Hello, lovely readers! Today is a busy day - I have a blog tour post for A Shadow Bright and Burning, and Penguin Problems! Both books were exceptional. Penguin Problems is such a great novel even for adults, because of its content to which people can relate. Check out this sweet book!
About the Book:
Penguin Problems by Jory John & Lane Smith
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 27, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Review copy sent by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
A penguin levels with human readers about what penguin life is really like—and it isn’t all fun and games.
Have you ever considered running away to Antarctica? Of course you have! Because it’s a land free of worries and responsibilities! All of your problems will surely be blown away by the icy winds of that lawless paradise! . . . Won’t they?
Think again, my friend. This penguin has come to tell you that his life down there is no more a picnic than yours is here. For starters, it is FREEZING. Also, penguins have a ton of natural predators. Plus, can you imagine trying to find your mom in a big ol’ crowd of identical penguins? No, thank you.
Yes, it seems there is no escaping the drudgery of your daily grind, whatever it might be. Or perhaps we’ve just learned that grumps are everywhere. . . .
What I Liked:
Maybe I'm an odd duck (or... penguin?) but I love picture books! They are so cute and funny, and wonderfully uplifting. This book spoke to me, which I thought was amazing. The fact that a message for a small child could also be applicable to a twenty-one-year-old, or adults in general, is amazing.
In this book, an adorable penguin has so many complaints and problems, and it seems like no one is listening. Life is hard, and it feels like he is shouting into the void. Will things start to look up for the penguin?
This review is going to be fairly short, and hey, the book is only thirty-two pages. I loved the story, as short as it was. It is rather dense if you read between the lines. For a kid, it might seem like a funny story about a penguin who has a lot of complaints (some silly, some exaggerated), but for an adult... it represents the real world, and real life. There are so many things that all of us could complain about, and it seems like no one is listening.
The ending is very interesting. A walrus approaches our grumpy penguin and talks to him. You'll have to read it to know what I mean. But the messages in this book are so powerful, for children and for adults alike. You know Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss, a children's book that has a lot of attention in the adult world? I personally think Penguin Problems should be right up there with Oh, The Places You'll Go!.
One final note - the illustrations are amazing! I love the style. Seriously, there should be a Penguin Problems coloring book with this novel!
What I Did Not Like:
Nothing here! This book was great.
Would I Recommend It:
I highly recommend this book, for little kids or for adults (or both). Sometimes we adults can learn a lot from kids, and from kids' books. I am definitely going to share this one with my little cousins!
4 stars. This book is cute and funny but it is also so meaningful and important.
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My Favorite Passages:
All of these passages seem pessimistic, but I think that's why I love them. They so clearly represent this generation, the modern world, the attitude of so many people. Life has gone in a certain direction for the entire world, and the authors have captured this brilliantly in this book.
"It's way too early." -- this is me EVERY morning.
"What's with all the squawking, you guys?" -- I wish I were brave enough to yell this to my neighbors!
"It's too bright out here." -- But actually! Can the sun see that I'm half asleep still?!
"I'm hungry. I'd like a fish. Where are all the fish?! HEY! FISH! GET OUT HERE!" -- Me trying to fix myself dinner. It can be a struggle!
"I wish I could fly, but I can't." -- Okay this one made me so sad. I wish I could fly too, Mr. Penguin. Literally, but also metaphorically. *hugs Mr. Penguin*
What do you think of this picture book? What are some picture books that you've found really relatable?