Category Archives: Books

Penguins: A Wordwide Guide

Penguins: A Worldwide Guide by Remy Marion is for the most part a reference book that overviews characteristics, behaviors, regional information of every penguin species in superb detail. The species are sorted by their associated genus and each section is laid out in the same order: descriptions of adults, immatures, and chicks; breeding; chick-rearing; foraging & diet; Survival; and population & distribution. This book includes full color photographs which add immensely to the reading experience.

Most notable, I believe, is the historical section in the book titled “Penguins and People: A 6,000-year-old history.” The author writes in great (and sometimes graphic) detail about mankind’s interactions with the penguin species, most of which are in a negative context. He talks of the exploitation of penguins whether it be from indigenous tribes or from explorers, both hunting the all but defenseless creatures for their skin, feathers, blubber, oil, and yes even meat. Marion also details the exploitation of penguins in modern ages and how humans are affecting their little world by the extraction of guano from breeding grounds, pollution such as oil spills and chemical wastes, and fisheries.

This book was originally published in 1995 but we all know that history does not change. I believe this book is an excellent read for any penguin or history fan. Not only do you get to find out details of the different species & their habitats but also get a glimpse into the dark past between humans and penguin-kind.


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Penguin Dreams

We were at the grocery store last night and were passing by the bargain books bin when I saw this book. The very first thing that I noticed was that it was in the art style of J.otto Seibold. You know, the man who illustrated “Olive, the Other Reindeer.” Being the penguin lover that I am, I had to snatch up a copy of it. How could I resist for $3.99?

Penguin Dreams” is about a penguin named Chongo Chingi (yeah, it does sound like a monkey’s name but who am I to judge?) who drifts off to sleep, wanting to fly. Soon thereafter, his dreams begin as he dives into the water but finds himself flying! His flight takes him over the zoo, into the sky and to outer space. The story itself isn’t very linear and at first you may think it doesn’t make much sense; however, do our dreams make sense sometimes?

The scenes go from stage to stage abruptly like any dream could do. It’s an interesting concept being used here. There aren’t too many words in this book although I think that the illustrations make up for that. The abstract style may seem to be too busy for your children but the muted colors tone that aspect down and should keep them interested.I’ll be reading this to my children tonight and we’ll see how they like it.


Filed under Animals, Books, Penguin

Your Personal Penguin

Tonight I picked up Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton. After reading about this book and hearing the song at Workman Publishing’s web site, I just knew I had to get this book. The story is more like a short song where this little penguin wants to befriend this hippopotamus, telling it of all of the things they’d do together. It’s very a cute story and the very last page will make you go, “Aww…” Below I have linked the song that goes with the book which is sung by Davy Jones of The Monkees. After the cut, there’s a behind-the-scenes video of Davy singing the song. Totally amazing. Davy Jones was a perfect fit for this song. I absolutely recommend this book for any small child. My daughter has requested that I read/sing this to her every night.

The song can be downloaded from Workman Publishing’s site in mp3 format.

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Filed under Books, Music, Penguin, Video

And Tango Makes Three

We went to the library today to get some books for the kids to read. I picked up a few books on penguins. Story books and references to finish up filling in the static content for this site were my main objectives. I was pleasantly surprised to find And Tango Makes Three was available. I added that one to my stack without hesitation as I have been wanting to read it after hearing all of the hubbub about it. I read it this afternoon and I liked it. The theme of this book is definitely centered around families.

Despite what those crazy school officials think, I think Tango opens up the discussion of how families can be different and non-traditional. The tale of Tango sends a message that children can be raised properly in non-traditional homes. Of course it does depend on the specific situation, but the general consensus should be that a mother/father/child relationship does not have to be the end-all solution to giving proper love to a child. Just remember My Two Dads & Three Men and a Baby. If you’ve jumped to the conclusion that this book actually promotes homosexuality, you’ve either missed the point or haven’t even read the book. Two flippers up, if I had them.

“In this true, straightforwardly (so to speak) delivered tale, two male chinstrap penguins at New York City’s Central Park Zoo bond, build a nest and — — thanks to a helping hand from an observant zookeeper — — hatch and raise a penguin chick…Readers may find its them of acceptance even more convincing for being delivered in such a matter of fact, non — preachy way.”

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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Filed under Animals, Books, Penguin