Written and illustrated: by Debi Gliori
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books, 2002, Fiction
Suitable for: Preschool – Kindergarten (ages 3-6)
Themes/Topics: the arrival of a young sibling.
Opening and brief synopsis: Milo is the youngest in a long line of Penguin Post penguins. But a new sibling is on the way. Milo’s not sure how he feels about this, but bringing packages to his neighbors turns out to be more fun than Milo thought, and then a big surprise at the end of his route becomes the best delivery of all.
Why I like this book: For the humour and vibrant illustrations and because I have a soft spot for penguins.
Longer Version I honestly don’t often read picture books where I want to read them again and again, but this one I do. The main character is so cute, the pictures so humorous and the story so endearing, that I have reread it several times, smiling each time! Milo is the youngest in a family of penguin post penguins, running a very busy polar post office. Everyone is busy, what with sorting and delivering mail, doing the shopping and sitting on the soon-to-be-hatched egg.
Milo is a little preoccupied by the thought of a sibling, so to take his mind off it, he offers to deliver the day’s parcels. He proceeds to make some perilous journeys to some hilarious addresses; delivering a papoose for mama Oose, a zzzleepsuit to Bee U Tiful, for her baby, a fish to Cool Cat and her kitties at Dustbin number 8, and a bottle of baby stars for Stella Polaris. All these mothers ask after the unhatched egg.
Now, Dad was left in charge of the egg, so Milo is surprised when he realizes that by some error, the egg was placed in his mailbag and is about to hatch. He hurries home to safely present his baby brother to his parents and Dad discovers what he has been keeping warm, is in fact a special gift for Milo. This is a smiley, big brother story, with zany, bold, colorful illustrations for any kid or adult to enjoy.
#1 in Perfect Picture Book Friday. This is a great new initiative by the lovely and talented Susanna Hill. Please do join us and put your link on Susanna’s blog. Other books can be found in Perfect Picture Books.
#108 in There’s a Book’s Read to me Picture Book Challenge.
I love penguins too. I also love stories with a Milo in them too.
Is Milo a special name to you, Stacey?
Love your selection. So far we all selected animals books. I never thought to do a longer version beneath the post. This is a good idea and I hope other join in.
Pat, I need to check out the others today. Actually I only added the longer as I had already planned this review for by Read to Me Challenge!
Joanna, this looks so CUTE! Like Pat said, it’s funny how many of us chose books with an animal MC – um, all of us? 🙂 The only thing missing from this is an idea or two of resources/how to use at home or in the classroom – I’m thinking something with mail, or a mail bag – special delivery – writing letters – having fun thinking up nonsense words and/or rhyming with them??? I especially love that this story is about a big brother – it seems there are fewer of those. Thanks so much for being part of the first Perfect Picture Book Friday! I hope we’ll have lots more and really get a great list of resources going 🙂 Have a great weekend!
Susanna, thanks for clarifying about the resources, I wasn’t sure if you wanted to add our own ideas if none were already available. This was also prewritten as I have been away all week for work, so hope to have something better next Friday 🙂
First of all, I will read *anything* with a penguin in it. Milo reminds me so much of the animated Pingu (whom I love dearly).
Perfect Picture Book Fridays is such a wonderful idea — I’m looking forward to seeing what each person highlights each Friday.
I too love Pingu, Beth!
I first spotted your post about this on facebook and loved it. I have had internet go down here for a bit and missed this great idea of Susanna’s. I loved the animal themes and look forward to seeing what else you review. Thanks Joanna.
Diane, I am sure you can join in any time, if you wish!
Funny, great illustrations and penguins, you’ve sold me right there. I’m going off to find it. Great post, thank you!
I enjoyed your review. It’s hard to write a good review of a picture book: it’s hard to analyze what makes them so good. You did such a nice job of capturing the elements that make this one work, and really spiked my interest.
Elizabeth, thank you for your warm comments. I do agree writing a good picture book review is difficult and I try and read a lot of skilled reviewers from blogs like, There’s a Book, Jen’s Book Page and Gathering Books.
Joanna – This book looks great! I love stories with penguins. 🙂
Maeve, it makes me want to write a penguin story!
This one sounds so cute, and an original take on the new sibling theme!
It is adorable, Julie!
PS: I read your comment on Gail Shepherd’s blog. I’m reading Martha Alderson’s The Plot Whisperer too. Isn’t it wonderful? I watched some of her tutorials on You Tube as well, and she really got me enthused about plotting.
Elizabeth, I am loving it and know it is a resource I will revisit often. Actually Iearnt about it through Jill Corcoran posting the videos on her site and extolling book and author!