A Goofy Guide to Penguins (Toon Books Level 1)

by Jean-Luc Coudray (Author) Philippe Coudray (Illustrator)

A Goofy Guide to Penguins (Toon Books Level 1)
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
How can you tell penguins apart? By the color of their mittens, of course! But do penguins really play hide-and-seek, carry pink umbrellas, and shower on the backs of whales? In this wild guide, twin brothers Jean-Luc Coudray and Philippe Coudray-beloved for the bestselling Benjamin Bear series--bring us all the less-than-true truths and not-so-factual facts about the South Pole's silliest birds.

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Publishers Weekly

The Coudray brothers offer two-panel, penguin-centric episodes that feel like a quirky string of "Why did the chicken cross the road?" jokes transplanted to an Antarctic setting. Two tiny penguins lurking in the margins do the asking and answering: "Why do penguins carve ice into bottles?" asks one, as a penguin uses an icicle to sculpt a large bottle of ice. "So they can serve drinks!" responds the other. Elsewhere, readers learn that penguins don't grow flowers because watering cans sprinkle snow and warming up with a radiator can lead to a fall through the ice. Philippe Coudray's polished cartoons are charming, though a repetitive sameness sets in, and the punch lines are hit or miss. Ages 5-up. (May)

Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

K-Gr 1--Brightly colored two-panel comic strips highlight the appeal and innate comedy of look-alike penguins. The answers to silly questions (e.g., "How do penguins know they've reached the South Pole?") are more about fun than information ("Every sign points north."). A butter yellow sun--melting snow, ice, and penguin fat--highlights the black-and-white penguins in their shades-of-blue world. One penguin holds a yellow umbrella sideways to stay out of the sideways-falling rain, which looks like snow, even though it's dry as a desert in the South Pole. Goofy indeed, but luscious colors invite readers into each illustration.

Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Horn Book's Recommended Picture Books: Metafictive Picture Books

Little Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List 2017​

"[A] spirited approach to early abstract thought and reading comprehension." - Booklist STARRED REVIEW

"It is original [and] deep-down funny...most important, the adventures are steeped in the rare quality of imaginative kindness." - The Horn Book Magazine

"Absurdist humor carries across species." - Kirkus Reviews

"Any reader of any age should be able to read and enjoy Coudray's Benjamin Bear books. When a comic is this accomplished, more is always welcome." - School Library Journal

"The images are neat, and the goofy ideas will spur imagination about what the reader might do in such an extreme environment, full of glaciers and snowfields." - Comics Worth Reading

Jean-Luc Coudray
Jean-Luc Coudray (who wrote this book) and Philippe Coudray (who did the drawings) are twin brothers, both cartoonists in their native country of France. They identify with penguins in wanting people to tell them apart. Philippe's Benjamin Bear TOON books have received effusive praise and have twice been nominated for Eisner awards. Both brothers enjoy nature but while Jean-Luc enjoys hiking in central France, the French forests aren't big enough for Philippe: he goes to the North American wilderness every year in search of Bigfoot.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
May 20, 2016
Toon Books Level One

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