I Am Actually a Penguin
I Am Actually a Penguin
Publisher's Hardcover14.44
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Annotation: An imaginative little girl in a penguin suit decides that she wants a fun life like real penguins who never have to ride the bus, talk to people or eat fish sticks, a conviction that prompts her to ignore relatives who try to tell her she is not actually a penguin herself.
Genre: [Humorous fiction]
Catalog Number: #169564
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Matyjaszek, Kasia,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-536-20278-9
ISBN 13: 978-1-536-20278-6
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2018956981
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
This lighthearted romp celebrates children's freedom to try on different identities and extends imaginative play to new (and sometimes annoying-to-parents) levels. A curly-haired, brown-skinned little girl narrates the story, telling readers right away that she is more than she seems statement supported by the presence of her overflowing costume box. Depending on the day, she might be a princess, a pirate, or even a witch. But when the girl gets a penguin costume, she takes to it like a penguin to ice. She wears it everywhere, even using her costume's flippers and feet to cradle a soccer ball to look like an emperor penguin protecting an egg. The mixed-media illustrations, incorporating childlike background scribbles and lots of white space, have a looseness befitting the theme of expansive imagination. Scenes of penguin mania, including the girl draping the sofa in "snow" (toilet paper) and standing in the fridge, are a hoot. Reality finally intrudes with an urgent need to wash the outfit, but the girl's adaptability (and knack for quick costume changes) is both comic and triumphant.
Horn Book
A dark-skinned, curly-haired little girl likes to play dress-up. One day, she is a penguin. And the next day...and the next. Her family mostly indulges her fancy but grows exasperated with her commitment to penguin-hood when she slides down the stairs on her belly, is a penguin at her aunt's wedding, and tries to catch fish sticks in her "beak." A funny and preschooler-relatable romp with bright, stylized mixed-media illustrations.
Kirkus Reviews
An adventurous girl with a passion for dress-up discovers that she is actually a penguin. Her only problem is that now she has to convince her family. Sometimes she's a "pretty princess," other times an "incredible pirate," and still other a "terrible witch." After her latest parcel arrives…now she's a penguin. "Actually." Whether she's in the frozen-foods aisle of the grocery store, on public transportation, or playing soccer with friends, this enthusiastic protagonist consistently declares that she is "actually a penguin." Much to the dismay of her patient mother, confusion of onlookers, and scorn of her older brother—even at her aunt's wedding—this feisty penguin remains in character. But just when the protagonist's family reaches their breaking point, our dedicated penguin decides she's "actually… / an alligator." This lighthearted book featuring a family of color packs a heavy dose of humor and is sure to be a storytime favorite. The bright mixed-media illustrations are full of motion and personality, and scenes of the child festooning the living room with toilet-paper snow and sliding down the stairs face first on her belly are sure to elicit chuckles from kids (and sucked teeth from adults). A funny story that encourages readers to be unapologetic about who they actually are. (Picture book. 3-6)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (11/1/18)
Horn Book (4/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: P-2

When a little girl is given a penguin suit, she decides that living as a penguin is much more fun than just dressing as one. Penguins don’t ride the bus like people do, they don't talk like people do, and they certainly don't eat fish sticks like people do. Her family tells her, “You’re not actually a penguin.” But she knows that she ACTUALLY is. A hilarious new picture book about using your imagination — but also knowing that sometimes your costume needs to be washed!

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