Wednesday 10 March 2021

Vernon the Penguin

Vernon the Penguin by Natashia Curtin (Omnibus Books) HB RRP $17.99 ISBN 9781743836972

Reviewed by Sandi Wooton

‘I wish I could fly like all the other birds, twirling and curling, swooshing and swirling in the wild west wind.’

Everyone knows that penguins can’t fly. But Vernon the penguin refuses to listen. Ever since he hatched from the egg, he has wanted to fly. So, he’s determined to find a way.

This amusing picture book from debut author/illustrator Natashia Curtin will have children (and adults) laughing out loud at Vernon’s crazy stunts as he tries to find a way to take flight.

After each failed attempt, Vernon’s family and friends rally behind him, reminding him that penguins can’t fly, encouraging him to put aside his un-penguin-like ambition, to focus on something else.  But Vernon refuses to give up. With stubborn determination, and a little help from the wise old penguin, Vernon finally discovers how to solve his problem in a most unexpected way!

A penguin’s world can be an icy and dismal world. But here we are focussing on the penguins’ activities which are cleverly portrayed throughout this story. Natashia Curtin’s illustrations are delightful and perfectly enhance the text. The snow-white background works extremely well, contrasting with the characters in the book.

 I was pleasantly surprised to discover a range of different expressions on the penguin’s faces. I also felt particularly amused by the creative and comical flying contraptions Vernon utilised to help him in his unsuccessful efforts to fly. Natashia Curtin skilfully draws us into the story, keeping us interested until the very last page.

This picture book is suitable for children aged 3 years plus.

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