Little Penguin's Tale by Audrey Wood

Little Penguin’s Tale by Audrey Wood

Little Penguin's Tale by Audrey Wood
Little Penguin’s Tale by Audrey Wood

today’s children storybook summary is

Little Penguin’s Tale

By Audrey Wood

The takeaway

This storybook, about a runaway penguin, encourages children to stay together as a group, showing what could happen if one decides to take off on their own.


A group of seven little penguins and their Grand Nanny waddle on top of a high hill, in a cold arctic region. They stop for a rest and the little cubs gather around a towering elder with a staff in her hands, to listen to a story from long ago. They are playful and happy, each carrying a basket full of fruits (that you won’t expect to find in such a remote place.) As the Nanny starts her tale, about a little penguin that wanders off, one of her group members, does exactly the same thing, leaving the safety of the pack to have a little adventure of their own. And as the story goes, so does the little penguin’s escapade.

First, the runaway cub meets a flock of dancing gooney birds. But instead of getting in big trouble, as everyone expect it, the penguin joins the band, having fun. Soon, they run into the Walrus Polar Club where they are invited in. Inside, among animals from all over the world, the little penguin keeps enjoying every bit of it, being “the wildest of them all”. But instead of getting hurt, as everyone knew would happen, the cub is quite fine, except that he was very tired, so he went out for a nap, being afraid of nothing. Now, we all know that when a penguin falls asleep by the dark see, he gets eaten by a whale. In our case, that’s exactly what happened.

But wait, hold your tears, that’s just one possible ending, says Grand Nanny when the six tearful penguins fell down sobbing loud, their baskets dropped on the frozen artic ground. A new ending can be a happy one, says the Nanny.

She tells them that, as hard to believe as it may seem, the daring runaway penguin managed to escape from the mouth of the whale and jumped into a boat that sailed all the way back home. Only when he was safe, with his friends and his Nanny, did little penguin noticed that he was missing some of his tail feathers, which were nibble by the whale.

When the story is over, the Grand Nanny gather her group and gets going, the runaway cub with few of his tail feathers missing, hurrying to catch on.


Grand Nanny, a grown-up penguin with a knack for storytelling and a big staff, the penguins,


Audrey Wood is also the illustrator of this book. She focuses the reader’s attention on the few important characters in the story. Her colors are bright and attractive, a lot of white from the snow, a lot of blue sky and orange from the gooney birds. It seems like her watercolor brushes on rough paper are catching the important, but few details of the arctic landscape.

Recommended Age

3 to 7 years old

Reading Time

5 minutes

Things to Learn

Gooney birds – Gooney birds, or albatrosses, are very large birds, living by the sea, feeding on fish and other marine life. They are known for their very elaborated mating rituals with dances and songs. They live in colonies and they can live up to 50 years. They are also famous for their clumsy and comical flight take-off and landing, reasons for them to stay longer in the air and at high altitudes.

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