Penguins (My First Animal Library), by Cari Meister
One thing that this book does very well is to be extremely cute, and to have a certain style with its graphic design that focuses on penguins while having generally simple and straightforward backgrounds with little text. This book, like many books about penguins, is devoted to young readers to encourage them to learn more about penguins and to find them adorable. In particular, this book assumes that the young reader is going to find krill (the main food of penguins) to be gross, and to encourage children to think about their family life similar to the way that penguins do with their personalized call and devoted parental attention. This is subtly done, of course, since the book does not show any people at all, but only penguins, although there are obviously people involved as photographers and editors and presumed readers of the book. This book certainly makes sense as a first book about penguins is that it is the sort of book that can easily be read and enjoyed by children and read to children, which is likely where it will receive most of its audience, as a book that is bought by and for mothers to read to small children about the bird.
The contents of the book are suitably straightforward, in that the real center of the book is the photography. We see penguins swimming, presumably in a zoo exhibit, while also seeing a view of zoomed in krill that are normally microscopic and a few photos of life in Antarctica, including the way that penguins slide on the stomachs because it is often faster (and probably a good deal more fun) than slowly waddling about. The book itself is about 24 pages or so and is divided into a few chapters, the vast majority of which is about penguins as swimming birds, the main theme of the book, with the rest of the materials making up very small sections at the end to discuss the parts of the penguin, a picture glossary, index, and suggestions for further reading should the reader want to learn more about penguins, as is likely. The text throughout most of the book is short, at most a couple of very simple sentences, and one of them the short expression “whee!”. Whether this book is read by parents or used by teachers, it would appear to be designed for the preschool market, and may be worthwhile as part of a series of books on animals for children to read or to be read to them.