PENGUIN POST

Debi Gliori, Author, Allyn Johnston, Editor . Harcourt $16 (40p) ISBN 978-0-15-216765-3

Milo is a dubious sibling-to-be in a family of penguin postal workers. Given the choice between keeping the egg warm and delivering the mail, he eagerly chooses the latter—not knowing that his father has mistakenly packed the egg in the red mailbag along with all the other deliveries (readers will easily spot the unmistakable oval bulge as Milo goes on his appointed rounds). The comforts and joys of family life are Gliori's (Tell Me What It's Like to Be Big) métier, and her picaresque tale takes Milo to a panoply of fanciful addresses where infants are cherished, including the treetop hideaway of a moose who's ordered a papoose for her offspring and the hive of a mama bee (in a hilarious painting, Milo presents a mail-order sleeper for the multi-legged baby daughter). At first, Milo is unmoved by these scenes of bliss, and shrugs off inquiries about his own family's upcoming arrival. But when he climbs "a rickety rope ladder to the lonely place in the sky" and delivers thousands of baby stars to an ecstatic Stella Polaris, he realizes what his family needs—just in time to welcome his baby brother. Gliori appreciates the skepticism of her target audience, even if Milo's sudden change of heart seems abrupt. The wide-eyed, tuxedoed hero will enchant youngsters, who will pore over the wealth of clever details. The diminutive hero's determination to deliver his packages may well put readers in mind of a formal-attired Santa junior. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/09/2002
Release date: 10/01/2002
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