The Penguin Lady

School Library Journal - April 2012

PreS-Gr 2–The Penguin Lady is portrayed in vibrantly colored illustrations: she dresses in black and white, decorates with black and white, waddles, and loves these birds. She is delighted to receive a penguin from the Galápagos Islands for her birthday, two Rockhoppers from Argentina, three Chinstraps from Antarctica, four baby African penguins, five Little Blue penguins, six Royal penguins from an island near Antarctica, seven King penguins from the Falkland Islands, eight Adélies from Antarctica, nine Macaroni penguins from Argentina, and ten Emperor penguins from Antarctica. They all roam throughout the house, yard, and pond until the Penguin Lady gives them to the local zoo. This book serves as a simple counting book and an introduction to 10 species. A four-page activity section includes illustrations of the penguins with brief descriptions of physical characteristics; a world map; and a height chart. Acknowledging the far-fetched nature of this whimsical story, the author states that “it isn’t possible for individuals to have penguins as pets” and encourages readers to adopt a species with a donation to a zoo or conservation program.
Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI

Feathered Quill Book Reviews - January 2012

This marvelously creative book will help young readers learn about different types of penguins around the world when they arrive on Penelope Parker's doorstep.

Midwest Book Review - May 2012

The Penguin Lady is a softcover picturebook that does more than tell a story - it's a useful tool that parents can use to help encourage curiosity and learning about animals! Penelope Parker is an ordinary woman who likes to wear black and white, and sometimes waddles when she walks. One day, she is surprised to find herself suddenly taking care of a penguin! More and more different species of penguins keep showing up, making Penelope's home life increasingly hectic! At last, she has to admit that she owns more penguins than she can take care of, and sends them all to a zoo... but finds herself lonely at home, and when her neighbors sell Dalmatian puppies, she opts to adopt "just one". A subtle one through ten counting exercise is neatly worked into the story, as Penelope, acquires one Galapagos Islands penguin, two Rockhopper Penguins, etc. up to ten Emperor Penguins. A four-page supplement is packed with fun facts about various penguin species, as well as simple educational activities ideal for engaging young minds. Highly recommended.

Kirkus Reviews-January 2012

Starting with one Galapagos penguin and going on up to 10 Emperors, a succession of avian arrivals fills up the house of penguin-lover Penelope Parker—a “stout” redhead who wears only black and white in Rogers’ smooth-surfaced, increasingly crowded illustrations and, just like her surprise guests, “waddle[s] when she walk[s].” Depicted with reasonable attention to details of beak, crest and other physical features, the feathered interlopers snooze atop the piano, pose in front of the television or paddle about the pond in the yard until Penelope at last trucks them away to the zoo, then goes off to buy a dog. Several pages of penguin information (including a cogent note in the fine print that, no, “it isn’t possible… to have penguins as pets”) and discussion questions follow this predictable episode, supplemented by further resources available on the publisher’s web site. A digital version with added features is also available.

Library Media Connection - August 2012

Penelope Parker is the “Penguin Lady.” She looks and walks like a penguin, and she even lives on Penguin Place. Since Penelope loves penguins, her family and friends decide to send her penguins from all over the world for her birthday. This book is a wonderful introduction to penguins from all over the world. Throughout the story, as the penguins arrive they are identified by their names and homeland. Two-page spread illustrations have detailed expressions on the characters’ faces. Many of the illustrations are in b&w to match the penguins. The author provides more information about penguins as well as activities for readers. Printable activities are available on the publisher’s website. This book is a wonderful introduction to penguins for young children.  – Marilyn Teicher, Library Media Specialist, PS 86 Bronx, New York

Learning Table Reviews - July 2012

The Penguin Lady by Carol A. Cole is an Arbordale title that comes with lots of extras for use in the classroom, the homeschool setting, or simply at home as a read-aloud.  One of the best things about the Arbordale books is the enrichment resources they provide on their website, so you can extend learning way beyond the book.  In addition, the books are usually cross-curricular, as with The Penguin Lady, so you can tie in multiple subjects and create a unit study to delve deeper into the topics presented.  This book addresses geography, animal science, math, and reading comprehension.  Kids can compare and contrast penguin adaptations, while learning facts about penguins and different penguin breeds.  There are mapping activities and activities that teach measuring skills.

