Monday, January 7, 2019

Review: Penguin Flies Home by Lita Judge

A Flight School Story
by Lita Judge
Atheneum Books
Picture Book
ages 4 to 7
40 pages

JANUARY 15th!!!

Penguin mastered his quest to soar with the eagles in Flight School—now he’s heading home to teach his friends in this sweet and inspiring stand-alone companion story!

Penguin loves everything about flying: the wind beneath his wings, the song that rises from his belly, and the sight of new and wonderful places.

Still, he misses his penguin friends in the South Pole. So, he flips and flaps back home, ready to teach them the magic of flight!

But when he arrives, his enthusiasm for flying doesn’t get quite the reaction he expected. Will Penguin’s friends still like him, even if they don’t share his soaring dreams?


With a breeze of fun, this book soars into the world of adventure and proves that dreams are always worth chasing even when they don't fit in with what's considered normal.

Penguin loves to fly, but even when he glides beneath the stars, a small part of him wonders what his friends up North are doing. Teacher and Flamingo see the problem instantly—Penguin is homesick. Pulling out a surprise, they fly with Penguin up North, and he sees his friends again. But try as he may, he can't convince the other penguins to give flying a try. As the other penguins leave for a swim, he realizes that he might be too different for them to accept.

Penguins are super sweet, especially ones with humongous dreams, and this penguin has not only achieved his dreams, he treasures every moment. The author has created a wonderful character with a huge heart bundle inside a ton of cuteness. Cheering for Penguin as he continues to follow his heart is a must, and that warm fuzzy feeling blooms as he stretches his wings to head North to his friends. But then, Penguin is already surrounded by amazing friends, who support him and show what true friendship is. 

The message in these pages is clear and wrapped into a lovely tale. Even though Penguin runs into doubt, there's never a nasty moment of bullying or spite, which I found refreshing. It's Penguin's own insecurities which step up and cause problems. This self-doubt is something everyone faces, and Penguin and his friends show how to handle it. 

The illustrations are cheerful and a joy to flip through. Penguin and the others' personalities shine through in the gentle lines. There's a touch of whimsical which allows the fun of fantasy to soar right along with the birds. Together with the wonderfully worked text, this is a book to enjoy again and again.

And here she is...

Lita Judge is the award-winning author and illustrator of many children's books, including Flight School; Penguin Flies Home; Red Sled; Red Hat; Good Morning to Me!; Born in the Wild; and her illustrated young adult novel, Mary's Monster. She lives with her husband, two cats, and a parrot in New Hampshire. You can visit her online at

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