Last term Year 2 and I read Jill Tomlinson's short novel, Penguin's Progress (The Penguin Who Wanted to Find Out) over several weeks and as we read, we checked to see if the information she had given us about Emperor penguins was indeed correct. In the process the students handled many non-fiction books, looked online at film clips and websites and chose themselves to borrow picture books and short novels which had penguins as characters. The library had over a hundred penguin books and they were well-borrowed. We looked at penguins' habitat, lifecycles, food and enemies. The students were not happy when we added 'man' to the list of enemies. This came about when we read Solo by Paul Geraghty, a heart-wrenching family story where the students felt sure that the father and mother penguin would not come back to feed baby Solo. Ulco Glimmerveen's A Tale of Antarctica also showed students the impact humans have on the pristine environment of Antarctica.
With the topic of penguins it is so hard to know where to start reading with children because there is just so much worth reading! But these are musts!