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This uplifting, charmingly told story, tells what happens when well-meaning humans knit sweaters for penguins who've encountered an oil spill.
You may have seen the cute pictures of penguins wearing sweaters--but did you know why they were wearing them? Debut author Marikka Tamura answers this question in this colorful, kid-friendly book that is told simply and charmingly. Penguins love the sea. Happy in the dark blue water. But what is this? One day something is floating in the water. Dark. Gooey. Oily . . . When the penguins become coated in an oil spill, many Big Boots arrive. The humans want to help the cold, greasy penguins, so they knit sweaters to keep them warm. The Big Boots mean well, but . . . penguins don't wear sweaters! So after a good, soapy scrub, the penguins dive back into the deep blue sea, happily dressed only in their own penguin feathers.
About the Author
Marikka Tamura is a Children's Book Art Director who lives in New York City. Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! is her debut picture book.
Daniel Rieley is a British freelance illustrator. He studied at The Arts Institute Bournemouth, and his illustration projects include picture books, advertising, print, and card design.
“A cautionary tale for young readers about the aftermath of oil spills near penguin habitats. . . . Tamura's well-told tale of ecological disaster and proper penguin rescue is told in rhythmic but not rhyming couplets. Her author's note references an actual event on Phillip Island, Australia, and explains how knitted garments are actually harmful for penguins. Rieley's digitized pencil, ink, and handmade textures are appealing. His palette of blues and whites for the ocean, sky, and ice provides a perfect setting, both aerial and eye-level, for the penguins. The knitted sweaters, with close-ups of needles in action, are colorful if inappropriate for the recipients.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A glimpse of penguin activity, threats against their livelihood, a warning against misguided rescue attempts, and a suggestion to look beyond the headlines and news feeds. . . . An afterword explains that this is based on an actual event. . . . Engaging story . . . told through brief, clipped sentences that move the narrative. The illustrations are simple, reflecting the penguins’ barren habitat, yet they contain a good amount of energy and interesting perspectives. The black-and-white birds are adorable, dignified, and look especially engaging in the knitted sweaters they aren’t supposed to be wearing!”—Booklist
“An author’s note at the back explains the true events behind this story and reinforces the message that while penguins look cute in sweaters, the garments do more harm than good at rehabilitation and are better suited for toys. Rieley’s stylized mixed media illustrations perfectly portray the penguins’ natural cuteness while faithfully presenting their habitat through a variety of perspectives on the spreads; his bold, saturated colors and blocky style are a perfect match to Tamura’s simple but eloquent prose. A charming story about an important ecological topic.”—School Library Journal
“The be-sweatered penguins look adorable . . . in Rieley’s crisp-lined, ice-cool-colored mixed-media art, they resemble a dorky barrel-chested, fashion coordinated singing group. . . . Tamura hints at her larger, worthy point in the last pages of this gentlest of cautionary tales: when there’s a problem, beware the easy fix, even when the fix is unbelievably cute.”—The Horn Book
“A useful book to reinforce the need to prevent oil spills by highlighting their effects on the animals that depend on the oceans.”—School Library Connection