Friday, April 24, 2015

A Review of Eileen Wacker’s “Blue Penguin and the Sensational Surf”

The animals who call Fujimini Island home are all buzzing with excitement because today is the grand opening of the Fujimini Island Surf School. Many of the animals are eager to learn to surf, and everyone is eager to watch Blue Penguin display the surf skills he is known for. 
The penguins are hard at work getting everything ready for the special occasion, preparing drinks and hanging ribbons to welcome their guests. The time has finally come for the grand opening, and more guests than Blue Penguin expected have shown up to watch and participate. Blue Penguin is proud of his skills and just can’t resist showing off to the crowd. Unfortunately, he is so busy showing off he doesn’t notice that a stranger has arrived on Fujimini Island and one of the animals may be in some trouble! Who is this stranger? And will Blue Penguin stop showing off in time to notice that one of his students is in trouble?

As can be expected with all of Eileen Wacker’s books in the Fujimini Island Adventure series, this story is entertaining and fun for kids, but also has an important lesson embedded within it. Blue Penguin is a great surfer and should be proud of his skills, but being too proud and showing off has a price. His students are depending on him to help them and look after them out in the ocean, but Blue Penguin is so distracted by impressing the crowd, he doesn’t notice when one of his students are in trouble. Through a cute and creative story, Wacker highlights the importance to kids about not bragging and showing off, and the consequences they can have. 

In the 7th installment of her popular series, a new character with a connection to Japanese tradition is introduced to teach kids about some elements of Asian culture that they might not have heard of outside of reading this book.  

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