Penguinaut! – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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Title: Penguinaut!

Written by: Marcie Colleen

Illustrated by: Emma Yarlett

Publisher: Orchard Books, 2018

Ages: 3-7

Themes: penguins, the moon, adventure, imagination, being small, thinking big, friendship


Orville was small.


Orville lives at the zoo, surrounded by animal pals who go on exciting adventures. A hang gliding rhino! A deep-sea diving giraffe! Orville struggles to keep up, until one day he concocts an adventure all his own: build a spaceship and fly to the moon all by himself. Can one tiny penguin get there alone? (publisher)

Why I like this book:

Who can resist a little penguin with giant astronaut dreams and a name like Orville? Marcie Colleen is becoming known in the picture book world for her great word play and sharp word selection, and this story is no exception. Emma Yarlett’s whimsical mixed-media illustrations create a delightful world and she excels with their expressions. I think the illustrator and art director have also made some great chocies in letter art and fonts to add to the visual appeal of this book. It is super playful as well as being inspirational. Kids will love this tiny explorer and cheer him through all his mishaps to success. And then they will cheer even louder when he is reunited with his biggest fan club, his friends.

Determination and a little word of encouragement from our friends go a long way, right?


Craft activities to create rockets/space-ships (save up those old toilet rolls).

This post is part of a series by authors and children’s literature bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

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11 Responses to Penguinaut! – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. This book looks adorable. A penguin named Orville + an astronaut dream. What’s not to love? And with such a great review, I have to jump out and check this one out!

  2. What a great book about imagination! Dream big. The cover of Orville is so sweet and engaging.

  3. What a fun book and I love your activity. Who wouldn’t want to make a rocket ship for the animal(s). Thanks.

  4. Lynn Baldwin says:

    I also just read this book and loved it!

  5. Wendy Greenley says:

    Love this book! Seeing it here makes me happy!

  6. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    I do so love little Orville. He’s so huggable, and that’s one of the litmus tests for a great picture book.

  7. This book looks great! Something irresistible about penguins! Another fun project would be a homemade stomp rocket 🙂

  8. What a great books and wonderful word play. Love it!

  9. This is such a fun book! And stomp rockets are awesome!

  10. Patricia Nozell says:

    I love Orville – great choice as we head towards the moon landing anniversary.

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