Thursday, January 14, 2016

Where's Walrus? and Penguin?

Where's Walrus? and Penguin?
by Stephen Savage
2015 (Scholastic Press)
Source: Orange County Public Library

I like it when a book makes me look stupid. This being my first experience with Walrus and Penguin, I had it all figured out. A walrus and a penguin escape from the zoo. What I thought followed was a series of settings where a hopelessly baffled zookeeper can't see the walrus and penguin. Walrus ties on a kerchief and looks like an elderly grandmother cradling a grandchild on the subway. Switching to a brown chapeau, Walrus sits on a park bench and feeds the birds including a curious looking black and white flightless fowl among the pigeons. At this point, I'm thinking "Oh, this is a cute Where's Waldo type book." As my favorite cynic Bugs Bunny would say, then the book takes a left turn at Albuquerque on me. A plot appears with twists and turns. Walrus is hiding out on the infield of a baseball game when he takes a fly ball to the noggin. The kind zookeeper and Penguin escort Walrus to the hospital. A walrus nurse dotes on Walrus and he falls whiskers over flippers for her. The final surprise shows up on the ending page.

This book will be a popular addition to your wordless collection. It is clever, clever, clever. I would use it for a cause and effect lesson with older students in addition to a fun read aloud. Preschool and kindergarten students will be engaged and open to prediction questions. You will enjoy this meeting of Arctic and Antarctic animals.

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