PPBF: Penguin Flies Home

Today my heart is so incredibly happy because I got to
work play with some passionate educators this week.

We started the week visiting with Dr. Jody Carrington
on our Character Speaks podcast. Click the image below
to see what she has to say about loving and raising Kids These Days.

Image source: Catherine Williams

I spent Monday afternoon with these amazing preK teachers
connecting as we practiced self-care and mindfulness.

On Thursday, a highlight was our Rock Paper Scissors tournament 
in a day-long Character Strong Professional Development session 
with these epic leaders in Jackson County, Alabama.

We laughed and cried as we collaborated and stretched
and my soul was singing as I flew home last night.

Thank you CCISD and Jackson County for your warm welcome
and your commitment to holding the hearts of our precious future.

All of this brings us to PPBF, another reason I'm soaring.

Title: Penguin Flies Home
Author and Illustrator: Lita Judge
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers 
Birth Date: January 15, 2019
Suitable for: ages 4-8 (and beyond!)
Themes: perseverance, growth mindset, friendship
Opening page: Penguin loved to fly. It was true he needed a little help with the technical parts - but that's why he worked hard as a student at Flight School. And as his teacher said, "It isn't feathers that you need most to fly. It's heart, and this Penguin has heart."

Watch The Making of Penguin Flies Home {here}.
Watch a trailer for the book {here}.
Find out more at the publisher's page {here}.
Compare and contrast it with Penguins Can't Fly.
Read and discuss the short story Teaching Penguins To Fly.

Why I like this book: If you know me, then you know that I've been a huge fan of my friend Lita Judge and her Flight School masterpiece since it came out five years ago. With her permission, I read it aloud at every growth-mindset workshop, so you can imagine my delight when I heard that Penguin's tale taking flight again. And it was worth the wait.

You don't have to know Flight School for this sequel to immediately imprint itself on your heart; the book begins with a Yearbook page, taking its reader back to Penguin's days in Flight School to get them up to speed. The opening pages are even yellow, to replicate the color of Penguin's initial elevating experience.

Then it quickly changes to blue, to match how Penguin is feeling.
Not because anything's wrong really, but because he's homesick
and yearns to go home to show his penguin friends that he can fly.
{With a little help from his friends, of course.}

His flight-school friends get Penguin back home, but will his famiy and friends who'd rather swim still love him even though he's a fanatic about flying?

I made a text-to-self connection when I returned to Bales last week,
to share this treasure with a few of my fifth graders.
Like Penguin, I had flown home.
And it felt incredible.

They loved the book; one of them even argued that this book also has an underlying fairness theme because it's not fair that Penguins are flightless birds. Another told me he didn't think it was just for little kids because there's so much food for thought in its seemingly simple story. So insightful.

Check out this book, then head to Susanna's blog 
for today's other PPBF picks.

Happy weekend; bundle up and stay warm.


  1. I adore this sequel. I was so fortunate to read a copy when I visited Lita last month. Another one that steps straight into your heart.

    1. Wait, you had me at visiting Lita; I'm green with envy. She'll be in Houston this week, but I'll be on the road to IA and WI, so our flight paths aren't quite in sync this time. Thanks for stopping by, Joanna!

  2. Wow! I love the workshop, AND I love your review! I haven't read Judge's first book, so now I'm adding both to my TBR pile. Thank you for the recommendation!

    1. I hope you will love Penguin and his spirited adventures as much as I do, Jilanne. Thank you for stopping by the Corner!

  3. What an exciting workshop to attend! Teachers need to take care of themselves too and have fun! I have not read this book of know the author. But, will check it out. Wise boy about the book having themes that adults could also identify with!

    1. Hi Pat, you may know Lita Judge from The Red Sled or One Thousand Tracings? Anyway, these two books are incredible! Always good to see you at the Corner.

  4. I am a BIG fan of Lita Judge - and can't wait to read this book! I loved Flight School and her others.


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!