Great things happen when we reach for the sky
Gilbert is a newly hatched penguin and we meet him as he cracks open his egg and looks up towards the sky. He sees flying storm petrels, shearwaters and wandering albatrosses.
He wants to fly too.
Not knowing his own limitations Gilbert sets off on a mission to fly into the sky with the sea birds. He wants to reach the stars, bath in the moonlight and glide through the clouds.
He moves his little wings but they don’t flap as gracefully, he climbs a mountain to soar down below and he grew his feathers as fast as he could but they just weren’t working!
Gilbert shows persistence throughout his failures and never shows that he wants to give up.
And that’s when Gilbert discovers the amazing underwater world that so many of us forget about. He sees the stars, he sees mountain tops and he sees forests. And down deep, down under the water – he finds that he can fly.
Gilbert the penguin is a strong, persistent, creative and determined character – traits that we need to encourage in our children. We need to show them that they can do anything and when they can’t, perhaps they need to look at the world in a different way.
The illustrations by Jonathon Bentley reflect the cold of Antartica and the stillness of the wintry sky. The story and illustrations portray a very calming atmosphere despite the actions of little Gilbert.
We meet different sea birds and see the varying landscape of sea and sky – a beautiful adventure for any reader to embark upon.
So what else can you do with this book?
– List the different traits Gilbert has and compare them to yourself. How do you show strength and determination like Gilbert?
– List the different verbs used to describe Gilbert;s movements and then the verbs used to describe how the birds moved.
– Look at the various shades of blue throughout the story – how many can you find and do they have different names?
– What is under the water apart from animals? Examine plants and the geography of oceans. There are mountains, valleys, volcanoes and forests!
– Find out more about penguins and where they live.
– Explore the life cycle of a penguin
– Are any penguins endangered and why?
– Find out more about the various sea birds that live in Antartica. Are they migratory birds or do they live here all year long?