Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Impromptu World Tour: Bye, Penguin by Seou Lee

A trip around the world was the last thing that little Penguin was thinking about when he caught a big fish for breakfast.

All the big penguins watched approvingly from their large snowy iceberg as Little Penguin grabs the fish with a quick... snap 'n' snick!

But the slightest movement has a big consequence. The promontory upon which he stands snaps off and his link with the family is severed and begins to drift slowly away. Aghast, with his catch half-swallowed, he sees his iceberg home become further and further away, smaller and smaller in the distance.

He cries for help. But like it or not, Little Penguin is caught in the current and is off on the float--or voyage-- of his life. As he floats through ice caves and watches the Northern Lights flash in the sky all around, Penguin sails al norte, past the Christ the Redeemer Statue on the mountain top at Rio de Janeiro, and floats north, riding the currents until he passes another huge statue, the Statue of Liberty. He sees one the famous cathedrals of Europe and finally drifts south, past the famed Opera House of Sydney and in and among the islands of the East Indies. It's been an interesting trip!

But the little Penguin looks down and notices that his ice floe has become more like an shrinking ice platter. Now what? But he swaps places with a surfer and continues his trip on the surf board until....  he see rising something familiar ahead of him in the now chilly icy ocean.

It's around the world and back again right where he started from for this well-travelled little Penguin, in Seou Lee's happy, wordless story, Bye, Penguin! (Levine Querido, 2020). Lee's artistry is seen in the subtle facial expressions of  her little character and his look-alike family as his story comes back where it started--home again! There's no place like home, as Dorothy famously said in The Wizard of Oz (Puffin Classics), as Penguin, now not so little, surfs right up to his home berg, proudly wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a lei. Bon Voyage!

For more traveling penguin yarns, see my reviews here.

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