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By Carolyn Sloan  Illustrated by Jill McDonald

An ill zoo penguin gets taken home for nursing by his zookeeper and makes friends with a vacuum cleaner.

Let's list the reasons why this book is awesome:

1] The Illustrations. Bold black outlines with bright colours. Not in the lazy way of the Mr Men way but in the 70's- this was not done on a computer- was it done on lino cuts?- or with a texta and poster paints?- kind of way.

2] Everyone loves a penguin. They are up there on the most cashed-in feathered fictional characters.

3] Every, or nearly every, child is scared of the vacuum at somepoint in their lives. They are loud, they suck up things indiscriminately and parents usually shout at you to get out of the way and have boiling blood pressure when using them. Having the penguin see the vacuum as a sentient being softens the blow of this frighting machine.

4] The storys hero is innocent. Innocence denotes humour: Buzz Lightyear, Paddington, the Muddle-Headed Womabat...the reader/watcher knows more but we delight in following their amusing learning curve.

5] The candy-stripe end pages. It's something you want to wrap your valentine's present in.

Where to buy : Ok, that could be difficult.It was published in 1974 and is out of print.
I scored it at the op-shop. Maybe online. Maybe in your mum/grandmother's bookshelf hoards.
Worth searching for...

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