book review

365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromenthal and Joelle Jolivet

Cover Image

A penguin in the mail?  Readers will be immediately intrigued, especially after seeing the accompanying note: “I’m number 1.  Feed me when I’m hungry.”  By the time young readers realize this book is a giant math problem unfolding with every page (and each new pengun arrival!), they will be too hooked on this penguin adventure to care.   As the anonymous pengiuns arrive each day, one at a time and always with a note, an unsuspecting family must both make room for the everincreasing amounts of penguins and figure out what to do with them.  What should they name them?  (Alfred and Moose?)  How much fish should they feed them?  (Multiplication problems ensue)   What do they do about the smell and the noise?  (New storage solutions are required monthly, and air freshener, of course)  And who is sending them?  (Mother thinks she might know)    Dealing with math and ecology issues with a sense of humor, this book is both refreshing and thought provoking.  The illustrations for this oversized book are done in a retro style, and feature lots of black and white (of course!), with bright splotches of blue and orange serving as contrast.   The penguins, who play, fight over food, watch tv, and do yoga, among other activities, are not drawn realistically, but rather as 365 (eventually) identical and adorable toys.  This keeps the story lighthearted and cheerful, rather then overwhelming or from having too much of an educational tone.   Animal lovers, math lovers, or readers who just love to laugh should definitely check this one out.

Lane Library info here


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