Penguins, Penguins, Everywhere!
Like his Dem Bones and Dinosaur Bones , Barner's straightforward primer about all things penguin is anything but pedagogical. In fact, the rhyming verse resembles more of a lyrical lesson ("Cold penguins huddle close with penguin heat to share./ Daddies warm fragile eggs with tender, special care"). For those more familiar with Arctic penguins, Barner sets the record straight: that the black-and-white birds can live in both cool and warm climes. He divides his opening spread into a cool blue backdrop on the left and a warm golden setting on the right (with matching accents on the yellow-eyed penguin of New Zealand). Horizontal spreads make the most of icy landscapes and coral reefs, with collage elements introducing brightly colored starfish, and gray watercolor wash underscoring the Arctic chill. Splashy images of penguins at work and play range from those eluding predator seals to a sleepy penguin floating with its parent. At story's end, a "Penguin Puzzler" reveals answers to some of the more confounding questions ("Why do penguins look the way they do?"), while a "Penguin Parade" identifies their many types and habitats. Whether or not readers are penguin aficionados to begin with, they will likely end up knowing more than when they started. Ages 3-7. (Feb.)