Questioning Katie: What’s With the Penguins?

August 6, 2015 Personal, Q&A, Questioning Katie 16

Howdy Howdy Bookworms!

I’m braving another edition of Questioning Katie even though the internet thinks I’m bonkers. That’s right. The day the post in which I announced I’d be interviewing myself went live, Skype saw fit to show me ads for schizophrenia medication. I’m rather offended that the internet thinks I’m significantly more severely mentally ill than I actually am. Way to be a jerk, Skype. I wasn’t hearing voices, I was just lonely, OKAY?!

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to the fun. I’m answering a question today from an ACTUAL PERSON. (Thank you for submitting questions!!! I’m going to answer one a week until I run out, which I hope is never, because I do not want to prove Skype right!)


Today’s question comes from Heather AKA Capricious Reader: Why penguins?  

The penguin thing goes back quite a long way so my memories are all misty and water-colored,  but I believe the obsession can be traced to a third grade project. We had to make a diorama of an animal habitat out of a shoe box. (Is this still a thing children do?) I decided to create a penguin diorama for two reasons. First, I found a wax penguin mold a rama that my household had acquired at some point from the Brookfield Zoo. Second, I knew that a penguin’s habitat would require snow which meant I would get to play with cotton balls and glitter. GLITTER! After the project, things sort of snowballed.

My dad let me pick out a Valentine’s Day stuffed animal later that year and I chose a penguin with a top hat perched on a stuffed iceberg (it was DARN cute. Also, my dad is a giant softie.) I found myself inexplicably drawn to the Chilly Willy the Penguin segments during my morning cartoon fix. I started taking books about penguins out of the school library (because books.) People started to catch on, and it just sort of happened… Then one day I woke up and had a pair of sparkly penguins perched atop my wedding cake.

wedding cake

I really wish I had a photo of the diorama that started it all, but back when I was a kidlet, the cameras and the rolls of film they required were reserved for birthdays, Christmas, ballet recitals, and other big events. Everyday school projects weren’t considered photo worthy because the people who made Instagram probably weren’t born yet. (I have not verified that statement, I just assume that all brilliant internet people are younger than I am.)

At this point in my life, the penguin thing feels like an integral part of who I am. How old is a kid in third grade? Like 8? The vast majority of my life has been spent entrenched in penguiny goodness. I get texts and notes and messages all the time from people who see penguin items and think of me. I mean, how cool is that? People see an adorable animal and they think “KATIE!” I like to think it means that people have a mostly positive association with me, but I can’t be sure. Penguins do tend to poop wherever they feel like it and they can be a little rude with the pecking… Maybe I ought to rethink this…

Got any more questions for me, Bookworms?! Ask me anything*!

*Within reason. There are some questions that you probably REALLY don’t want to know the answers to, you know?*



16 Responses to “Questioning Katie: What’s With the Penguins?”

  1. Heather @ Capricious Reader

    “Penguins do tend to poop wherever they feel like it and they can be a little rude with the pecking… Maybe I ought to rethink this…”

    Sound about right? lol

    Thanks for the delightful explanation Katie!! Completely adorable. … Have you seen my dentures?

    • Words For Worms

      LOL I started this post by including the bit about the lawn and the nursing home but I didn’t think explaining away our inside joke came across particularly well. Your dentures are in the cup by the sink, BTW. You’d know that if you were wearing your spectacles.

  2. AMB

    What a wonderful wedding cake! I love those types of personal touches.

    I’ll admit that whenever I see “penguiny goodness,” I think of you.

    Question: Do you have a favorite type of penguin?

    • Words For Worms

      The discussion of my favorite penguin species will have to be addressed in a future post because FEELINGS. I considered going even more over the top with the penguins for the wedding, but I decided to limit it to the cake topper. That didn’t stop me from receiving a penguin humidifier and a hand sewn penguin apron at my shower :).

      • AMB

        After I asked the question, I thought, “Sheesh, that’s kind of like asking a parent to choose their favorite child!” Favoritism is a controversial thing.

        Have a great weekend, Katie!

        • Words For Worms

          LOL I don’t feel like it’s necessarily controversial, it’s just evolved over time. Aesthetically speaking, I prefer my penguins with a splash of yellow or orange, so Adelies tend to get the shaft. Still, fairy penguins and their tiny-ness are tough to ignore.

  3. Michelle

    This is great! I would like to say I have a thing for sea otters, but it is definitely no where near where you are with penguins. It makes for a wonderful story though. Plus, giving you gifts must be easy! 😉

    • Words For Worms

      Oh man, I get the best and craziest penguin stuff! It’s pretty awesome. At any given point in time I have at least 15 pairs of penguin pajamas in my dresser and I haven’t purchased a single one of them! Slippers, socks, scarves, mittens, hats, kitchen ware, collectibles, you name it I’ve gotten it as a gift. I decorate an entire Christmas tree exclusively in penguin ornaments every year. Otters are pretty sweet, too, though. I mean, Hermione’s patronus was an otter!

  4. thatashgirl

    In the early 1980s. Little Tykes released a blue plastic toy container named…..Poppy Penguin. Because it was a penguin, with a squeaky toy for a belly. I had my Duplo in it when I was a toddler. Later in life I kept Barbie clothes in it. Some time in the mid 90s. Poppy came to his demise when his plastic cracked and my dad threw him out. I still mourn him and am sad that the only seller on eBay will not ship to Canada.

  5. Lindsay

    Those are the coolest cake toppers ever! We got married pre-Etsy/pre-Pinterest and just could not find appropriate cake toppers for us (I think if we were getting married now, we’d get some kind of custom boxer dog toppers), so we went with flowers instead. Yours are much more fun! 🙂

    • Words For Worms

      We got married pre-pinterest too! The “cake topper” I used is actually two penguin Christmas ornaments I bought on clearance and cut the strings off of :). I will say there isn’t a darn thing wrong with cake flowers though, flowers in any form are never a bad idea!

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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