This is a story about friendship and understanding. In it a boy finds a penguin at his door. The penguin looks sad, so thinking it is lost the boy tries to take it home – to the South Pole! This involves a really long journey across the oceans in a rowing boat. During the journey they become good friends. Eventually the boy realised that maybe friendship is what the penguin was looking for after all.
Share the story
Read aloud and talk about the story
Before you start reading look at the cover picture together. Encourage your child to wonder what might happen in this story. Why are the boy and the penguin in a boat on the sea? Read the story aloud pausing to talk about the story and what might happen next. Good points to stop include:
– when the boy can’t sleep and doesn’t know what to do about the penguin
– when he is wondering how to get to the South Pole
Watch a trailer
Hear the book read aloud
Things to make do
Tell the story with puppets
Print out the puppet shapes from the author’s website. Stick them on lolly sticks so your child can retell the story with you.
Alternatively you could make junk models of the boy and the penguin from small cardboard tubes or boxes covered in glued paper.
Play the story
Arrange cushions or pillows in a boat shape on the floor so your child can climb in. Children could choose a favourite toy as a companion to sail off to the South Pole. Another cardboard tube or rolled up magazine would make a great telescope for spotting land, ships or danger.
Sing a song
Sing ‘Row, row, row your boat’ together. It’s fun to do this sitting on the floor and doing a rowing action in rhythm to the song. Click here for the words. To listen to a recording of the song click here.
Have fun with floating
Experiment with different plastic food containers to see which makes a suitable boat for a couple of small toys to go on a voyage together. Try floating them in the bath, a paddling pool, bowl or sink.
Make a lost and found poster
Has anyone lost the penguin? Make a poster to see if the owner can be found. Print off the template, so your child can draw a picture of the penguin and write their own message.
Find out more
Read more books by Oliver Jeffers here
The Day the Crayons Quit
The Moose belongs to Me
How to Catch a Star
The Heart and the Bottle
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