The Penguin Lady is printed with a large font, making the text suitable for young readers, and kids will have fun spotting all the penguins among the other black and white themed items in the cute illustrations by Sherry Rogers.  The main character, Penelope Parker loves penguins so much, she begins to acquire a houseful of them.  Information about the native habitats of the penguins is given throughout the story as each new breed of penguin joins the family.  The comical result of so many penguins living in one house will delight young readers.

Southwest Ohio and Neighboring Libraries - July 2012

This is a cleverly written counting book as well as a factual book about penguins. The bright colorful illustrations will keep the child's eye while the text will amuse them. An added bonus is the website that presents additional information on ten different species of penguins. Though not the best penguin story around, this one could be used for classroom presentation and participation.

Clarbojahn's Blog - November 2012

The illustrations are mostly in black and white the color of penguins, the penguin lady is a delightful character collecting penguins like cats and the end of book has a nice  twist. As a preschool counting tool it meets the standard of teaching numbers one through ten in the guise of a story. It is a delight to read and I’m sure preschoolers will delight in counting the penguins as they turn the pages. They will laugh at the twist at the end.

Literary Classics - May 2012

This amusing book, with fanciful illustrations, will allure and entertain, while offering educational opportunities to compare and contrast, count, and learn about geographical regions of the world.

The Penguin Lady comes highly recommended and earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval, a designation reserved for those books which uphold the rigorous criteria set forth by the Children's Literary Classics review committee, a team comprised of individuals with backgrounds in publishing, editing, writing, illustration and graphic design.

Eclectic Homeschool Online - March 2012

The Penguin Lady is a picture book about penguins that just keeps growing as you turn the pages. At first, Penelope the protagonist receives a penguin for her birthday, and then two more, and then three more, and then... Each addition is a different species, and pretty soon penguins are popping out all over Penelope's house and yard. Chaos ensues, but Penelope comes up with a workable solution in the end, leaving everyone happy. Told with humor and even a little alliteration, The Penguin Lady introduces ten different species of penguins and gives a good idea of their varying colors and sizes.

Book Loons - March 2012

This book is irresistible. Penguins have always been popular. Hollywood has made them even more popular lately with humorous children's features and nature films. Sherry Roger has done a great job with illustrations that are both accurate and funny.

ePinions - April 2012

The Penguin Lady is a cute picturebook for young readers that teaches about penguins and geography, but also fosters counting skills. It’s a fun story to read that also teaches.  Initially I was concerned about how this encourages collecting a rare species as pets – but the author Carol A. Cole dispelled that concern. They require too much effort, they were loud and messy and she couldn’t keep them. 

Carol A. Cole’s first book, The Penguin Lady, is a delightful story for first grade readers learning to read or young students reading for knowledge. The book concludes with a Creative Minds section that compares and contrasts adaptations of all of the penguins in this book. A map displays the geographic range of penguins – it's not in the northern hemisphere with polar bears. A table compares the sizes of the penguins. Young math students can exercise their new math vocabulary by describing penguins as tall, taller, and tallest or short, shorter, and shortest.

Vocabulary and math skills target first and second grade readers. Third graders can use this as a book that helps them read for knowledge. The facts have been confirmed by specialists in penguin science.  Additional educational activities reading questions and interactive quizzes are available at the Arbordale Publishing website. Books from this publisher tend to be enjoyable and read as fiction but the content supports educational goals and provides a platform from which to launch other lessons.  Books are available as Spanish and English audiobooks as well as eBooks.  If you haven’t explored the teaching resources at Arbordale Publishing consider this an impressive place to start.

