There have been so many natural disasters in the US and abroad lately that the thought of actually experiencing one can be frightening to young children. Someone needs to lead a discussion about rebuilding after disasters, that’s for sure.
That someone is author Suzanne Lewis and her latest picture book, called A Penguin Named patience: A Hurricane Katrina Rescue Story.
In the book, little African-born Patience and her penguin buddies have just survived the worst that Hurricane Katrina could dish out. But their lives are still in danger because the electricity is down, their habitat is heating up, and everyone knows penguins need cool temperatures to survive.
Patience and her pals must be shipped far from home; from Louisiana to an aquarium in California until their own aquarium is repaired. Little Patience lives up to her name. She displays an unbending patience through fear, uncertainty and confusion until she is reunited with her loyal Keeper in Louisiana nine months later.
Ms. Lewis’ prose is simple and sweet, and artist Lisa Anchin’s illustrations capture all the cuddly warmth and wide-eyed bravery of tiny animals braving the big, unpredictable world.
Aside from all the obvious academic and educational uses of this book, it can teach young children hope, courage, and the lasting benefits of showing just a little bit of patience.