When Ella tells Penguin that friends are "matchy matchy," Penguin goes along. If Ella likes it, then Penguin likes it. He wears a tutu, he eats a peppermint, and even tries to finger paint! None of this is fun for Penguin, and when Penguin says that out loud, they are both sad. If they don't match, can they be friends?
Penguin and Ella are adorable and their expressions and emotions are captured beautifully in the illustrations. The text-to-illustration balance is exceptional. With most of the story being told in dialogue, it is easy for kids to 'recreate' the story from the illustrations and tell it in their own way. Yes, it is pretty easy (at least for an adult) to see where the story is going, but that doesn't make it any less fun to read. Highly recommended for toddlers, preschoolers, and early elementary-aged kids. This would be an exceptional choice to read before or at the beginning of a play date. The youngest listeners will see this as a friendship story, elementary readers will see a little deeper into the social skills, advocating for yourself, and being yourself themes.
Ella and Penguin are adorable. Young readers will like the predictability of knowing where the story is heading. Dialogue drives the story, which makes room for young readers to create their own versions of the story from the wonderful illustrations.
This picture book about friendship also layers in themes of being yourself, listening to others, and compromise.
Sometimes simple is best. There are many ways to share this book, as it has different layers that kids will "get" see at different ages. The youngest listeners will see this as a friendship story, elementary readers will see a little deeper into the social skills, advocating for yourself, and being yourself themes
8 and Up
3 to 8
Buy! The themes of the story are great reinforcement of social skills, and also grow with your child as they learn how to advocate for themselves.