Sunday, 26 February 2012

Penguin by Polly Dunbar

Another of my choices from the picture books section of the library on Saturday. I've seen this book in Waterstones a few times, but, irritatingly, it has never been in The Book People, The Works, or The Red House, hence we do not own it.

The book tells the tale of a boy who is given a toy penguin, and attempts to get it to talk to him. I will not give away the plot but two things are important about it. 1) It is hilarious and 2) it requires a large dose of willing suspension of disbelief. The penguin's face is my favourite thing about the book - it's brilliant.

Highly recommended for toddlers upwards. A greatly enjoyed it, even at the advanced age of 8. I am a great fan of reading "toddler" picture books to older children. Children of this age might well be fantastic readers, but they are still developing their sense of how stories work, and what makes stories funny/sad/exciting and so on. Those who are not fantastic readers can benefit from hearing a parent read the words on the page, which are likely to be large, and match the words to what is being said.

Reading picture books to older children also cements their understanding of what works in stories, and can inform and improve their developing writing skills. Also, importantly, they are comforting and enjoyable, which is not something to be undervalued, particularly at bedtime.

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