Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Penguins! Strange and Wonderful

Penguins! Strange and Wonderful

Laurence P. Pringle
Illustrator:  Meryl Henderson 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Boyds Mills Press, 2007   ISBN: 978-1590780909

When Portuguese explorers first saw groups of flightless black and white birds on South American beaches, they thought they were "strange geese." Today we call these birds penguins, and people of all ages are attracted to the funny looking animals because of their gait, their appearance, and their novel lifestyles.

In this attractive and carefully researched picture book Laurence Pringle introduces children to the seventeen different species of penguin that can be found in our world. He explains how penguins are ideally suited for their mostly aquatic lifestyle, and how they are different from other birds. Penguin diets, habits, and behaviors are explored, and readers will come to discover that the penguins species, though similar, have adapted to different environments in interesting ways. For example, because they nest on rocky coastlines, Rockhopper penguins have become very skilled at jumping from rock to rock. Emperor penguins, who have to travel long distances on ice, have found another mode of transport to use when their legs get tired – they slide along on their bellies.

With plenty of illustrations on every page, and with an entertaining and interesting text, this title will definitely please young penguin fans who want to learn more about these very unique birds.