Bye, Penguin!

Bye, Penguin cover
Bye, Penguin! by Seou Lee

by Seou Lee

Levine Querido, 2020
40 pages

Ages 3-7

A small penguin is separated from its community when the ice on which it’s standing breaks away. The penguin floats on its bit of ice under Southern Lights, through ice caves, past the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, the Statue of Liberty, and the Sydney Opera House.  Throughout the journey, the ice chunk gets smaller and smaller. Just in time, the penguin meets a brown-skinned child with a surfboard. A few pages later the penguin triumphantly returns home on the surfboard, while far away the child holds the remaining chunk of ice.  The nearly wordless story, which opens with a “Craaaack Snick!” as the penguin’s ice raft breaks away, communicates so much emotion through the expressions on the penguins’ faces and the simplicity of the illustrator’s understated style. There’s a subdued message about climate change in that breakaway ice for those who look for it, but the pleasure of this fantastical journey is accessible to all. ©2021 Cooperative Children’s Book Center