Prather’s Pick: Orville the Penguinaut
Orville is a penguin that lives in a big igloo in the zoo. He’s a small penguin, but he’s got a big goal. He is the leading character in “Penguinaut!” which is this week’s featured picture book for children.
It was written by Marcie Colleen and illustrated by Emma Yarlett.
All of Orville’s friends are much bigger than the small penguin, and they have had bigger adventures, too. The hippo has flown, even if it was with some kind of handmade flying device. The giraffe put on his flippers and went scuba diving in the ocean. Orville has stood by and watched the animals carry out their adventures so he decides on an adventure of his own — the biggest adventure of all.
Orville has decided to go to the moon. When he announces his plans, he draws them out right on an elephant’s side. He even stands on the elephant’s trunk as he explains how he plans to get to the moon. There are four options. The first is to learn to fly. He plans to climb up on a tree and take off from there. The second is to climb all the way to the moon, one step at a time on a tall ladder. Option three is to catapult to the moon. And the last option is to make an option four.
The zoo animals aren’t so sure about Orville’s plan. They’re not sure it’s such a good idea. After all, Orville is so small and the moon is so far away. Orville just “flippers out.” He thinks he can do it by himself.
So Orville starts working on his options. He tries to fly but falls with a kerplop! He climbs up on the ladder, but it falls with him. Then he tries his catapult option but ends up landing in the reptile house where a boa constrictor tries to squeeze the dickens out of him.
But Orville doesn’t give up. He borrows some tools from the zookeeper and starts turning a big box — with “fragile” on the side — into a space ship. He attaches cardboard legs and tapes a colorful cone on top. He cuts a window in the ship.
Next, Orville tests some large, half-filled soda bottles. He shakes them up. They will propel him into space. Orville crawls under the space ship and attaches the bottles. He’s so busy that he doesn’t notice that the elephant has slipped a note into his space suit pocket.
The animals, with worried looks on their faces, are on hand to watch Orville take off for the moon. Whoosh! The ship flies through the atmosphere, through the clouds, over the stars, and finally lands on the moon.
Now that Orville is on the moon, what will he do? Will he have a safe trip home? Kids will enjoy this delightful book that has a message about following your dreams.
“Penguinaut!” is published by Scholastic (2018). I found this book in Spanish. The softcover book costs $9. You can also find this week’s book at the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries.