Hand: Birds of a feather flock together in these stories
By Luci Hand Reasons to Read February 7, 2014 2:00PM
Updated: March 10, 2014 6:24AM
One of the animals that constantly intrigues and entertains us is the penguin.
He looks like a little person in a tuxedo, acts like a seal and yet is a bird. Helen Hancocks puts our little “Penguin In Peril” in her new story.
Here, we meet three cats who have a major problem. They are hungry. They have run out of food.
They go to a movie to take their minds off their hunger and have a snack, but after watching “The Fishy Feast,” their hunger is not abated.
We watch as they have a brilliant idea — they will rob the zoo of a penguin for dinner. They go to the zoo, masked and with an empty sack, and leave with a penguin.
They put him in a box for the night and the next day, they set off to go fishing.
The penguin has figured out he is in peril, so he makes a break for freedom.
He falls into a group of nuns in old-fashioned habits (Will today’s kids recognize them?), and the cats can’t find him. He takes the subway, with a restaurant stop for a snack, and plays waiter for a disguise.
He eventually finds his way home to the zoo just in time for dinner. The cats end up in jail.
The main character of “Little Benguin,” by Estelle Billon Spagnol, is not very popular.
One day a penguin and a bunny fall in love. They marry and have a baby. He is part penguin and part bunny and is dearly loved by his parents. They name him Benguin.
He is unusual and because he is unusual, people are afraid of him. Little Benguin is usually alone. He tries to feel good about himself but it doesn’t always work.
One day, he is out playing and a wolf comes and threatens to eat him. He takes off for home and runs like a rabbit, then swims like a penguin and drowns the wolf.
He comes home a hero. A party is held in his honor and we leave him falling in love with a turtle.
Maybe there will be a sequel. This simple story will make a great discussion tool for understanding “special” people.
Emily Arnold McCully brings us a delightful story about another kind of bird in “Little Ducks Go.”
This mother duck is leading her ducklings through the city to the lake. Unfortunately, they fall into the rain sewer.
We watch as she desperately follows them from grill to grill. She avoids traffic and sits and quacks on top of the manhole cover when the ducklings stop.
A man comes and watches but goes a way. He comes back with a shovel and a fish net and opens the hole and fishes out the ducklings, one by one.
A little girl watches this rescue and we leave Momma Duck safe with the girl and her ducklings on the way to the lake where they swim away, safe at last.