Ponny the Penguin by Veronica Basser
Ponny is an Adelie penguin from the Antarctica, we follow Ponny from her birth, through her childhood to her own ‘marriage’ to the birth of her own ‘child’, the full circle. Along the way we learn a great deal about Adelie penguins; their parenting practices, how and what they hunt and how they feed their young, about their environment, the dangers they face from sea lions and killer whales, their migration patterns, their ‘marriage’ and nesting habits and more.
Basser has woven an incredible amount of information into a fascinating tale written in story form.
“Ponny grew podgier and podgier every day. She also grew hungrier and hungrier. It was not that she was just a little glutton, but she was growing so fast she needed lots of food. Long before Mr Penguin reached the nest he could hear her calling out “Hurry up, daddy, I’m hungry!” Sometimes when she had eaten what he had brought, she would ask, “Is that all, daddy?”
Ponny became a wonderful swimmer, and when she was in the water her friends, who used to tease her about being fat, watched her speed with envy. It was just because she was so fat that she was such a good swimmer, for the oil from all the food she had eaten formed a layer of blubber underneath her feathers and helped to make her light and buoyant in the water.
Appealing, humorous and informative, the perfect combination and on our children’s list of ‘must have’ books. Written in 1948.
The Polar Bear’s Gift – Jeanne Bushey
Pani a young Inuit girl in the Artic longs to be a great polar bear hunter like her parents were. Inspired by a traditional Inuit legend of a magic polar bear bag.
The Last Polar Bears – Harry Horse
Grandfather is on an expedition to the North Pole in search of the last polar bears. He is accompanied by Roo, a dog of character and strong views, and they carry all their equipment in a golf bag. Light hearted fun.
Long Picture Books
Ice Trap!: Shackleton’s Incredible Expedition – Meredith Hooper
The story of Sir Ernest Shackleton(1914) and a team of explorers sailing to the Antarctic. Their ship Endurance, becomes trapped in the deadly pack ice of the Weddell sea. When the Endurance is eventually crushed between two floating icebergs, the men are forced to abandon ship and make the dangerous journey across the crushing sea in lifeboats.
An amazing tale, with dramatic and detailed illustrations.
Tom Crean’s Rabbit – A True Story from Scott’s Last Voyage – Meredith Hooper
The true story of Tom Crean’s pet rabbit on Scott’s last voyage to the Antarctic.
Based on diaries, Tom the sailor is looking for a quiet and cozy place for his pet rabbit to have her babies on Christmas Day. Stunning illustrations of the Antarctic landscape and notes in the back of the book provide more information about the expedition.
Awesome Oceans Animals of the Icy Seas – Michael Bright
Lots of fun facts, quizzes and ‘zoom in boxes’ reminiscent of a DK style.