Elliot is a very proper boy who isn’t very excited about visiting an aquarium filled with noisy children and boring fish. Then he discovers the penguins dressed in tuxedoes just like him. When Elliot asks his father’s permission to have a penguin of his own, his father hands him twenty dollars for a stuffed animal, but that’s not exactly what Elliot has in mind. Elliot slips one of the aquarium’s penguins into his backpack, and heads home. A playful story of friendship and shenanigans begins as Elliot turns the house into a winter wonderland for his new friend, Magellan. Everything will be perfect as long as his father doesn’t notice the penguin sleeping in the freezer, but Elliot’s father may be keeping a little secret of his own….
This Caldecott Honor book is filled with friendship and fun. The beautiful illustrations are created in dark ink with pops of bright color that really bring out the details of the story. Children will love how Elliot and Magellan match in their black and white tuxedoes, and how speech bubbles are incorporated into the text. And everyone will beg to hear the story again after the hilarious surprise ending. This book is recommended to children 5-8yrs, but with a story this good, children of all ages will enjoy it!
Reviewed by Rachel Brittain