Of course, penguins love the cold weather and live in Antarctica. They don’t live in the jungle. . . except for Gwendolyn! This is the story of a loveable and always positive little penguin called Gwendolyn. Her mission in life seems to be to cheer up the other animals in the jungle. She is always saying, ‘Look on the bright side!’ She is also a great friend. Then one day, one little comment causes her to question her place in the world.
This is a well-written tale which will leave readers guessing what happens to Gwendolyn until the very last moment. The phrase, ‘Except for. . . Gwendolyn’ is repeated throughout the story helping readers to get involved in the narrative. The dialogue between Gwendolyn and her jungle friends is delightful and shows how friends should support each other. The beautifully detailed and colourful illustrations ably support and add to the text. Even the end papers are interesting and bright.
This is a story to read aloud again and again, and for able readers to read themselves! It was a finalist in the 2017 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and I highly recommend it.
Author: Juliette MacIver
Illustrator: Terri Rose Baynton
Publisher: ABC Books
Date of Publication: September, 2016
Ages: 3 –7+ years
Reviewer: Trish Nash
Position: Deputy Principal and Teacher in the Library
School: Corinna School, Waitangirua