Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Taking the Plunge! Be Brave, Little Penguin by Giles Andreae

A colony of penguins are living together at the edge of the cold Antarctic Ocean.

There are fat ones, there were thin ones.
There were short ones and tall.
But little penguin Pip-Pip was
The smallest of them all.

And his size is not the only thing that sets Pip apart.

All the other little penguins are swimming and diving cheerfully in the sea.  Only Pip-Pip refuses to take the plunge. He hides out in his little igloo, playing solo, to avoid the teasing of the other little ones.

Pip's Mom takes his wing gently and leads him to the edge of the ice shelf, but Pip-Pip makes his case.

But what if the water's freezing, Mom?
What if I get in,
And it's just too dark and deep for me,

And what if there are MONSTERS?"

Mom doesn't contest his points, but she suggests that there are other possibilities.

"But what if in that water,
There are friends for you to meet.
And what if it's light and warm
And full of treats to eat?"

Hmmm. Mom's got a point. And he is a little hungry. Although his heart gives a big thump...
Little Penguin makes the jump!

And it's great! There are friends to play with, treats to eat, and the water's not so cold after all. In fact, Pip stays down long enough for Mom to begin to worry.

Suddenly he pops out of the sea and sails through air. Is Pip-Pip the first penguin to fly?

Whether it's venturing into a new play group or starting to school, sometimes little ones just need to screw up their courage and take the plunge into new activities, and in Giles Andreae's Be Brave, Little Penguin (Orchard Books, 2018 Am. ed.), little Pip-Pip spreads his wings bravely. With rhythmic and rhyming quatrains and the evocatively energetic and whimsical illustrations of artist Guy Parker-Reeves, youngsters may be empowered to try their own wings in doing something that's new. Share this one with Andreae's and Parker-Reeves earlier best-seller, Giraffes Can't Dance.

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