the refrain is, "Where would I be,/What would I do,/-Without you?" A preface offers information about the behavior and habits of these beautiful birds. While the sweet lyrics are not great poetry ("I feel a little funny inside./My mamma's far away"), they may work better when sung rather than spoken (a "free CD" comes with the book).The lovely paintings, done in soft blues, greens, and violets touched with silver, show an icy place that can go from fierce to cozy to peaceful. It's refreshing to see a "this is how much I love you" book with a father instead of a mother, and also refreshing to see an active mother and a "mothering" father. Overall, though, both pictures and text lack originality.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"Where would I be, / What would I do, / Who in the world would see me through . . . " croons a penguin hatchling from the feet of its protective father as, huddled together, the two wait long months for mother's return. Duranceau alternates blue-tinged scenes of gracefully posed Emperor penguin fathers and offspring on land, with undersea views of the mothers, all of whom are off braving the ocean's dangers to feed before returning, at long last, to a joyful reunion. Then it's the fathers' turn to be off. Weeks explains this annual natural cycle in an egg-shaped preface, and sings the tender lyrics on an enclosed CD (not heard). Library shelves tend to be crowded with portraits of penguin life, but this is an unusually appealing one, with particular resonance for families with temporarily absent parents. (Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061139987
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/02/2007
Edition description:
Reprinted Edition
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
344,710
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.00(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Sarah Weeks is an author, singer, and songwriter. Her many books for young readers include the My First I Can Read Book Splish, Splash!, illustrated by Ashley Wolff, and the I Can Read Books Mac and Cheese, Baa-Choo!, Pip Squeak, and Drip, Drop, all illustrated by Jane Manning. She lives in upstate New York.

The spectacular artwork of Suzanne Duranceau, illustrator of Love Can Build a Bridge, can also be seen in the book-and-tape package Follow the Moon. She lives in Montreal, Canada, with her daughter.

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