I abide by the actual calendar for storytime themes, and I rarely crack into winter-themed storytimes until after December 21st. It's Canada, for heaven's sake; I have to draw the line somewhere.
So this month I will do an entire storytime about penguins! ... because, um, they're adorable, and I have 5 felt penguins (above) and 1 stuffed penguin (plus, as you can see, 1 truly ugly iceberg), and there are some excellent penguin-y books out there, including:
- Penguins by Liz Pichon (girl loses camera in zoo; penguins take various hilarious photographs of themselves with camera)
- My penguin Osbert by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel (boy receives penguin for Christmas; many herring later, he realises it's not all it's cracked up to be; penguin and boy return to Antarctic). Penguin by Polly Dunbar is another funny version of a similar tale, with a mute penguin.
- (and for variety) Turtle's Penguin Day by Valeri Gorbachev.
- Lost and found by Oliver Jeffers: I wrote briefly about Jeffers early in the life of this blog. Lost and Found remains my favourite winter book: not only is Jeffers a genius at balancing text and image, but he is a master of the understated. 2010's The heart and the bottle made me weep profusely while standing in Nicholas Hoare (oh, don't worry - it's not the first time). Basically, the story here is simple: boy meets penguin, boy attempts to return penguin to his rightful home; boy learns about value of friendship.
This book was also made into a short film.
Here, just watch the trailer already:
Some other penguin storytime material to keep you occupied:
Five perky penguins (rhyme)
Five perky penguins stood on the shore,
One went for a swim and then there were four.
Four perky penguins looked out to sea,
One went swimming and then there were three.
Three perky penguins said, "What can we do?"
One jumped in the water and then there were two.
Two perky penguins sat in the sun,
One swam off and then there was one.
One perky penguin said, "This is no fun!"
He dived into the water (SPLASH!) and then there were none.
In French, penguins are technically manchots, but they are also often known as pingouins. Here is a French song from my colleague Sonia:
Les Pingouins (air : "Sous le pont d’Avignon")
Sous le pont d’Avignon,
On dandine, on dandine
Sous le point d’Avignon,
On dandine tous en rond.
-Les poissons font comme ça (bouche en poisson) et puis encore comme ça
-Les phoques font comme ça (frappe les mains) et puis encore comme ça
-Les pingouins font comme ça (dandine) et puis encore comme ça
*Bonus contest*: Be the first to find the five penguins hidden in the below photo; comment below with the location of each (click on photo to blow it up) to win a hand-crafted felt penguin of your own!