365 Penguins

Jean-Luc Fromental, Author, Joelle Jolivet, Illustrator Abrams $17.95 (48p) ISBN 978-0-8109-4460-2
Comical math problems and an ecological message form a memorable counterpoint in Fromental's story of 365 penguins, one for each day of the year. The cheerful boy narrator of this oversize paper-over-board book recalls how a deliveryman brought a box to his family on New Year's Day. Inside, he and his older sister are thrilled to find a penguin and an unsigned note: ""I'm number 1. Feed me when I'm hungry."" Their parents look less pleased, especially when more shipments show up. ""At the end of January, there were thirty-one penguins,"" and after February, they tally 31 plus 28. ""On April the tenth exactly, penguin number 100 arrived,"" and the family calculates the weight and cost of the penguins' daily fish. They build penguin-storage cabinets and struggle to clean up after their charges. All but one penguin have orange feet, and readers play hide-and-seek with blue-footed Chilly; the lookalike birds' contrasting black and white, plus the complementary orange and blue of the family house, contribute to Jolivet's striking mod design. On December 31, the doorbell rings and the mystery is solved. Uncle Victor\x97a gray-bearded explorer in Birkenstocks\x97briskly summarizes his dubious attempt to protect this endangered species. Victor's postal plan clearly is impractical and removes threatened animals from their habitat. Yet Fromental and Jolivet creatively make the points that each penguin needs care and feeding, that humans have difficult responsibilities and that the world's creatures add up. Ages 5-up.(Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 48 pages - 978-7-5391-7209-5
Hardcover - 48 pages - 978-1-4197-2917-1
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