Penguins (Step Into Reading), by David Salomon
It is interesting, but not at all surprising, that penguins would make an obvious subject to write a book about when it comes to encouraging early readers to step into science reading. After all, penguins re nearly universally beloved among children (and people in general) because of their odd and adorable ways. This book and the numerous others I have read and reviewed about penguins demonstrates that there is a rather large market for books about penguins dedicated to children. It is perhaps more striking that there are not more longer and more serious books dealing with Antarctica bird-watching and more serious and complete and nuanced discussion about penguins as one gets for larger, domestic animals. It would appear as if penguins are animals that are seen as being mainly of interest to young readers and therefore not something that is going to be of appeal to adults. And for whatever reason the dichotomy between having few books about penguins for adults but a lot of books about penguins for children mean that books like this remain in print and read even when their information is no longer accurate, as is frequently the case with older books about penguins.
The contents of this book, as might be expected, are pretty simple. This book is labeled as level 2, for preschoolers to first graders who would need to read the short sentences with help. It provides a simple narrative of a few months in the life of penguins. We start the scene in Antarctica, where a female penguin has returned from months of feeding in the ocean to her colony of chinstrap penguins where she and her mate will try to have children and she will raise penguin chicks to aduilthood while scaring away predators. What is perhaps telling about this book is that it references seventeen types of penguins, whereas more recent books on the subject claim that there are eighteen extant species of penguin. One wonders, with penguins being such a popular bird, how it was that a species was discovered for penguins so recently, and what the most recent penguin species recognized was. that is not a topic for this boo, though, which rather simply and straightforwardly presents a story about a mother penguin and her efforts at motherhood, a subject which is assumed to be of interest to a great many readers, at least.