Booklist Review - A Penguin Named Patience
Booklist (Jan 2015)
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, there is no electric power to the Audubon Aquarium, and the African penguin habitat becomes dangerously hot. The penguin-keeper arrives to soothe Patience and 18 other black-footed penguins, feed them, pack them into carriers, and travel with them by truck and plane to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. Eventually, they all return to New Orleans. An appended note offers more information about the hurricane’s aftermath and the penguin rescue. Though classified as nonfiction, the text veers toward fiction at times, with mild anthropomorphism (“Patience tried to be patient”), playful descriptions of individual penguins (“Kohl was red hot. Bunny was jumpy”), and presumably invented speech from the penguin-keeper (“You’re all going on a long trip! You’ll meet new penguin friends”). Anchin’s line-and-wash illustrations are well conceived and endearing, but they support the humanizing tone of the text in the birds’ facial expressions and added eyebrows. Still, children will undoubtedly enjoy this picture book as an appealing story.