cover image Poles Apart

Poles Apart

Jeanne Willis, illus. by Jarvis. Nosy Crow, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-8944-5

The Pilchard-Browns, a family of penguins, get quite lost on their way to a picnic. Drifting along on an iceberg, they reach the North Pole, where an “enormous something” wearing a bowler hat offers to lead them home. “I have often dreamed of being the first polar bear to reach the South Pole,” Mr. White tells them. The animals’ journey takes them to the U.S., England, Italy, India, and Australia, where they enjoy local attractions before continuing on their way (“Australia was bonzer but it still wasn’t home”). Willis’s (Slug Needs a Hug!) drily funny text is sprinkled with the penguins’ alliterative observations at each stop (Peeky and Poots assess London as “Gray!” and “Grand!”), as well as Pog’s impatient plea, “Now can we have our picnic?” Featuring an array of bold hues, Jarvis’s (Fred Forgets) whimsical digital artwork shows the energetic penguins riding the rails of a Venetian gondola, waterskiing in Sydney, and bonding with their polar bear guide. Readers won’t learn much about anywhere the Pilchard-Browns visit, but the pleasures, quirks, and unexpected surprises of travel are evident. Ages 3–7. (Nov.)