Hello, friends! Our book today is Penguin Flies Home by Lita Judge, a sequel to her adorable Flight School.
Penguin is loving his new life at Flight School. Using the wire-and-feather harness contraption that his new friends gifted him in the first book, he is exploring the world from a brand new perspective as he soars over the clouds. The only thing that makes him sad is that he can’t share this new talent with all the friends he left behind at the South Pole. Seeing that their pupil and pal is homesick, the other birds plan a field trip… to Antarctica! Penguin’s old friends are delighted to see him, and he is equally eager to teach them everything he’s learned about flying. However, the other penguins simply aren’t as interested in achieving flight, and he realizes that his dreams are very different from theirs. He worries that his old friends must think he’s ridiculous for having such un-penguin-like goals, but he will find that when someone loves you, the differences don’t matter as much.
It’s rare that a sequel is even better than its predecessor, but this one absolutely is. Once again, the message is about not putting limits on your dreams, this time focusing on the idea that dreams should not be dictated by one’s background or community. Indeed, Penguin’s own anxieties of what the others will think of him are his hurdle in this book, and it’s an incredibly relatable emotion (a scene in which Penguin gazes at an aurora, contemplating his deep need to fly, is positively moving). The story resolves beautifully, with Penguin’s old and new friends coming together to show that while his dreams may differ from theirs, all they feel for him is love and pride. The art, from the round and cuddly penguins to the gangly flamingo and everyone in between, is delightful. The length is great, and JJ loved it. An uplighting treat, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved.
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)