Review Blog

Feb 26 2010

The Emperor's kingdom: Penguins on ice by Dr Roger Kirkwood

cover image

Black Dog Books, 2010. ISBN 9781742031262.
This book contains simple text, set out according to the months of the year, and describes the stages of the penguin's development. The clear and appealing photographs are presented as double page spreads with additional smaller photographs inserted on each. It would appear that January is an uneventful month in the life of the penguin as it is omitted totally in both the text and table of contents. Having three double pages devoted to them, however, June and July are obviously months of great change and importance. Perhaps this is one downfall of the book as it limits its use as a support in teaching young children about the calendar, leaving the sole focus on the fascinating birds. The accompanying DVD is brief with sound effects but no narration, yet could prove useful to young children as it does provide a menu to enable a small snippet to be viewed easily by students. Sadly, this book is too late for student use for the International Polar Year as it would have made a useful addition to the collection for younger students and emergent readers. The more in depth information in the fact file ensures greater usefulness with middle primary students as well.
Jo Schenkel, Pilgrim School

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