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Ponny the Penguin

How can it be six months since I last shared a book review! Rest assured that we love books as much as ever, so many books I’ve intended on sharing but alas when you don’t ‘seize the moment’ the momentum is lost.  Trying also to ‘tone it down’ a little for my readers who weren’t keen on too many book reviews.

Today I’d love to share Ponny the Penguin by Veronica Basser with you, Ponny has long been a part of our family culture. I first read this gem to our adult children over a decade ago, enjoyed it with our ‘middle set’ several years later and now have delighted in introducing Ponny to another three of our children this week. I daresay I’ll be reading it for a fourth time to our youngest ones in a few years time.

Ponny the Penguin is an absolute treasure, a jewel among ‘living books.’  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?”
and another
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. Ponny was written in 1948, so I’m not certain about copyright, sadly I also haven’t been able to source any 2nd hand copies online, however next time you are at a used booksale be sure to keep your eye out and if so lucky as to spy one, grab it with glee.

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  • Lawrence Maguire

    I live in the U.K, and would love to purchase a copy of this book. I have been unable to find it on any book finder website, so presume it is now rare ? I am very happy to pay up to £150.00 for a copy, so please let me know if you find one and wish to sell.

    • Erin

      This book is indeed extremely rare, though wow shocked at how much you’re willing to pay! Alas for you my 11 year old has claimed it for her home when grown she loves it so much.

      • Lawrence Maguire

        Glad to say that after 10 years of looking I’ve finally managed to find a copy of this book. It cost a lot, but I collect childrens books and this was no1 on my list.
        Glad to say you’re absolutely right, it is a little gem!

        • Erin

          Fantastic, exciting news!! Where did you find one, online or in a shop?
          Was rather astounded myself to find a copy myself in hardcover at our local second hand shop! Needless to say I snatched it up 🙂

  • Justin Ulvaer

    I had this book many years ago. I didn’t realise how rare it was to have a copy in England. I now have a three year old of my own that I would love to read this book to. Any chance anyone could kindly photocopy me a copy? Of course I’ll pay. I’m just sad he’ll be missing out on the wonders of Ponny ☹️

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