Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The World of Penguins

The World of Penguins

Evelyne Daigle
Illustrator:  Daniel Grenier 
For ages 9 to 12
Tundra Books, 2007   ISBN: 978-0887767999

Many people are attracted to penguins because these odd looking birds have lost the ability to fly and that makes them different. Their mostly black and white coloring and their upright gait also makes these birds very distinct, attractive and often comical.

Today there are seventeen species of penguins, all of which live in the southern hemisphere. They can be found on the coast of southern South America, on the Galapagos Islands, on the coastline of the southern tip of Africa, along the southern coast of Australia, on the coastlines of Tasmania and New Zealand, and the coastline and islands of Antarctica. They vary in size greatly with the largest of the penguins, the Emperor penguin, standing three feet tall, and the smallest, the Little penguin, being just 16 to 17 inches tall.

Though they cannot fly, penguins can zip though water at an amazing speed and they are perfectly adapted to the environments in which they live. Though many penguin species do live where it is very cold, some live in warmer climatic zones and one, the Galapagos penguin, lives right on the equator.

In this beautifully illustrated and highly informative book the author – who went to the Antarctic herself to see the penguins there – gives her readers a fascinating picture of penguin life. She also looks at the behavior and biology of these unique animals, and she rounds up by discussing the threats these birds face because of habitat loss, pollution, hunting, and other problems. Packed with facts and written in an easy-to-read style, this title will delight readers who want to learn about penguins.