cover image Tacky the Penguin

Tacky the Penguin

Helen Lester. Walter Lorraine Books, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-45536-4

This book is must reading for any kidor grown-upwho refuses to follow the pack. Tacky wears a rumpled Hawaiian shirt, frequently stumbles, performs splashy cannonballs and sings songs like, ""How Many Toes Does a Fish Have?'' He lives at the North Pole with his companions Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly and Perfect, who clad themselves in decorous bow-ties, walk neatly in a row, perform elegant dives and sing lovely songs like, ``Sunrise on the Iceberg.'' But even without the fancy trappings, Tacky comes into his own when he outsmarts a gang of penguin rustlers. This is off-beat fun that is a natural follow-up to Lester and Munsinger's other dandy offerings, including A Porcupine Named Fluffy and The Wizard, the Fairy, and the Magic Chicken. Ages 4-8. (April)