Monday, March 6, 2017

Non-Fiction Monday: Penguin Day: a family story by Nic Bishop

Penguin Day: a family story by Nic Bishop. unpgd. Scholastic Press/ Scholastic Inc,, February, 2017.  9780545206365. (Review from finished copy courtesy of publisher.)

Let's see, I started working in a school library in 1998. In 1999, I came across this great little non-fiction read aloud, The Tree Frog by Joy Crowley with superb photographs by Nic Bishop. I became an instant fan and it was not long before any book he was associated with became an automatic purchase. Penguin Day: a family story continues the tradition of excellence.

Per the photographer's note, Bishop spent three weeks in Antarctica observing and photographing rockhopper penguins.   Antarctica's climate is challenging at the best of times and Bishop had to contend with severe wind and freezing temperatures. He also notes that he photographed several families for this story. 

Simple text tells the story of a rockhopper family's day as a hungry baby's demand for food sends mama rockhopper out to sea in search of krill and leaving papa home to tend to baby. Dangers abound on land and sea for all the rockhoppers. Crisp, close-up photos depict these small penguins known for their distinctive eyebrows in a variety of interactions. Many will evoke, "Aw!" Some evoke tension, as in the photo of papa defending against a vicious skua. One may provoke a chorus of "Ew!" during read aloud, as mama regurgitates her catch.

An author note follows with more information, but there are no suggestions for further reading in books or on websites. Bishop does invite readers to visit his own website for more information on rockhoppers but I did not find any mention of this new book on the author/ photographer's absolutely gorgeous, not-to-be-missed website. I will be checking back there intermittently. I did notice a book or two that slipped under my radar.

Penguin Day makes for a fine read aloud and a solid resource for a variety of elementary science units. First-purchase!

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