by Jory John & Lane Smith
Released: September 27th 2016
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: Advance copy from publisher
Category: Juvenile, Picture Book, Penguins, Antarctica
Penguin Problems: 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. . . .
Penguin Problems is a book about a penguin who has a lot of problems. It's snowy and bright and cold and everyone looks the same and he can't fly and there are sharks in the water! But isn't all of that what it means to be a penguin living in Antarctica? Why is he complaining?!
My kids think this book is hilarious. It wasn't until their second reading that they fully grasped the humor in the story. But now they're asking me to read it to them all the time, and I've come across my seven year old reading it to herself. They think its a lot of fun to refute everything the penguin is complaining about - "you look the same as everybody else because you're all penguins!" My kids also think it's highly amusing to act out the story, and then add their own personal problems - with much inflection of course:
I don't want to brush my teeth.
Why do I have to go to school?
It's hot in here.
I don't want to eat this.
I hate waiting.
But then as the walrus encourages the penguin, when we read this book, we talk about the good things in our life too. Like family and friends and what we love about where we live.
This book isn't going to stop the complaining. We all get into bad moods sometimes. But for the little bit of perspective and lots of fun, Penguin Problems is super silly and comes highly recommended from us!
As my daughter says, "penguins don't look silly! They're cute when the waddle."