Friday, November 21, 2014

Penguin's Hidden Talents

Penguin's Hidden Talent
by Alex Latimer
32 pages; ages 4-8
Peachtree publisher, 2014

"The BIG annual Talent Show was just around the corner... and everyone was practicing."

themes: friendship, finding your own gift

Everyone has a talent except Penguin... he can't bake or read a map or knit a sweater. Bear juggles, rabbit does magic tricks, and albatross can swallow humongous fish.

What I love about this book: Penguin is a good sport. He tries many things... but they just don't suit him. So while his friends practice their acts for the show, Penguin helps organize the show.

I also love the art. I love Penguin and Bear... how simple they are and yet how much expression is squeezed into their spare illustrated selves. This sort of art gives me hope that I might discover my hidden talent.

Beyond the book: What sort of talents do you and your friends have? Can you juggle? Do card tricks? Dance on a tightrope? Build things out of blocks or recycled toilet paper tubes? Draw? Write poetry? Sing? If you're not sure, try a few things. Hint: if you've never tried to juggle before, don't start with toasters or tomatoes.

If you have a pet, what sort of talents do they have? Can they do tricks? Locate lost items? Count to three?

Put on a talent show. Gather a group of friends, and have some fun. Make some posters and invite people to enjoy the show. Does someone have the talent to make popcorn?

Today we're joining PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture BooksReview copy provided by publisher.


  1. And it is interesting to spot those with an organizational gift quite young!

  2. This is a great story and I would have loved it as a child. I loved to put on talent shows, perform and organize. But, I think the activities behind the scene like organizing costumes, directing, helping other's rehearse are true talents.

  3. Talent is not always visible. This is a cute story to illustrate that fact. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. I'll have to look for this - the cover reminded me strongly of Oliver Jeffer's The Great Paper Caper.

  5. This book does make one look further to see what hidden talents one might have. Great choice, Sue! :)

  6. What a great story! Like Ms RZ up there, I first thought this might be one from Mr Jeffers!! Interesting! I'll be looking for this one. Thanks!!

  7. Thanks for the fun book and activities. I think we may have to stage a talent show when we get snowed in!

  8. Oh, I love penguin books and I believe my son will like this one. Thanks for adding it to the list.

  9. Sounds like a lovely book. Reminds me of the new Pete the Cat book:)
    Grade ONEderful

  10. This looks great! Gotta love a persistent MC - especially if he's a penguin!!