PULMAN, Felicity (text) David Jenkins (photos) The Little Penguins of Manly Wharf Self Pub, 2013 46pp $24.95 pbk ISBN 9780987570802 SCIS 1618776
Anna and Josh, the narrators of this lovely information book for kids of all ages, are part of the penguin warden team at Manly beach and National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) volunteers. The penguin warden team look after the little penguins and keep them safe. As the only breeding colony in an international city these penguins and their habitat are at risk from dogs and other predators, rubbish such as plastic bags, speed boats and jet skis. It is also the ‘wardens’ job to help educate the public about penguin behaviour and habitat. Other agencies involved in the welfare of these animals are Taronga Zoo Education Centre, Manly Environment Centre and Project Penguin.
We are introduced to some of the penguins in the colony through their nicknames such as ‘Stickybeak,’ ‘Mrs Silverwing,’ ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Hopalong;’ we read their stories and learn about the daily battle to survive as well as humorous events that give the birds their names. A list of websites are provided for further reading along with ‘little penguin’ facts in which we discover behavioural traits, learn about physiology, nest building, mating and malting as well as the penguins love of dancing and singing.
This is a book to inform and educate but also an interesting way of raising the notion of ‘animal rescue.’ Accompanied by beautiful photographs to illustrate the text. Highly recommended 8+. MC