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Review: Tacky the Penguin

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Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester is the story of a penguin that is a rather odd bird. While Tacky’s friends march in straight lines, his marching tends to be a bit more acrobatic. While his friends are expert divers, Tacky prefers a good cannon ball. Tacky even dresses differently from his comrades. Just look at him there on the cover of the book in his flowery shirt! Tacky is as different from the other penguins as it is possible to be. When big scary hunters come around, this turns out to be a very good thing indeed.

I like this book. The illustrations are just plain cute. How can you resist a penguin in a flower-print shirt? My favorite image is of Tacky in his bathing suit doing a cannon ball into the ocean. He even has a bathing cap. I really enjoyed reading this book aloud. You can easily switch back and forth between a posh and a plebeian accent for the different penguins. I’m thinking that kids will love this one. Tacky the Penguin is the story of a penguin who is not afraid to be different. He even sings strange songs badly, and doesn’t care. If this story has a message, it is that being different is good. That is a point of view that I can support.

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