The Not-So-Brave Penguin by Steve Smallman

Title: The Not-So-Brave Penguin

Author/Illustrator: Steve Smallman

Publisher: Quarto Publishing

Date Published: October 2018

Length: 24 pages

Rating: 4/5 – Recommended

Storytime: Not-So-Brave Penguin is a simple, charming and adventurous tale for young children about how to overcome fears that stop them having fun. Percy penguin is daring and adventurous and loves swimming and sliding and climbing while Posy penguin is prevented from sharing the same adventures out of fear including fear of snowstorms, heights, loud noises and the dark. Posy is even scared to dive into the water in case she belly flops (ouch!).

When Percy goes missing while playing on an iceberg Posy overcomes her fears out of concern for Percy. Posy tells her fellow penguin friends that she’s worried because Percy hasn’t returned from playing but they are not concerned thinking “Percy will be fine.” But Posy isn’t convinced and follows her penguin instincts to find Percy who has bumped his head after sliding into a cave! Percy then tells Posy she is very brave for swimming and sliding into a dark and scary cave! I liked that Posy admits to still being scared even while finding Percy although her fear becomes less when she looks at the beautiful sky.

This book has wonderful illustrations and ends with practical lessons (including making your own penguins) discussing with children why Posy was scared and how she overcame those fears and then letting the children discuss their own fears and how they might overcome those. Although aimed at young children I loved it as an adult. In fact I often find that in a few short pages of a children’s book I learn big lessons myself, sometimes more so than in a full size novel! I have also learned that a good children’s story can be lessened by poor illustrations but the illustrations in this book are spot on. A lovely book and definitely recommended.

Review via NetGalley/Quarto Publishing ARC.

Reviewed by Norman Graham

Thanks for reading. 

Penguins partying! 

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