I LOVE this book. We recently discovered Oliver Jeffers and are completely smitten. This book begins when a penguin shows up and begins following a little boy around. "The penguin looked sad and the boy thought it must be lost."
He tries and tries to help the penguin, but eventually decides that he must take the penguin back to the South Pole. They get in a rowboat and set out to sea.
He drops the penguin off at the south pole but when he looks back, the penguin looks "sadder than ever."
As he is rowing home, he thinks, "there was no point telling stories now because there was no one to listen except the wind and the waves. Instead, he just thought. And the more he thought...the more he realized he had made a big mistake! The penguin hadn't been lost. It had just been LONELY.'
He heads back to get his friend only to discover that the penguin is gone (he's floating back to the boy on an umbrella.)
Eventually they meet up at sea and they hug. (Juliet likes to give me a big penguin hug at this point.) And it ends with "And so the boy and his friend went home together, talking of wonderful things all the way." The image that accompanies this is beautiful--An arieal view of the two in a rowboat sailing the open sea with whales swimming underneath them.
As I was searching for more information about this book, I discovered this trailer for an animated version of this story. I thought you might like to see it--it gives you an idea of the story.
This book got us talking about penguins and where they live, so after looking at Antarctica on a map, we did a couple fun "south pole-ish" activities together.
(I found both of these ideas at The Activity Mom--if you are in need of some easy and fun ideas for your toddler and preschooler, check her blog out, it's amazing!)
1. Playing in the "snow" like penguins do--since we don't get real snow where we live, we have to make do with the shaving cream kind. Juliet LOVED this and has requested to do it over and over again this week.
2. Playing with ice--This was fun for Juliet to do while I was getting dinner ready one night. I made some colored ice balls (using my pumpkin ice mold) and dropped them in a bowl of water. Then I had Juliet practice transferring the ice from one bowl to another using a spoon.
This was another big hit. Our house must have been a little too warm for this activity though because the ice melted really quickly! I tried to replace them with regular ice, but Juliet seemed to enjoy the colored ice better.
We haven't done this yet, but I think this penguin playset from Frugal Family Fun looks like an easy and fun craft we can do together one day soon.
Raising a Happy Child left a comment that mentioned a really fun blog called Always Something to Learn. I love this footprint penguin craft--it would be the perfect afternoon craft activity to do after reading this book.
Do you have any fun snow and ice activities or books to share?