It’s World Book Day today, as if you didn’t know.
Even those of you without children won’t be able to escape the social media shares of kids dressed as Where’s Wally, The Worst Witch, Harry Potter or The Gruffalo (What’s a gruffalo?).
But alas, yet again I won’t be sharing mine. Not because my kids are camera shy, but because their school always takes an alternative route to celebrate the joys of reading. Kind of gutting when every year Tig’s is desperate to be her favourite character Brenda Payne from The Christmasaurus.
So without a dressed up kid to parade in celebration of World Book Day, I felt that as a parenting blogger I should get on board in the way that I can, by championing a beautifully fantastic children’s book. So I bring you, on World Book Day 2020, ‘The Penguin Party’ by Alison Orlandi and Illustrated by Katherine Gutkovskiy.
Personalising the penguins
Published by Annabees Books, this personalisable book is available in paperback (£19.99) or hard cover (£24.99) and from your clicks to your door in around a week give or take for printing and delivery.
As part of the process, you can choose names for all the characters in the book, including not just the child but all the penguins, the island they live on – so you can add plenty of magic touches that your child will be familiar with. I chose for Tigs ‘pea island’ and squeezed in the names of her sister, her pets and favourite teddy.
Beyond names and gender, the illustrated character parents in the book are also configurable; you can choose hair styles and colour, skin tone and even same sex couples. Add hijabs or facial hair, glasses or well, anything that helps your child to recognise the images in the book.
We all know how relevant and important messages of self care and gratitude are in this ever changing chaotic world, but have you ever thought about instilling those messages into your child in an age approprate way?
“With themes of self-worth, gratitude, and forgiveness contained throughout, this personalised book helps you share with your child the values that they will need to navigate and live a happy and balanced life.”
Of course, through the magic of story telling and the power of a story book, that is exactly what The Penguin Party achieves.
As your child is brought into the story as a new born, their arrival is celebrated by a group of penguns who each bestow a gift for life on that child.
Each teaching a small heartfelt message about the importance of happiness, acceptance, Forgiveness, gratitude, growth and exploration, the lovable characters each bring a unique charm.
As the story and our main character grows and learns that sometimes feeling different is tough, The chiefess Penguin returns to reassure her that the greatest gift was inside er all along. The ability to love yourself and accept all of your quirks and differences, because that is what makes you so special.
As Tigs skips off happily on the beach with Mummy and Daddy, this book filled me up with emotion as Tigs, snuggled up and ready for bed soaked up every word – gripped by the joy of hearing so many familiar names along the way, and of course, by her favourite animals, the penguins.
As a parent there aren’t many things we should try and build in our kids more than resilience, perhaps only a love of books.
Disclosure: I was gifted this book. All opinions are my own.