Kids' Book Review - April 2012

The Penguin Lady is a book about a lady, Penelope Parker, which gets a penguin from her brother on her birthday. When people learn she has a penguin they started calling her the Penguin Lady. At first she thinks the penguin is a sweet gift. But that soon changes as trouble begins. The newspaper even writes an article about her and puts her picture in the newspaper. She thought she had to do something about her penguin situation; I can’t tell you what though, as that would ruin the ending.

This book is a good book for kids aged seven  through nine. Parents could also read this book aloud to younger children at night. Younger children would really like the unusual gift and how the penguin causes trouble in the house. It’s funny! I also enjoyed that the author, Carol A. Cole, includes activities for young readers to learn more about real penguins that live in the world. It shows where they live and how big different species of penguins are. It even has a quiz. For kids who use Accelerated Reader at school, it is possible to take a quiz on this book as well. I did!
- Emily, Age 8

Torrence Macaroni Kid - May 2012

Children count and then compare and contrast the different penguin species as they learn geography. (Ages 4-9) My son loved this entertaining story and also the educational section "For Creative Minds", where you can learn about Penguins of the World and more! You can also find 60-70 pages of cross-curricular Teaching Activities and three Interactive Reading Comprehension and Math Quizzes on The Penguin Lady's homepage

Home School Book Review - March 2012

The Penguin Lady will help children learn more about penguins and the different areas of the world where they live, combining science and geography.  It will also reinforce counting skills.  The back of the book has a “For Creative Minds” section with further information about comparing and contrasting penguin adaptations, a true-false quiz on penguins of the world, and a hands-on activity related to penguin height.  It is a great learning tool that is also fun.  By the way, do you know whether penguins come from the Northern or the Southern hemisphere?

Pudgy Penguin Perusals - April 2012

Not only is this a cute story, but as with any Arbordale book, it is most educational. I loved the pages at the end! Four pages of illustrated facts about varieties of penguins with a very nice map of different areas where they can be found. There's also a chart of heights for ten different penguins. Everytime I've reveiwed one of their books, I learn a lot.

Books 4 Learning - March 2012

The illustrations (by Sherry Rogers) are colorful and humorous.  Each two page spread offers an opportunity to count the penguins and discuss their behaviors.   One of the most informative aspects of the book is learning about all the different species of penguins and places they are from—both warm and cold.  Children can find these places on the map, discuss differences in size (another math opportunity), and compare/contrast different species.

Over a Steaming Cup of Tea - April 2012

Children will learn on multiple levels while reading this book. Simple counting is reinforced, and children will learn the names and origins of a number of penguin species. Children will also be reminded that there can be too much of a good thing! I appreciated how fun and yet simple this story is. I hope that we have a chance to use it in our library programs in the future. This book would also be great for reading one-on-one with a child!

Papertrails Family Blog - February 2012

This book reminds me of my Grade 1 teacher, because she LOVES penguins! I like to think of her as the real-life Penguin Lady!

This is a great book for kids and adults of any age who love penguins. You should check it out!
- Myles, Age 8

Tiff Talks Books - February 2012

In Cole's children's book, we get practice counting, learn about a multitude of penguins, and that is just from the story; the resources at the end of the book contain so much more!  My personal favorite 'extra' is the map of where the different species can be found, including both the cold and the warm climates.  My children loved seeing the different kinds of penguins in the illustrations, from those common Emperor Penguins to those with more flair (and my daughter's personal favorite), the Royal Penguins.  In fact, the book continues to be requested on a daily basis, and my daughter could not contain her excitement when she was able to share her new favorite story with her preschool class during a special penguin unit!

Heck of a Bunch - February 2012

Penelope Parker, a likable old lady, acquires several species of penguins in The Penguin LadyThis book, with charming illustrations, helps teach geography and simple math.  At first Penelope Parker only has one penguin, then acquires two, then has three sent to her, and so on until her house has become overrun with penguins.  In addition to the story, there is a "Creative Minds" section that teaches comparisons and differences of penguin adaptations, true or false questions on penguins of the world, and a reference guide for how tall penguins are.