We’re putting a new slant on our regular Recommended Reads feature here on The Reader Online – now, you can get the same tried-and-tested reads for your little ones too, with our new Recommended Reads for Children.
It’s half-term for many families up and down the UK this week, and while there can never be too many stories to share we’re sure that some parents may be running short on ideas for books to read with their kids. Of course, there’s always A Little, Aloud for Children to dig into, but why not (to use a certain well-known phrase) pick up a penguin within the charming story of our first Recommended Read for Children, Lost and Found, recommended by former Project Worker for The Reader Organisation – and mum to baby Ellis – Marianne Kelly:
What is a boy to do when a lost penguin shows up at his door? Find out where it comes from, of course, and return it. In this charming story, Oliver Jeffers, an illustrator and writer from Belfast, tells a wonderful tale of friendship.
The boy presumes that the penguin’s sad expression is a result of his being lost, far away from home. The boy fails to find out where the penguin comes from, even after making enquiries at the Lost and Found office and asking some birds and his rubber duck (who sadly fail to shed any light on the matter). So, together they embark on a journey to the South Pole, a long and difficult journey in the young boy’s homemade row boat. There are storms to brave along the way and dark nights to endure.
To pass the time, the boy tells the penguin stories and he listens carefully in the hope the boy will tell him another one. Finally they arrive at the Pole where the boy says goodbye and leaves him but as he rows away he notices that the penguin instead of being happy is sadder than ever. On his journey home the boy also starts to feel sad and tells no stories as there is no one there to listen to him. The penny finally drops and he realises that the penguin hadn’t been lost, he had just been lonely! The boy and his penguin are reunited and their friendship secured.
I don’t think you could put a recommended age on this beautifully illustrated book; the subtle humour will be enjoyed by adults and children alike and the message that friendships are built by sharing stories appreciated by all.
If you enjoy this wonderful book then you will enjoy all of Jeffers’ books, especially the sequel ‘Up and Down’, another heart-warming story about friendship and reaching for your dreams.