cover image Penguin Day

Penguin Day

Nic Bishop. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-545-20636-5

Wildlife photographer Bishop (Chasing Cheetahs) builds a story around a colony of rockhopper penguins in Antarctica, focusing on a chick and its parents (the photographs actually feature several penguin families, an endnote explains). Life is uncertain for both the chick and its mother, who treks with other adult penguins to the sea to catch food for their families. Orcas and sea lions threaten the safety of the mother penguin while, back home, a predatory skua swoops down on the baby: “But papa penguin saves the day! He frightens off the skua. Now baby penguin is safe.” Concise sentences make the penguins’ habits and threats readily discernible to even very young readers, and Bishop’s photos, although sometimes awkwardly incorporated into the pages, offer a strikingly intimate look at these distinctive flightless birds, particularly as the adults take to the sea. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)