Penguins, a Geography Lesson, and a Life Lesson in Self-Esteem Combine to Make a Fun Read Aloud for Children

Updated on August 19, 2016
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Periwinkle Takes a Trip

Judy Petersen-Fleming's "Periwinkle's Journey" is an engaging story of a little blue penguin in Australia that learns an important lesson about self-esteem when one looks different from all of one's friends. Periwinkle receives an invitation from her cousins in Antarctica to come for a birthday party. She is dismayed when she sees their pictures in the invitation and realizes that she looks different from them. She is the only blue penguin in her group! Periwinkle doesn't even know where Antarctica is and she learns a geography lesson before she sets out on her journey. Her mom and several friends provide encouragement and Periwinkle sets off. She meets several cousins along the way and still wishes that she had the black and white colors of her cousins instead of a blue color. She finally reaches Antarctica and discovers that she has lost the gift that she had packed. She has a great time at the birthday party, and young readers will enjoy the surprise ending when Periwinkle discovers she actually has a very special gift to give and learns an important lesson.

Each page is filled with beautiful, full-color illustrations that are done in both pastels and bright colors. Suzy Spafford contributes her talent with these spectacular illustrations that introduce children to the animals of Australia and Antarctica. The book cover is of special interest in that it is done with textured print and Periwinkle is very touchable! Petersen-Fleming also includes an ending section of interesting facts about penguins.

"Periwinkle's Journey" was published by Blue Sneaker Press and is recommended for ages 4-10. It has an ISBN of 978-1-943198-03-0.

Periwinkle Has an Important Lesson to Teach

Beautiful read aloud for children with many lessons
Beautiful read aloud for children with many lessons | Source
Periwinkle's geography lesson before setting out
Periwinkle's geography lesson before setting out | Source

Get Acquainted with Judy Petersen-Fleming and Suzy Spafford

Judy Petersen-Fleming is an author who enjoys writing about social issues and she has a special fondness for introducing exotic animals from around the world in her books. Her passion for educating kids is evident in her new book "Periwinkle's Journey". She has a special interest in penguins and wants to share her passion for these special creatures.

Suzy Spafford is a talented illustrator who has collaborated with Petersen-Fleming to create Suzy's World". Her work first appeared on greeting cards in 1968. Her work has also been featured on products in over 23 countries. She is currently working on an animated television series that will feature her characters from Suzy's Zoo.

Great Example of Collaborative Work in a Children's Book

Collaborative work produces a spectacular children's book
Collaborative work produces a spectacular children's book | Source

Developing Self-esteem in your Children

"Periwinkle's Journey" is a great choice to begin a discussion about self esteem. Periwinkle is concerned that she is the blue penguin in the group. How many times have parents heard this from a child that they are the "only one" in a particular situation? Children's self-esteem is reflected in their actions and how they perceive themselves in their world. A sense of belonging and purpose are critical for a child to have a healthy self-esteem. Competence and pride in their achievements are also important pieces to the puzzle of developing a child's self-esteem. Children who are able to make good choices and who receive healthy praise when they make good choices will have good self-esteem. A healthy awareness of individual differences is also necessary. "Periwinkle's Journey" is a great starting point for a discussion of individual differences. The ability to solve problems in a positive way is also demonstrated in this story when Periwinkle solves her problem of the lost birthday gift.

Does Your Child Complain about Being "The Only One"?

Periwinkle is the only blue penguin in her group
Periwinkle is the only blue penguin in her group | Source

Children Learn That They Can Be Themselves

You can be you!
You can be you! | Source

Periwinkle Gets a Geography Lesson

Do your children like to learn about other great places in the world? "Periwinkle's Journey" provides an opportunity to being to explore Australia and Antarctica. These areas of the world provide ideal habitats for some fascinating animals in addition to penguins. Your child will want to explore these areas with other materials after taking the journey with Periwinkle. Periwinkles's new friends will introduce children to all kinds of new animals that live in these habitats.

Go to Exotic Areas with Periwinkle

Where in the world is Periwinkle?
Where in the world is Periwinkle? | Source

What do you know about little blue penguins?

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