Bye, Penguin!

Seou Lee. Levine Querido, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-64614-021-3
With a “Craaaack” and a “Snick!”—the only text in animator Lee’s otherwise wordless story—a little penguin suddenly floats away from its colony on a small ice floe. As it leaves behind a home that’s rendered in black-and-white (except for the penguin’s own jaunty bright orange beak), shock and sorrow give way to wonder and color: the ink and watercolor–style digital cartoons portray a shimmering green aurora, a gawk from Rio’s otherwise majestic Christ the Redeemer statue, azure and turquoise seas, and a “wave” from the Statue of Liberty, which the penguin returns with aplomb. The only human in the story, a young surfer, appears near a warm island just as the floe’s shrinkage become untenable; when next seen, the penguin arrives back at the colony on a red and yellow surfboard, while the board’s former owner stares at the tiny piece of ice garnered in exchange. Readers attuned to climate change’s impact on the polar regions may expect a more substantial message, but Lee sticks to her plot—winningly winsome, and bound to elicit laughs. Ages 4–7. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/19/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Children's
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