The Old Man and the Penguin: A True Story of True Friendship – written by Julie Abery, illustrated by Pierre Pratt


 The Old Man and the Penguin: A True Story of True Friendship – written by Julie Abery, illustrated by Pierre Pratt, Kids Can Press, 9781525302084, 2020

Format:  Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review)  5

What did you like about the book:  A lovely story to honor the special bond between Mr. Joao Pereira de Souza, a retired bricklayer and an oil-soaked Magellanic penguin.  The rhyming simple text and wonderful seaside illustrations of Brazil complement each other well.  This story was inspired by the true story of Joao walking one day on Proverta Beach in Rio de Janeiro in late spring of 2011.  There he found a penguin washed up on shore covered in black oil close to death.  After being cleaned and fed, he named him Dindim.  It was time to bring him back to the sea, but he didn’t want to leave.  New feathers grew and he was ready to go.  Then each year he returns to his rescuer for five months.

The endpages contain an author’s note detailing the friendship between Joao and Dindim.  Artwork was rendered in pencil and digitally in Photoshop.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?   A wonderful penguin rescue and friendship story to share with young readers and discuss what to do if you find an injured animal at the beach.

Who should buy this book?  Pre-schools, elementary schools, home and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ?  Nonfiction, human-animal relationships/penguins

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Julie Durmis, J.C. Solmonese Elementary School, Norton, MA

Date of review:  November 9, 2020

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