Wednesday 11 October 2023

The Littlest Penguin and the Phillip Island Penguin Parade

The Littlest Penguin and the Phillip Island Parade, The Penguin Foundation and Jedda Robaard (Penguin Random House Australia) HB RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781761341830

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

The Penguin Foundation raises funds to protect Phillip Island’s native wildlife and enhance the natural environment through research, conservation, and education programs.  Jedda Robaard is an Australian author, illustrator, and designer, based in Southern Tasmania. Her sweet and whimsical style is recognised internationally.

This charming story follows the journey of the littlest penguin of Phillip Island from her early days as a hatchling to finally getting courage to go out to sea for food and adventure. As she grows, the reader learns all about real-life penguins and when she returns to Phillip Island it’s hoped she’ll have a chick of her own.  

What I love about this book is the direct and simple text that speaks to a reader’s heart. Each new step the Littlest Penguin experiences, the reader does, too. The facts make the read not only a story but educational, too. Your white belly will look just like the water’s surface. And if there’s a sharp-eyed, hungry seabird looking down from the sky, the water will look grey and dark to them, just like your blue-grey feathers. The voice of the mum talking to the little penguin is warm and the love of her dad as he fusses around her is beautiful. The dialogue is perfect for the intended audience and relatable. ’You’ve grown so much already,’ her mum told her. ‘Soon you’ll be big and strong and ready to explore the ocean for yourself. You won’t be the littlest penguin for long.’

Although the book shares facts, the vocabulary used is easy to read and understand. ‘Huke! Huke! Scruffy called out to her. Although Little Penguins usually go to sea by themselves the introduction of friends Scruffy, Cheeky, and Big Chick makes their adventures enthralling. This factional story has tension and excitement and takes the reader on a truly wonderful penguin journey.

Jedda Robbard’s blue cover reminds me of blue-grey penguin feathers and the sea, a perfect choice for this book. The white title draws the eye and the little hatchling penguin, and a parent is adorable. The penguin footprints show the book is about a journey. The endpapers with the little penguin in different positions with speech bubbles is a great introduction to the character. The beginning of each chapter has an illustration and then on just about every page are beautiful watercolour images that add to the text and give visual information. Occasionally there are double page spreads of illustrations that really draw the reader’s eye and bring the story to life.

The Littlest Penguin and the Phillip Island Penguin Parade is a wondrous book for readers 6 years and older that brings real-life penguin facts and story together. This timeless book is sure to appeal as a gift for those wanting to share or learn about the Little Penguins. This stunning, hard cover book is a collaboration between Jedda Robaard, Penguin Random House and The Penguin Foundation on Phillip Island National Parks. The back of the book features a non-fiction section that adds to its appeal.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.