Book review: Goldie and The Three Penguins by Chris Gurney

This book is in bookstores now.

With the help of several after school programmes, I had many audiences to read this book to and gauge their responses. The audiences were quite diverse not only in age range, but with an exciting range of cultural richness. Children from South Africa, Samoa, Somalia, France and one delightful boy recently arrived from China, who could not speak English.

It could be a real challenge holding their interest and attention. I worried unnecessarily.

Right from the get go, Goldie’s humourous hair hooked the children in and had them anticipating the fun and antics to come. Combining this with the rhythm of the story, the use of te reo and the unexpectedness of penguins in the place of bears, all contributed to a recipe of storytelling success.

There were giggles, chuckles and hearty laughter the whole way through and the wonderful child initiated chant of “oh my, oh my, that’s really kapai” at the points in the story where Goldie was to speak, was such a delight and highlighted the degree of engagement of the children and the capacity of the book to create interactive moments.

It was consistently given a score of 10 out of 10 by young and old alike.

It led to children linking it in to their creative ideas and staff supported activities well after the book had been read, things like colourful wool/spaghetti creations, ukulele playing and much more.

A must have for your library shelf.

Reviewed by Julie King

Goldie and The Three Penguins
Written by Chris Gurney, illustrated by Sarah Anderson
Published by Scholastic NZ
ISBN 9781775430438

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