Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story

Salina Yoon. Walker, $12.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-80272-843-2
Readers familiar with Frank Asch’s Happy Birthday, Moon may think they are in for a similar story: a bighearted animal bonds with an inanimate object and endearingly projects a host of feelings onto it. But in Yoon’s story, the object—a pinecone—actually does have a personality. It shivers and sneezes in the cold and enjoys playing with Penguin. But, as Penguin’s grandfather tells him, a pinecone “can’t grow big and strong on the ice,” so Penguin makes a difficult journey to bring his friend to the nearest forest; his labors are rewarded when he returns to the forest years later and finds that Pinecone is now a towering tree—still wearing the scarf that Penguin knit for him. “Penguin and Pinecone may have been far apart,” writes Yoon, “but they always stayed in each other’s hearts.” Yoon’s minimalist digital artwork, set mostly along a single plane, feels bracingly wintry with its cool, saturated palette, scratchboard textures, and thick black outlining. Most important, it provides a suitable stage for Penguin to be his kind and generous self. Ages 3–6. Agent: Jamie Weiss Chilton, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
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