“Happy Feet’s Incredible Journey – The story of the world’s most famous penguin.
Published in: November 2011
Age: 4 – 8 year olds.
Theme: Environmental, the life of, hope, survival, animals, learning.
Opening Page: I’d been swimming for a very long time. I don’t know how long, but it was getting hard to move my flippers. that’s when I noticed I was close to land.
Synopsis/ Back Page: On 21 June 2011 a lonely emperor penguin stepped onto Peka Peka Beach near Wellington and into the hearts of the world. He had swum further from his home in Antarctica than any emperor penguin ever recorded.
What did he think of the strange place he had come to? What did he think of the people he met? Why did he eat all that sand and get so sick? And how did he feel when it was finally time to go home?
By the time he left New Zealand Happy Feet was the world’s most famous penguin. This is his story.
Written in first voice, we enter the mind of this amazing cute animal, his thoughts about his treatment and his handlers and the visitors who came to see him. Each page has been cleverly set out with photos taken during his stay, and a note pad print of “Did you Know” facts about the emperor penguins, their survival, habitat, and information on how they kept Happy Feet (as he was named) alive and people involved. The pages background is simply illustrated in clean blue hues.
Why I like this: The illustrations and photos are very informative a great resource and discussion book for schools inviting children to take interest in the Antarctic and life there. The illustrations give this sweet little guy a sense of humour , one illustration shows him holding his x rays commenting ” I must have been one sick penguin…..” Referring men in jackets as penguins. While we smile and learn much from this little character we also sympathise his anxious wish to return home. Children and adults will love this wonderfully set out picture book about an event that actually happened and the people who cared.
When Happy Feet was released back into the sea a transmitter attached to him stopped transmitting after some time and he has not been heard of since…. many speculate what might have happened. What I liked most is royalties from this book go to Forest and Bird’s Places for Penguins programme.
Resources/Findings: Forest and Bird’s Places for penguins programme website: www.forestandbird.org.nz
http://tvnz.co.nz/lifestyle-news/happy-feet-s-incredible-journey-book-review-4634665 TV NZ ‘s book review
http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment great environmental information website.
http://www.ourfarsouth.org/Farewell-Happy-Feet.aspx Farewell messages from people world-wide.
http://www.wellingtonzoo.com/content/animals/animal-stories.aspx Wellington Zoo website of animal stories.
For more books with resources please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Picture Perfect Book