Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Tacky in Trouble

Tacky in Trouble

Helen Lester
Illustrator:   Lynn Munsinger 
Picture Book  Series
For ages 4 to 7
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 1998   ISBN: 978-0395861134

Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly, and Perfect are very well behaved penguins. They always look neat and tidy, they conduct themselves with appropriate decorum, and they never do anything that is loud or, well…unbecoming. Tacky is quite different. He is a very messy looking penguin and behaving with dignity is not in his nature.

One day, while his friends are having a nice nap, Tacky decides to go surfing using a piece of ice as a surfboard. The strong wind fills his flowery shirt and Tacky goes skimming across the waves at an extraordinary speed.

After several days of “sunny days and starlit nights” Tacky arrives on the shores of a place that is nothing like home. He sees birds that look nothing like penguins, and when he does his rock hopping dance on a large grey rock, the rock grabs him and runs off with him! Though Tacky does not know it, he is having his first encounter with an elephant, and this particular elephant has no idea what a penguin is. In fact, she thinks that Tacky is a flower and is going to use him to dress up her dining table. Tacky really is in a pickle this time.

Children who like penguins and/or elephants are sure to enjoy this entertaining picture book. With Lynn Munsinger’s comical illustrations, and a story that is deliciously funny, this Tacky the penguin title is sure to give readers a good laugh.