Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan
Lynn: We’ve had so much snow here in Michigan this winter that I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see penguins hopping around on the snowbanks! So Melissa Guion’s two charming books about baby penguins and their mother seem like the perfect books to review. We’ve been wanting to review the first book, Baby Penguins Everywhere (Penguin/Philomel 2012) but time slid away from us. So when we were sent the next one, we knew we needed to get writing. So put on your winter gear and read on.
Baby Penguins Everywhere introduces readers to a penguin who spent her days all by herself. She enjoyed the peace and quiet but some days she felt lonely. Then one day she finds a top hat on the ice and when she picked it up, out popped a baby penguin… and then another and another and then there were baby penguins everywhere! The penguin wasn’t lonely any more and she was very very busy. Guion’s watercolor and pencil illustrations are sweet and funny depicting life with active busy babies that leaves our heroine happy “but a little bit tired.” She realizes that she needs a little time to be alone… “though being together is a lot more fun.” Toddlers will love this story and the antics of the bouncing baby penguins but human mamas who also sometimes yearn for a little time alone will love it just as much.
Cindy: Just in time for Valentine’s Day I get to write about Baby Penguins Love Their Mama! (2014). Who better to show love to than your mama? Mama is busy giving lessons to her many babies…and young readers learn the days of the week along with them. “Waddling on Wednesday. Waddling was harder than it looked.” Fishing is more fun than preening , but they all love Saturday squawking. Sound like any youngsters you know? Here’s a book to give those mothers who will soon have an empty nest. What will they do now that their babies know how to do everything on their own?
“Silly Mama….you will be our Mama!”
The jacket flap says that Guion “swears she could draw baby penguins all day” and I could look at her adorable watercolor and pencil baby penguins all day. You can get another look at her penguins in her online portfolio. But she also hints that she may try to do a book about her daughter’s guinea pigs, Squeaky and Brenda. Yes, please!