DIARY OF A PENGUIN-NAPPER
by Sally Harris ★★★★★
3 weeks … 2 boys … 1 little penguin … What could possibly go wrong?
When 11 (and a half) year old Marty is partnered up with Jessica on the overnight science trip, he thinks all of this dreams are about to come true.
It’s his big chance to impress the most beautiful girl in Year 7 (and probably the world) and he wouldn’t miss it for anything. Only problem is: Marty can’t afford to go on the overnight trip. Yet.
Inspired by the urban myth that it is possible to steal a penguin from the zoo on a school visit, Diary of a Penguin-napper is a hilarious tale of growing up, bending the rules and how one big fuss can be caused by stealing just one little penguin. [Goodreads].
This is a funny, entertaining tale of two boys, a girl, and a penguin that made me laugh plenty of times.
The first thing that grabbed me about this book was the awesome cover. My hat is off to the illustrator/designer. The second thing that grabbed me about this book was the great story. My hat is off to the author.
It’s one of those tales where a small thing in itself (the need to go to a camp) leads from one event to the next, like a snowball. From the title, you already know that there is a penguin involved. Well, that penguin is central to the story but it isn’t the main focus.
The story follows the antics of Marty, who along with his best friend, Turds, embark on a simple journey to find a way for Marty to go to an overnight school excursion. That sounds simple enough … well, it’s not that easy. One thing leads to another, and much of the tale is how the kids solve the problem that they’ve caused while they’ve been trying to solve the previous problem. Lack of attention to detail in their planning, contributes to their woes. As I said, it’s like a snowball that grows as it rolls.
I’m not going to fill this review with spoilers so you’ll need to read the book for yourself to get any more details. But I will say that the bank scene was hilarious and written so well that the awkwardness between the characters burst from the pages.
My favourite lines are:
I freeze. I don’t really want to give her my real name in case the whole thing backfires. I scan the nearby pamphlets. “Mr Investment,” I say, picking the first word that I can see that might be a surname. I could hardly pick Mr Money Manager or Mr Business Banking, now could I?
My bottom line:
This is a funny, entertaining tale of two boys, a girl, and a penguin that made me laugh plenty of times. I recommend this to anyone who would like a read that makes them chuckle at the awkward circumstances kids can bring upon themselves. As a parent, I’ll be on the lookout for clues from now on, in case this ever happens at my place.