Penguins and Pachyderms

Penguin in Peril by Helen Hancock’s
Recommended Ages 3 to 7
Penguin
Three hungry orange cats go to the movies one day.  The movie is about penguins and how they catch their food which is fish.  Since the cats are starving, they decide they need to kidnap a penguin.  The cats come up with a plan and take the unsuspecting penguin from his home at the zoo. Soon they are biking through the city on their way to get a fishy supper with the poor penguin in a box.  Knowing he is in peril when they hit a bump, the penguin makes his escape.  The cats run after him, but the penguin is cunning and blends in with some nuns at one spot and a waiter in a restaurant. A bird friend gives the penguin directions to the zoo and tells a police officer about the penguin’s plight. The penguin makes it home in time for a fishy treat while the cats are caught and put in jail.

Even though the cats are clearly wrong it is hard to dislike them.  Hancocks gives them silly expressions and dresses them as cat burglars when they steal the penguin.  They ride on a bicycle built for three around a charming city setting.  The penguin is so wily which almost makes the reader sorry for cats because the penguin is always one step ahead! This fun tale is the first book from Hancocks.  I look forward to her next offering.

Elephantantrum! by Gillian Shields and Illustrated by Cally Johnson-Isaacs
Recommended Ages 2 to 5

ElephantantrumA brightly dressed spoiled little girl named Ellie decides she wants an elephant.  She will not leave her bed or even go to school, ignoring her father’s requests to stop her bratty behavior.  To make her happy the father goes through all kinds of trouble to find her an elephant.  Ellie is thrilled when the it arrives. She quickly changes her mind because the elephant will not put up with her rudeness. Ellie has a huge tantrum. She wants her father to get  another elephant, but he quickly realizes this elephant is just right for her.

The elephant makes himself comfortable and soon takes over.  If the elephant does not get his way, he has an elephantantrum!  She ends up giving into his demands and soon gets very upset over the situation.  When Ellie cries the elephant gives her a handkerchief. For the first time in her life, Ellie says thank-you.  They become best friends sharing her toys and spending fun times together   Ellie is now a happy polite girl.  When the elephant tells her, he has to leave, they are both sad. The new improved Ellie understands that she has to share him with other children. A lovely story about friendship, cooperation and sharing. 

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