This book’s inclusive message is important for children to internalize as they begin to notice differences between themselves and their peers and make comparisons. Introducing the concept of individuality and celebrating the importance of diversity will help adults start conversations with curious kids, who will be eager to point out some of the ways they are special like Penny. The singsong prose is mostly straightforward and easy to follow, which will help hold the interest of even easily distracted audiences. Some rhymes feel forced, but this doesn’t detract from the fun story’s positive vibes.
Sinha’s illustrations are lighthearted and playful, showing Penny playing in the snow, lounging on an inner tube, and snowboarding in a pink scarf. The new friends she meets are friendly and eager to interact—a smiling sea star, a serene turtle, and a grinning narwhal are standouts. Penny and the cartoon-like creatures bob in front of a simple blue-and-white background, putting focus on their distinctive features. At the end of the book each reader receives a “certificate of uniqueness,” sweetly formalizing its message of being proud of one’s own one-of-a-kind qualities.
Takeaway: Sweet, rhyming story of a penguin learning to love and accept herself.
Comparable Titles: Madeleine MacRae’s The Unusual Penguin, Todd Parr’s Be Who You Are.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A-