If you are after a Christmas Picture Book for a young child this year, you cannot go past this book. It is a beautifully told story and totally engaging. The tale flows smoothly, as the father penguin caring for his egg, becomes lost. There are many uncertain adventures, but he NEVER lets go of the egg which carried “you” inside. The story is told to baby penguin by his father, and the whole time one is surrounded by the love and warmth generated, even though most of this adventure happens in the snow.
There is a mixture of fantasy and fact here which is charming. This is a story told by father penguin to his baby at bedtime…. When mother penguin has laid her egg, she goes off to fish, while the father stays behind to keep the egg warm and safe. The dads become very, very hungry. This father was so hungry, standing in a dad huddle that he moved to the edge of the ice floe they were on. Suddenly a strong wind picked them up (dad and the egg) and they were taken far away.
Here we move on to the scary adventure. Dad is confronted by many strange animals, both in the water and on land. They completely ignore him and refuse to give him any help to return home. The air is freezing and dad could feel the little one tapping in the shell. Suddenly along came a “Hairy sheltering thing” (reindeer) which tucked the pair safely between his warm antlers and took them to his home.
Home just happens to be the house of Father Christmas who feeds dad, and watches as baby pops out of the shell. The feelings emerge as Dad greets the baby for the first time and wants to show you to mum, and to return to the Dad huddle. What a marvellous ending is in store!
This beautifully told story has illustrations which enhance the text well, and with humour. The colours are vivid and reflect the freezing cold outside, and the warmth and cosiness of Father Christmas’s house. There are changes in text size for little readers to join in, “POP, and QUICK” are a few words enlarged. If you have no young children to share this story with, make sure you have a read yourself, and enjoy your day.