cover image Penguin Dreams

Penguin Dreams

J. Otto Seibold, Chronicle Books. Chronicle Books, $13.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-2558-0

Seibold and Walsh (Olive, the Other Reindeer), specialists in hip digital graphics and comic excess, expose the reveries of a flightless bird. Chongo Chingi the penguin initially appears against a pale green backdrop, fast asleep. In the next spread, he floats in a powder-blue sky that complements his mango-orange beak and feet: ""Chongo Chingi is/ DREAMING./ Thoughts are flying/ round and round,/ thoughts of flying/ off the ground."" In his imagination, Chongo takes to the air from his penguin tank at the zoo, while an alarmed crowd of humans and animals watches. He waves to the multi-species passengers of a jet, soars in outer space and turns the universe inside out by surfacing in an Antarctic landscape full of wild penguins. His adventure concludes with a memorable, elementary rhyme: ""Ring-aling-ling.../ Ding-dong-dingi.../ Time to wake-up / Chongo Chingi!"" In every spread, whimsical icons and messages divert the eye, while high-contrast hues of icy white, raven black, pale blue-gray and yellow-ochre keep the tiny details legible. Readers can watch for allusions to the authors' Mr. Lunch series and for a red balloon released by an astonished girl during Chongo's flight. This dizzying volume, generated exclusively with software, proves that high-tech illustration need not be chilly (even if the subject lives on an iceberg). All ages. (Oct.)