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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Pip the Penguin Wants to Fly is an educational children’s book, written by Jane Finch and illustrated by Aysha Samrin. Feeling depressed, a young penguin is approached by a seagull and a sparrow. When they inquire as to what’s wrong, Pip tells them that he wishes he could fly. After receiving instructions on how easy it is, Pip tries to launch himself into the air, only to unceremoniously crash to the ground, causing both the seagull and sparrow to laugh at such a highly amusing sight. An owl approaches, having heard the laughter. When he asks what ails Pip, the owl listens, before explaining to all three birds that Pip does not have wings, which is why he cannot fly; instead, Pip has flippers, which enable him to not only swim, but also to catch fish underwater. After learning such a valuable lesson, Pip is now excited, and bids his three new friends a lovely day before disappearing for a refreshing swim.
Having read Jane Finch’s books on many occasions, it came as no surprise to me that Pip the Penguin Wants to Fly was so well written and beautifully illustrated. In many ways, the story mimics real life, in that in many instances, a child who is not good at one particular thing will find themselves mocked and ridiculed. It takes a mature and educated mind to see the picture from all angles, and when all parties were enlightened by the fact that Pip could swim underwater, it did not take long for the mocking to stop, with envy taking its place. Pip feeling special, after learning how many things that he can do, rather than focusing on what he can’t, not only makes Pip understand himself more thoroughly, but also lifts his self-esteem. I very much enjoyed Pip the Penguin Wants to Fly, and not only recommend it be read to all young readers aged 2-6, but also be enjoyed as a read-it-yourself learning guide to young children who take an interest in our feathered (and not-so-feathered) friends.