One day in the far south, a blue penguin was born. He felt just like an ordinary penguin. The other penguins said, ‘…you’re not like us’ and they left him on his own. Blue Penguin’s days were empty and lonely, but his nights were filled with dreams. From those dreams came a song… a song that was heard. A song that brought him an unexpected gift and friendship.
Horácek’s beautiful picturebook is a timeless fable that is truly heart-felt and thought-provoking. With simple, clear text, the reader is moved in a gentle, rhythmic fashion through a story of loneliness, friendship and acceptance that brings a satisfying and quiet joyousness. But it is the illustrations that are the stars of this book. Each page offers a work of art. The pictures tell the story on their own, so that even the youngest child can and will spend time going over the story again and again. Though bold, the colour palette speaks of the subtlety of place and includes details, such as the penguins’ facial expressions, that illuminate the passage of time and the change in feeling. Lulling back and forth from distant scenery to close-up portraits, the pictures have a marvellous life of their own that brings the reader into the story and allows it to live and breathe in the imagination. This is a reassuring book that lends a sense of belonging with a dream-like quality while also being very ‘real.’ Blue Penguin will be remembered for years to come. Simply wonderful!
Mary Esther Judy