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During the school holidays, our local library was having a sale of some of their older or slightly damaged books. My children, who are three and one, love being read to and although their book collection is now very extensive, they still get very excited at the prospect of buying more. I took them to the library almost every day last week and we picked up quite a selection of books for just ten pence each.
What's a penguin to think when he wakes up pink! by Lynne Rickards was first discovered by my son who promptly pulled it down from the shelf at the library. Noticing that the pages were quite damaged I suggested that he should maybe look for another. His response however was "That will be fine for me", quite an endearing thing for a three year old to say and I could not resist but to buy it for him. He then decided that his little sister Perdy should have this book and gave it to her as we made our way to the till.
After a little repair work with a roll of sellotape the book was good to go and I passed it to my husband who read it out to both of them.
What's a penguin to think when he wakes up Pink! has a recommended retail price of £10.99 for the hardback version which we have. It is available on Amazon in a paperback format at just £4.49, reduced from its original price of £5.99.
This is rather a large book. It is just over 11" in width and a little over 9.5" in height. The cover is very eye-catching and makes it stand out amongst others. The title is partly written across the top of the book with the last word 'Pink!' in very large letters at the centre. The colour is predominantly pink with a white snowy mound at the bottom where a rather cute pink penguin sporting a blue satchel dances merrily. The back cover depicts an icy scene where young penguin school pupils gather around the main character, the pink penguin.
The illustrations in this book are by Margaret Chamberlain. They are rather childlike but attractive nonetheless and the use of bright and vivid colours really does draw the reader in.
The story follows Patrick the penguin, who one morning wakes up to find that he is pink. His mother takes him to the doctor who cannot help him and suggests that he should simply get used to being pink. His father shows him a book about pink flamingos but he is still very unhappy and is teased at school for being different. He decides to go away and live with the flamingos but soon finds that he does not belong there and comes home to find that he has been dearly missed by his friends and family.
The final line in the book sums up the moral behind the story "Being different wasn't so bad after all". This is an issue which most children at some stage will be able to relate to themselves. The story gives reassurance that it is fine to stand out and to be a little different. A statement at the back of the book summarises this "Patrick soon realises that real friendship is never black and white, but that real friends will accept you whatever".
This is a wonderful and easily accessible story with a good moral behind it. With such vibrant illustrations, humour and a rather endearing lead character, it is a book which I'm sure would be enjoyed by most children.
My children have enjoyed this story and we have read it many times since. I certainly got my 10p worth! This book is one that I would highly recommend.