cover image Well Done, Mommy Penguin

Well Done, Mommy Penguin

Chris Haughton. Candlewick, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-2865-6

No challenge is too great for the indomitable mother penguin that stars in Haughton’s latest color-saturated work, a comic tribute to motherhood’s never-ending labor. While Daddy Penguin and Little Penguin watch, Mommy Penguin navigates a bona fide obstacle course as she hunts for the family’s food—swimming, jumping ashore, and climbing a snowy hill—receiving with each success the titular refrain, “Well done, Mommy Penguin!” Meanwhile, the youth impatiently waits, repeating questions: “And she’ll be back, won’t she?” After an attempt to sneak past sleeping seals (in a fan-familiar “tiptoe/ tiptoe/ tiptoe” moment), a surprise temporarily sets the magenta and indigo bird back, but as wry narration declares, “Nothing’s going to stop Mommy Penguin,” and it’s soon mission accomplished—at least temporarily. Haughton’s bold and blocky aesthetic brightly captures the exhausting and frenetic hustle of getting food into little bellies. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)