Confession Friday: I am NOT a Penguin

January 18, 2013 Children's Fiction 27

Happy Friday, Bookworms!

I’d like to take the opportunity to share with you a book that has taught me a lot of critical life lessons. I’m going to review the masterpiece that is If You Were a Penguin by Wendell and Florence Minor. (You’d be crazy to think I didn’t notice that the wife in this penguin writing duo has THE SAME NAME as the wife in the penguin writing duo of Mr. Popper’s PenguinsI’m observant like that.)  This book has so much to offer.


If I were a penguin, I’d always use the subjunctive tense correctly.

1. It gives the reader useful scientific facts! It’s important for children to understand that when they see a photo like this, the penguins are NOT typically trying to eat their babies’ heads. (I say typically, because we’ve got to be open to the possibility of zombie penguins.) They regurgitate their partially digested fish and squid bits into their children’s mouths. It’s not gross. It’s SCIENCE.


“You could eat squids and fishes without any dishes.”

2. This book points out that there’s more to penguin habitats than frozen tundra. Ever heard of the Galapagos Islands? FACT: it’s warm there. FACT: Penguins live there. FACT: Charles Darwin was all up in the Galapagos Islands. FACT: Darwin = Science.


“You could go for a swim in warm or cold places.”

3. Tobogganing is FUN. Seriously. If you could travel faster sliding around on your belly than you could walking, wouldn’t you slide everywhere? The correct answer is YES, OBVIOUSLY.

This guy knows how to party.

This guy knows how to party.

4. This book encourages penguin-like behavior! “But here’s a surprise for me and for you- penguins do lots of things that you can do too!”

Pure penguin inspired joy.

Pure penguin inspired joy.

Imagination is a wonderful thing, and this book is an exercise in hypothetical thinking and whimsy. There truly ARE lots of things penguins can do that I can do too… But not everything should be attempted.  Please, learn from my mistakes!

1. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to feed a youngster partially digested fish. Particularly if this child is not your offspring.

2. Not ALL beaches have penguins. Don’t waste your day at the beach trying to hunt them down. Odds are very good you are NOT on the Galapagos Islands.

3. Belly tobogganing is not the most efficient form of human travel, and should be avoided in an office environment. It will land you in an awkward meeting with HR. Also, rug burn.

I sincerely hope that all of you bookworms will procure your own copies of If I Were a Penguin. So much goodness to be had. So many lessons to be learned. Tell me. Have any of you learned valuable life lessons from children’s books? Please. Share them with the class so that we may all benefit from your wisdom.

27 Responses to “Confession Friday: I am NOT a Penguin”

  1. Mel

    HR meeting
    HR- So Ms. Worms, I was told that you were sliding around on your belly at the office. Did we have a liquid lunch today?
    WFW- Oh no I’m not crazy like that. I was just showing off my penguin skills.
    HR- Okaaay, did we have a pill heavy lunch today then?

    • Words for Worms

      LMAO! I’ve been toying with the idea of incorporating a skateboard into the belly slide… Belly skateboarding. I could be a pioneer in penguin sports!

  2. Quirky Chrissy

    I love you. I also think that Mel is hilarious. And when you spoke of penguin sliding at work, I thought of desk chair derby. And now I wish to tell the world all about desk chair derby and other ridiculous college tales.

  3. Ashley F

    I LOVE Penguins. My Christmas cards last year had penguins on them, I have a stuffed penguin. And can I say that Happy Feet and March of the Penguins are some of my go-to happy movies.

    Did you read the articles on the news about those two gay male penguins that adopted an abandoned egg? Too cute for words.

      • Ashley F

        OMG just googled the book. That was 2005. It happened again recently, the two males had been trying to steal an egg and one of the mom’s lay 2 eggs and had to abandon one so they gave it to the guys to incubate and everything. Too cute.

  4. JoulesDellinger

    I totally just learned something the other day from one of my son’s books, “The Little Blue Truck”. The morale of the story is basically just Don’t Be An Asshole. So, maybe this should be required reading for grownups too…

    • Words for Worms

      “Don’t Be An Asshole” is my personal motto. I decided on it when I realized “Try to be the greatest human being ever” was an impossible goal…

  5. Sami

    I am obsessed with children’s books…I think I get more excited when we have a new one to read than they do. I don’t know how much I have learned from children’s books but I can tell you that I absolutely can’t stand The Giving Tree. I know there are tons of people that think it’s the greatest book ever written but it just pisses me off. The little boy is a selfish ass and the stupid tree just keeps giving it away. Who wants to become a tree stump?

  6. Jayne

    This book is right up my alley. I love the last picture of the smiley little guy! He is the happiest little penguin I’ve ever seen!

  7. therelentlessreader

    This might be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I want to slide around on my belly darn it!

  8. Lyssapants

    This is a bold confession today. I think this rivals Lance’s recent confession.
    I’m also really glad that you broached the important subject of the possibility of zombie penguins. This really needs to be talked about for the safety of all humankind.
    To answer your question – Dr. Suess, all the way. He let me know it was a-ok to completely trash the house with my brother and the cat while the parents were gone.

    • Words for Worms

      You know… As a therapist, I thought you’d be more concerned about the type of parent who’d allow the kids to stay home in the care of a giant feline, regardless of his jaunty head wear. (And yes, zombie risks must ALWAYS be assessed!)

Talk to me, Bookworms!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.