Thursday, 30 May 2013

My Penguin Osbert by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel and H.B. Lewis (Walker Books)

We like doing things the wrong way round here at ReadItDaddy. We've already reviewed the sequel to "My Penguin Osbert" (which is "My Penguin Osbert is in Love") so it would be rude not to go back to the original book and take a look, wouldn't it?

We find out just how Joe ended up with a penguin. It all started just before christmas when Joe, often disappointed by his presents not being quite what he asked for, wrote a very detailed letter to Santa describing exactly what he wanted. A Penguin. Not a toy penguin, a miniature penguin figurine, a penguin duvet or pencil case but a penguin. A real one.

Santa, of course, obliged and for a brief moment Joe thought it was the best christmas ever. But the practicalities of keeping a penguin at home aren't to be taken lightly. Joe soon finds out that Penguins eat bizarre things (who on earth has raw herring marmalade for breakfast!) and that they love playing out in the cold. Not for just a few minutes but for hour after hour after hour.

Joe very soon decides there's only one course of action. Write a heartfelt letter to Santa thanking him for his diligence and efficiency but, er, pointing out that perhaps an alternative present might've been better after all.

There's a twist - which we'll leave you to find out for yourselves (and of course if you are daft like us and read the sequel before the first book you'll already know what the twist is and how it pans out) but this is a lovely wintry book with a rather nice moral underpinning it. Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it and it might not be what you expected!

Charlotte's best bit: Osbert's rather disgusting diet. Ew!

Daddy's favourite bit: Joe's next christmas present. I want one!