Monday, February 16, 2009

Review: My Penguin Osbert in Love

Title: My Penguin Osbert in Love
Author:  Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Illustrator:  H.B. Lewis
Review Copy Provided by:  Curled Up With a Good Book

About the Book:  Joe couldn't be more surprised to find his friend Osbert knocking at his front door — AWOL from the zoo — with an invitation to a South Pole extravaganza under his wing. Since penguins can't fly, and Joe has a helicopter from Santa, the boy is soon piloting a bunch of penguins on a long journey south. But when Osbert ignores the southern lights and only has eyes for a penguin named Aurora, Joe starts to worry. Will he ever get back in time for his own family's midwinter bash?

My Review:  I read My Penguin Osbert in December to my reading groups and they loved it!  Imagine my surprise when I found out that there was another Osbert book coming out just in time for Valentine's Day!  Elizabeth Cody Kimmel has once again taken this cute lovable penguin Osbert and his buddy Joe on an unforgettable adventure.  Joe is always asking Santa for elaborate gifts for Christmas.  That's how he got Osbert and his new helicopter.  Osbert has been at the zoo, but he comes to Joe for help in getting he and his friends to the South Pole for an Extravaganza. Joe can't possibly say no to Osbert.  Kimmel uses some form of this quote throughout the book, and it helps to tie everything together: "But Osbert was my friend.  And he wanted me to help him get to the South Pole."  Joe had to help, as long as he was back in time for his mom's midwinter bash.  Will he make it?  You have to read to find out. 
Joe and Osbert both are lovable characters.  Joe shows children that you always try to help your friends, no matter what.  He is loyal to Osbert.  Kimmel writes a story for 4-8 year olds that they will ask to read again and again because of the friendship theme.  Yes, Osbert falls in love, which is sometimes a taboo word for young children; it makes them go "ew!"  But, kids will see past that and enjoy this story for what it is, a good story.  Older children will enjoy it as well, as I've experienced with My Penguin Osbert. 
The illustrations, by H.B.White, really add to the story.  Lewis' use of watercolors, pastels, and digital renderings really bring Osbert and the rest of the characters in the story to life.  The colors are somewhat muted to depict the cold, but children will be attracted to them just the same as they are still vivid and rich.  My favorite illustration is when Joe and the penguins are set to land in the South Pole.  Lewis uses blue and pinks to create a magical picture.
I am sure that children will love this story, not only at Valentine's time, but throughout the year.  It is one for teachers to add to a collection of friendship or Valentine's themed books. 

Books reviewed for Curled Up with a Good Book require a rating of 1 to 5 stars.  This book earns 4 stars from me.  Copyright 2009 by Shelly Burns for Curled Up with a Good Book.  Originally published at

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