Monday, July 22, 2013
Puffin Peter, written and illustrated by Petr Horacek. Canndlewick Press, Random House. 2013. $19.00 ages 3 and up
We know about storms in Manitoba this summer....day in and day out they rear their ugly heads and have caused untold damage for far too many people and homes. Something similar happens to Peter and Paul, best friend puffins who are separated during a storm at sea.
Peter is blown out to sea; when the storm subsides, he has no idea where Paul might be. As luck would have it, he meets a sympathetic and most generous blue whale who is willing to help him find his best friend. All the whale needs is a description of Paul.
With each new detail added to Peter's description, the whale has an idea for where to find him. Of course, each detail pertains to one kind of bird or another - parrot, penguin, toucan. None fit the full description; however, the whale is not one to give up. Persistence finally pays off when they drift close to an island and spot Paul, safe and sound. Huzzah!
Petr Horacek creates bold and colorful art for this story of friendship and kindness. He uses mixed media to create textured, detailed spreads that burst with energy. He shows varied perspectives, action, and ever-changing settings as the two explore the marine world in search of Paul. I like the way he varies his perspectives to give his young readers a real sense of the vast expanse of the ocean, and the panels that first show the storm as it separates the two and then the discovery that brings them together once more.
The ending is appealing, and full of charm.