2013 Caldecott Honor Book. From New York Times bestselling author Toni Buzzeo and Caldecott Medal winning illustrator David Small, comes a cool tale about an unlikely friendship. On a spontaneous visit to the aquarium, straight-laced and proper Elliot discovers his dream pet: a penguin. When he asks his father if he may have one (please and thank you), his father says yes. Elliot should have realized that Dad was probably thinking of a toy penguin, not a real one... Clever illustrations and a wild surprise ending make this sly, silly tale a kid-pleaser from start to finish.
About the Author
Children's book author Toni Buzzeo is the creator of The Sea Chest and Dawdle Ducking, two picture books for young readers. Buzzeo was raised in Dearborn, Michigan and moved to Maine 23 years ago. She holds a Masters degree in English from the University of Michigan and a Masters degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Rhode Island. She has worked as a high school and college English teacher, a public children's librarian, and a school library media specialist. Currently, she is a Library Media Specialist at Longfellow School in Portland, Maine. Buzzeo was named the 1999 Maine Library Media Specialist of the Year. She lives in Buxton, Maine amid wild turkeys and black flies with her husband, Ken Cyll, her son, Chris Cyll, 19.Her first book, The Sea Chest (Dial Books for Young Readers, September 2002) (ages 5-up), is set on a fictional midcoast Maine island and is based on the Maine Hendricks Head Light baby-in-the-sea chest legend. The book, illustrated in oils by Minnesota artist Mary GrandPre who has also illustrated the popular Harry Potter novels, is both Maine historical fiction and a touching adoption story. The title earned Buzzeo the 2000 Barbara Karlin Grant for Picture Book Writing from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. It has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild selection and will be featured in Scholastic Book FairsHer second book, Dawdle Duckling (Dial Books for Young Readers, January 2003) (ages 2-6) is the story of a small duckling who swims to the beat of his own drummer--until danger threatens. The book, illustrated in pastels by California illustrator Margaret Spengler, is a cheerful reassuring tale of youthful rebellion and parental protection--with an exciting surprise ending.She is also the author of four professional books: Terrific Connections with Authors, Illustrators, and Storytellers: Real Space and Virtual Links, co-authored with Jane Kurtz (Libraries Unlimited 1999), 35 Best Books For Teaching U.S. Regions, co-authored with Jane Kurtz (Scholastic Professional 2002), Collaborating to Meet Standards: Teacher/Librarian Partnerships for K-6 (Linworth, March 2002), and Collaborating to Meet Standards: Teacher/Librarian Partnerships for 7-12 (Linworth, September 2002).Read more about Toni Buzzeo on her websiteDavid Small grew up in Detroit, studied Art and English at Wayne State University and completed his graduate studies in art at Yale. He went on to teach drawing and printmaking at the college level for fourteen years, during which time his first book Eulalie and The Hopping Head was published. David no longer teaches but has continued illustrating.David has illustrated twenty-seven picture books, and has also provided the text for six of them. His Imogene's Antlers has been featured for fifteen years on PBS' "Reading Rainbow." Fenwicks Suit presently is in production by Fox 2000 Four of David's bestselling picture books were written by his wife, Sarah Stewart. Their book The Gardener was the recipient of 17 awards including the Christopher Medal and the 1998 Caldecott Honor Award.David's books have been translated into six languages. He also has worked years as a freelance editorial artist, with his drawings appearing regularly in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post. His reviews of picture books appear frequently in The New York Times Book Review.Of his beginnings as an artist David has this to say: "Detroit is not where I would have lived given the choice as a child. Then, I would much rather have lived in Candy Land. But the fact is Detroit--a harsh, industrial--made art and music all the more sweet in my young life, more urgent and more of a necessity. Seen in that light, Detroit was the perfect place for me to grow up."David Small and Sarah Stewart make their home in Michigan in an 1833 Greek Revival house on ten acres of land along the banks of the St. Joseph River. Their house is on the National Register of Historic Places, and their property marks the northern boundary of the Great Tallgrass Prairie.
“The surprise ending has the same satisfying sensibility as Jules Feiffer’s Bark, George. A real kid charmer that will elicit ‘Read it again!’ responses.” (Starred) -School Library Journal
"The book’s humor is built on gentle misunderstandings between father and son (when Elliot asks for a penguin, his father assumes he means a stuffed one from the aquarium gift shop). . . A boy-and-his-pet story [that's] about as sweet as it gets." (Starred) -Publishers Weekly
"Elliot, clad in a proper black suit, discovers the perfect pet when he and his dad visit the aquarium . . . Charming illustrations [draw] the eye to funny little details . . . Highly recommended." (starred) -Library Media Connection
“This charming picture book has many humorous details throughout, and kids will likely laugh out loud at the surprise (particularly for father!) ending.” -Booklist
“Suitable for both story time and closer observation, the illustrations (including the comical Magellan) complement the child-friendly premise and will certainly attract young readers to this quirky tale.” -Horn Book
“The comic characterizations of Elliott and his father, and Small’s lively ink, watercolor, and colored pencil illustrations […] will make this a popular choice for both reading aloud and reading alone.” -BCCB
“A happy tale of domestic amity, with a well-set-up punchline.” -Kirkus Reviews
2013 Caldecott Honor Book 2013 Notable Children's Book New York Times Best Seller Junior Library Guild Selection