Title: Penelope the Lost Pelican
Author: Penny Beevor
Genre: Children’s Books
Published by: Story Institute, LLC
Published Date: May 1, 2017
Book Dimensions: 8” x 0.1” x 10”
Join Penelope and Dolly in their adventure to find Penelope’s parents before they migrate. Together, they search for clues across the Florida coast and meet some other fun animals along the way. Penelope the Lost Pelican is a tale of friendship, cooperation, and family enjoyed by parents and children across the world.
My Thoughts: This is a story about a young Pelican named Penelope who has learned to fly, almost ready to migrate. Thinking to impress her parents she flies ahead of them and misses their nest, along the shore. She needs to double back to find them and can’t locate them. Worried, she asks for help to find her parents from a dolphin named Dolly.
Personally, I like the illustrations where the ocean, and sand are real photography, while the animals in the story are caricatures. By illustrating the book in this manner, it made me reach out to touch the pelicans and dolphin. They seemed to pop from the page!
I also like the size of the book and print allowing a child to see each illustration clearly investigating all the detail.
I enjoyed the relation between the dolphin and pelicans – respecting and helping others who are different from they are, yet share the same environment. I didn’t like the idea that the fishermen may harm the pelicans. It wasn’t said in the story, but I felt that’s what Penelope thought.
There are several talking points to the story—being kind, being helpful, staying close to parents when learning something new, helping parents when needed, and thanking someone who has helped.
There appears some incongruities in the story. Or at the least non-continuity. Penelope’s parents fly to the nest, without Penelope, who has flown ahead of her parents. Then we find Penelope looking for her parents only to find them snagged in a fishing net. We were told they flew to the nest, not out looking for food.
It’s noted there are many rhyming sentences in the story, some with a delightful proper rhythm. Others are not as melodic. The rhyming could be beneficial for beginning readers, however, so I don’t mind the beat so much.
Words which may need explanation:
triple back twist jump
wiggle and waggle
Since this book needs to excite the mind of the young, I put it to the test. I had two parents and four children’s input to the review as well as my own.
One child reviewer said he liked the sounds of Penelope flying – SWOOSH! The sound of Dolly the dolphin as it dives into the water – KERPLUNK! The sounds of the pelicans eating—GOBBLE!
Another child reviewer liked the little pink ribbon on Penelope’s head.
One set of children who had the book read to them usually asks to have a book reread if they particularly like it. They did not. It may have been the reader. Narration of a story is an art in itself. Parents would help instill the excitement of the printed word by narrating with enthusiasm.
The other set discussed the animals and what they thought, of being kind and helping others, of staying close to parents and what to do when lost and lastly what animals do to live in their environment. These conversations were with a parent who teaches first and third grade.
My final remark: It would be lovely to add a list of talking points to help parents get the most out of this type of story. There is so much to talk about. Perhaps with each read they could touch upon a point.
About the Author:
Penny Beevor is a Registered Early Childhood Educator, who lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
She has been an E.C.E. teacher for eighteen years. Penny teaches preschool at St. Ann Catholic School.
She has several story ideas. She enjoys writing stories that interest young children.
Penny loves creating her own characters. Penny’s second book in the Penelope series will be released in Spring of 2018. Penny enjoys hiking, swimming, reading and camping.