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Penguin in Perilby Helen Hancocks
Synopses & Reviews
Three hungry cats. One little penguin. The odds don't look good.
With bare cupboards and hungry bellies, three cats steal a penguin to catch them fish. A hilarious sequence of events unfolds as the penguin makes his escape, gets mistaken for a nun and a waiter, then finds his way safely home. Meanwhile, the cats are caught for their crime and sent to jail — for a lifetime of gruel. Deftly told and beautifully illustrated by exciting debut author-illustrator Helen Hancocks.
"A bicycle built for three and a secret subterranean tunnel system are just two of the treats thrown into this madcap adventure by first-time British author/illustrator Hancocks. Three hungry cats snare a penguin from the local zoo, scheming to have it catch fish for them. But the penguin escapes, and although the cats give chase through a crowded city, it eludes them, camouflaging itself in a handy group of nuns and darting into the kitchen of a high-end restaurant. Hancocks's artwork is first cousin to Maira Kalman's, a series of cheerful gouaches in which grown-up metropolitan civilization is depicted with childlike charm. Cheeky humor crowds the pages; in the restaurant, the penguin joins a procession of formally dressed waiters into the dining room, holding the skeleton of the fish he's just downed like a trophy. Penguin fans will sigh with relief as a little bird reveals the underground tunnels: 'Luckily, she knew a secret way into the zoo.' The cats' punishment seems too harsh for the crime — gruel for life behind bars! — but perhaps a sequel will let them stage a jailbreak. Ages 3 — 7." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"[A] sprightly author-illustrator debut....Graphic shapes in pencil and bold gouache colors not only make for striking compositions, they suggest humor in the simplest of ways. Clever details abound, like the underground map of the penguins escape via subway and the animals image-only dialogue bubbles. The penguin in peril prevails in this fresh and funny English import." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"This wacky tale by Helen Hancocks will keep little ones giggling." Parents Magazine
Helen Hancocks graduated in 2011 with a degree in illustration and animation from Manchester School of Art. She uses a mixture of crayon, watercolor, ink, and pen, combined digitally. Her work often features cats. Helen Hancocks lives in Lincoln, England.
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