Penguin in Peril

Helen Hancocks. Candlewick/Templar, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7159-4
A bicycle built for three and a secret subterranean tunnel system are just two of the treats thrown into this madcap adventure by first-time British author/illustrator Hancocks. Three hungry cats snare a penguin from the local zoo, scheming to have it catch fish for them. But the penguin escapes, and although the cats give chase through a crowded city, it eludes them, camouflaging itself in a handy group of nuns and darting into the kitchen of a high-end restaurant. Hancocks’s artwork is first cousin to Maira Kalman’s, a series of cheerful gouaches in which grown-up metropolitan civilization is depicted with childlike charm. Cheeky humor crowds the pages; in the restaurant, the penguin joins a procession of formally dressed waiters into the dining room, holding the skeleton of the fish he’s just downed like a trophy. Penguin fans will sigh with relief as a little bird reveals the underground tunnels: “Luckily, she knew a secret way into the zoo.” The cats’ punishment seems too harsh for the crime—gruel for life behind bars!—but perhaps a sequel will let them stage a jailbreak. Ages 3–7. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/25/2013
Release date: 02/11/2014
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-84877-837-5
Paperback - 1 pages - 978-1-84877-862-7
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