Monday, 14 April 2014

Little Penguin Learns to Swim

Author                              : Dubravka Kolanovic
Illustrations by                   : Eilidh Rose
Age range recommended : 3-7
Theme                              : Courage, penguins, overcoming the fear of the unknown, belief in oneself

Opening lines –  
It was an important day for Little Penguin. He was going swimming for the very first time. 

Little Penguin was nervous about learning to swim, but he wanted to splash and play with his friends. 

So, he started to slowly waddle along the icy path towards the big, blue ocean.

Introduction and Synopsis –
As Little Penguin nervously makes his way towards the big, blue ocean for his first ever swimming experience, he looks at other baby creatures like a seal, a bird and a whale all taking their big plunge with nervousness and excitement. As he looks at them one by one trying to succeed and finally do so, he conquers his inner fear of the unknown and slips into the water. Once inside, he ‘takes to water like a fish’ (or rather a penguin? ;-)) and realises that there was nothing to fear about. Trying was everything and when you muster up the courage to do that, you realise that it can be fun and thrilling too!

Why did my caterpillar and I like this book?
ME - 
It’s a well written book. Though I would call it a bit wordy for a 4 year old to be read to, it is still good enough for the child to be interested to know if Little Penguin does succeed in the end. The illustrations of all the baby animals are very endearing and capture the trepidation of Little Penguin very well. The varied hues of blue and white of the frozen ocean is also illustrated vividly. Little Penguin is impressed by the ability of the other young creatures to conquer their fears and is encouraged to go ahead and take his plunge. This is a book with a message that learning new skills can be daunting at first, but required and sometimes necessary. 

The illustrations are the strongest attraction for the book. A admired the book page after page and it took her a long time to be done with seeing the pictures. She liked the story and was very pleased that Little Penguin was brave to take the plunge on his own in spite of his fears.

We had a similar incident at home when A fell off her bike in the park. She wasn’t hurt anywhere, but it shook her up enough to announce that she never wanted to ride a bike again. It took us a good amount of cajoling and encouraging to instill in her a sense of not giving up and to go ahead and give it one more try. Once she did it, there was no looking back. It’s no wonder that she could identify with Little Penguin. 

Online link -
We couldn’t find any online video links for this book.

The cocoon rates it -


The book is a little wordy, we think, for a child less than 4 years, though this could be a plus point for 5+children. So for younger kids, even if you are not looking to encourage them in anyway, this could be a sweet little bedtime story. We recommend. 

1 comment:

  1. How cute! I love books for really young readers. There are quite a few that are really brilliant!

    Stephanie Faris, author
    30 Days of No Gossip