All the way home by Deb Gliori
Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408872079
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Penguins. Antarctica. Arctic. Christmas. Parenting. When father penguin and his egg are picked up by a huge wind and deposited in the Arctic, life is very strange for the penguin. Here he meets animals that don't exist in the south, trees and ice and snow and a man in a red suit that gives him breakfast.
The penguin has been left by his mate as she goes off into the ocean to fish. He is in a huddle with other male penguins, their eggs on their feet, keeping them warm until they hatch. But the penguin is hungry and goes to the edge of the huddle where the wind grabs him.
In the Arctic he meets a variety of creatures unknown in the south: reindeer, foxes, whales and moose. But once finding the home of the genial Special Air Navigation Transport Authority, he is able to have a ride back home when this person delivers presents. Back home, the chick and its father are greeted by mum who was looking out for them.
A cold, wintry tale will win over hearts as the readers are transported to the Arctic along with the father penguin. This is a neat tale of fatherly love, of the way Emperor penguins raise their chicks, of life in the coldest places on earth. In between the story of the father and his egg, we see factual information given about the penguins and the environment, and the reader is also shown the difference between the ice-bound lands on the north and south poles.
This books is a blend of fact and fiction, making it a book that will engender discussion about these places. The inclusion of the most famous inhabitant of the north pole, Santa Claus, will further endear the readers. Gliori's soft illustrations, a mixture of the many varieties of her favourite colour, blue, with great expanses of white reflecting the polar environments will keep younger readers looking at each page to find details of the animals that live there.
I love the use of the world map to help younger readers work out where the penguin lives. A lovely Christmas story to add to the range available for younger readers.