Monday, April 16, 2012


Book Title: "The Many Adventures of Pengey Penguin"
Author: John Burns
Published By: San Francisco Story Works
Age Recommended: 5 +
Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard
Raven Rating: 5


Review: Even at the ripe old age of 39 I still enjoy a children’s story every now and again, and when I have the chance to find one that truly transports me back to those years of my youth I have to rate it highly. “The Adventures of Pengey Penguin” is definitely one of those books that in my opinion should be rated as an instant classic. The tales of this wonderful creature are some of the most interesting, adventurous, and delightful stories I’ve ever read.

I can imagine any child or even any adult that would not enjoy this book immensely. If you have the chance to get one book for your child or grandchild, you should make it “The Adventures of Pengey Penguin” you will be happy you made the decision and your child or grandchild will be happy too!

Synopsis: Pengey doesn't have many breaks as a baby; he's orphaned soon after he hatches. Shunned by the other penguins, without food, he has no chance to survive in an Antarctic winter. A fierce storm leaves him stranded on a tiny iceberg, but he stays calm and relies on the lessons his parents taught him. When he's lonely, or hungry, or angry, or just plain stuck, you see, he always, "ponders his options." Pengey is a very smart penguin. Days later, Pengey stumbles upon some humans. He is always inquisitive, polite, and a quick study, but he is near death from starvation when he meets Wendy. Still, he impresses her with his good manners and ability to speak small, but important, human words. His reward is a full tummy, but his friendship is short-lived when Wendy leaves to go back to her home in New York City. She pleads with Pengey to go with her, but he is terrified of the noisy airplane.

Feeling abandoned, Pengey vows to find Wendy again, and it is then that he begins a new adventure. One mishap leads Pengey to Brazil and to his happy reunion with her, but the next separates them and lands Pengey in animal jail. When the jailer notices his ability to talk, Pengey looks like money in the bank. The greedy jailer knows many evil-doers who would pay handsomely for a talking penguin. That they would enslave Pengey to the circus or the cloning laboratory is of no matter to him. It's in animal jail that Pengey meets his most trusted allies, Rufus Puffin-quiet, smart with knowledge of the sea, and Lionel Macaw-street-wise, grew up on the lower East-Side. The three unlikely friends must overcome obstacles that test their skills at every turn-not the least of which is how to escape from animal jail.

Then, the recaptured Pengey must escape from the Mad Scientist, Circus Master, and Animal Trainer. If, Lionel and Rufus can snatch him back from their clutches, the only way out will be through the rainforests of Brazil and Venezuela, with their constant danger of wild animals. Pengey's only option is to learn to fly. Luckily, Lionel is a huge bird, and the tiny penguin finds that he can fly fearlessly on Lionel's back. Clear of one obstacle and then another, the valiant threesome is faced with their greatest challenge, the flight across the mighty Caribbean, which is prone to terrible sea squalls. Pengey and Rufus can easily survive them, but Lionel cannot swim, and the little islands that dot the great water are few and far between. Spurred on by a little luck, Rufus and Lionel's strengths, and Pengey's cheerful, spirited ways---the unlikely friends make the dangerous 5,000-mile journey to New York.

There they go their separate ways, for that is the way things are--each rewarded by the friendship they found on their amazing adventure. But in the end, it is Pengey's reunion with the human who saved him from starvation that is a triumph of the spirit, because without Wendy, Pengey would have had no journey at all. "A bedtime story for the Soul"

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