Penguins Can't Fly! by Richard Byrne

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Penguins Can't Fly! by Richard Byrne

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: Gregory the Gull and Hudson the penguin have been best friends ever since the day they both hatched from different eggs. They have always done everything together. However, one day Gregory flies off to join a group of Gulls and, as Hudson tries to follow, he realises that there is a big difference between him and his friend. Does it matter though? Surely there’s no reason why the pair cannot still be best friends!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: March 2013
Publisher: Andersen
ISBN: 9781849395137

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Gregory the Gull and Hudson the penguin were both born on the same day and have been great friends ever since, doing everything together. In the lovely illustrations, we can see them having a bath, fishing, sledging, skating and giving each other thoughtful and special gifts. However, when Gregory sees some other some gulls having fun flying over the beach, he naturally decides to join in. So does Hudson but of course there is a problem! However hard Hudson flaps his little wings, he just can’t fly. He tries everything but the result is always the same; he never manages to leave the ground. Naturally, he is very sad especially when all the gulls laugh unkindly. Just when he is feeling very low though, something happens to Gregory when he dives deep into the water and gets caught up in a fishing net. Hudson may not be able to fly but he can swim and this means that he is the best bird to help his friend. After this, it never seems to matter that he can't fly.

This is such a lovely book that helps small children see the value of true friendship and also help them realise that different friends can have different talents. It doesn’t matter that we can’t do all of the same things and maybe this is actually a good thing. This means that there is a great deal to talk about when reading this book.

It’s a simply written, touching story which is significantly enhanced by the wonderful illustrations on every page. These pictures are essential because they tell so much more of the story than the words. It’s through these that we really see the depth of Gregory’s and Hudson’s friendship and also how hard Hudson tries to fly – making use of kites, balloons and even a trampoline in his attempts to take off. The illustrations are fun and quirky and, in fact, they as so good, the book has been nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal which rewards excellent illustrations in children’s books.

Every page of this book is extremely appealing with its bright colours, amusing pictures and bold text. There are never too many words on any page and this would make it accessible for early independent readers as well as for sharing with the very young. Whoever reads it will certainly want to return to this delightful story many times.

Why not take a look at The Really, Really, Really Big Dinosaur, also by Richard Byrne?

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Buy Penguins Can't Fly! by Richard Byrne at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Penguins Can't Fly! by Richard Byrne at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Penguins Can't Fly! by Richard Byrne at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Penguins Can't Fly! by Richard Byrne at


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