February 5, 2011

            penguin chick

I recently received a letter from a mother which reminded me of my own experience when my kids were growing up. She wrote:

“I have a seven year old that I read your penguin book to. Now she wants to have a pet penguin. I’ve explained to her that she can’t own one as a pet at home, but she wants to know if there are any organizations that care for penguins that she, and/or her class could sponsor and call her/their own.

Her school mascot is the penguin and she was thinking about wanting to start a penguin club. Can someone adopt a penguin, and if so, how? Is there a place that we can contact? Is there a place that takes contributions to help care for them? Your book is terrific. It really moved her.”


Penguins book cover

This letter really touched me because my own son, Michael, also loved penguins when he was in elementary school. In fact, I dedicated my book PENGUINS to him, writing: “For my son Michael, who was President of the Penguin Club in elementary school.” When Michael (who is now an adult) read the dedication, he objected, saying “Dad, that was an appointment for LIFE!” Funny guy, my youngest son.

We’ve done some research and found an organization called the International Penguin Conservation Work Group (www.seabirds.org) which allows one to adopt a penguin!

Why should kids be concerned about the welfare of penguins? Well, like many marine animals, commercial fishing practices endanger penguin colonies, particularly when overfishing depletes the food sources near their breeding grounds. Governments, conservation groups and the fishing industry worldwide are working together to develop safe and responsible practices that will protect our precious marine wildlife, including penguins.

Parents and Educators can download a free, 5-page Teacher Guide that we’ve created to use with my PENGUINS book. It includes Questions to Ask Before and After Reading, Suggested Activities, Additional Resources, and a child activity page. Download it from my website and use it with your kids to help them get even more out of the experience of reading the book.

Photo: Lyn Irvine



Posted by: Seymour Simon

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