Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to penguins. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about penguins.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.
When it comes to children’s stories about penguins, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Planet of the Penguins to popular sellers like Mr. Popper’s Penguins to some of our favorite hidden gems like Tacky the Penguin.
We hope this list of kids books about penguins can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
Lost And Found - What is a boy to do when a lost penguin shows up at his door? Find out where it comes from, of course, and return it. But the journey to the South Pole is long and difficult in the boy’s rowboat. There are storms to brave and deep, dark nights.To pass the time, the boy tells the penguin stories. Finally, they arrive. Yet instead of being happy, both are sad. That’s when the boy realizes: The penguin hadn’t been lost, it had merely been lonely. A poignant, funny, and child-friendly story about friendship lost . . . and then found again.
Mr. Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets - Meet Mr. Penguin—Adventurer (And Penguin!) When Mr. Penguin and Colin crash-land on a snowy mountain, they discover strange noises coming from an old, ruined fortress. Might it be connected to the mystery of missing pets? Why are there shadowy figures lurking about? And will Mr. Penguin conquer his fear of flying? This second installment in the humorous, page-turning series from Alex T. Smith, the author-illustrator of the popular Claude series, is sure to thrill young readers looking for a good adventure.
Want to see books about action and adventure?
Flight School - A persevering penguin is determined to fly in this adorably inspiring picture book from the creator of Red Hat and Red Sled. Although little Penguin has the soul of an eagle, his body wasn’t built to soar. But Penguin has an irrepressible spirit, and he adamantly follows his dreams to flip, flap, fly! Even if he needs a little help with the technical parts, this penguin is ready to live on the wind.
Penguinaut! - Orville lives at the zoo, surrounded by animal pals who go on exciting adventures. A hang gliding rhino! A deep-sea diving giraffe! Orville struggles to keep up, until one day he concocts an adventure all his own: build a spaceship and fly to the moon all by himself. Can one tiny penguin get there alone? Penguinaut is perfect for every child who’s said, “I can do it myself!” and comes to find that the rewards are much richer when shared with friends. Marcie Colleen’s playful text and Emma Yarlett’s charming, whimsical illustrations are sure to delight both children and their parents.
Penguin Flies Home - Penguin mastered his quest to soar with the eagles in Flight School—now he’s heading home to teach his friends in this sweet and inspiring stand-alone companion story! Penguin loves everything about flying: the wind beneath his wings, the song that rises from his belly, and the sight of new and wonderful places. Still, he misses his penguin friends in the South Pole. So, he flips and flaps back home, ready to teach them the magic of flight! But when he arrives, his enthusiasm for flying doesn’t get quite the reaction he expected. Will Penguin’s friends still like him, even if they don’t share his soaring dreams?
I Can Fly - Penguin wants to fly like other birds, but he has trouble doing so when he tries! Penguin is confused because he has wings and can flap, waddle, and leap like other birds, but he lands flat on his stomach when he tries to fly. When Penguin asks his dad why he can’t fly, his father tells him that penguins swim. But Penguin doesn’t want to accept this! Will he be able to find a way to fly?
Want to see books about flight?
Up & Down - Lift the flaps to take Little Penguin on a journey filled with ups and downs. Little Penguin misses his friend and decides it’s time to visit. Leaping off his iceberg, he embarks on a journey, facing ups and downs and ins and outs until the pair are finally reunited. Young readers will have fun getting hands-on with this interactive book of lift-the-flap opposites, presented in an upmarket format that perfectly showcases Britta Teckentrup’s color-rich artwork.
A Hungry Lion, Or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals - Members of a large group of animals, including a penguin, two rabbits, and a koala, disappear at an alarming rate but the hungry lion remains.
Augustine - Moving all the way from the South Pole to the North Pole isn’t easy for the young penguin Augustine. Uprooted from her home, she misses her friends, her grandma and grandpa and her old bedroom. There are all kinds of unfamiliar faces at the North Pole, and everything looks strange and different. When it’s time to go to her new school, Augustine gets cold feet. But with the help of a few colored pencils and some inspiration from Picasso, this shy, artistic young penguin discovers a way to break the ice with her classmates and feel at home on the other end of the world.
Puffin Peter - Kids will delight in this witty story of mistaken identity from acclaimed author-illustrator Petr Horácek. Peter and Paul are puffins and the best of friends. But one day Peter gets lost in a terrible storm, and Paul is nowhere to be found. With the help of a big blue whale, Peter sets out, determined to find his pal. What the pair discovers is that many other birds match the description Peter gives of Paul, but none are quite like his friend. With gorgeous collage artwork and a lighthearted touch, this fun read-aloud tale will both amuse and enlighten.
10 Reasons to Love... a Penguin - Penguins go on incredible journeys, toboggan on their stomachs, and survive in the harshest climates. Turn the pages of this giftable series to find 10 reasons to love penguins, and five ways you can show you care.
Baby Penguin's First Waddles - What happens after a baby penguin emerges from her egg? Follow her journey and find out! Meet a penguin chick and see how she grows. Developed in tandem with the American Museum of Natural History, and featuring stunning photography in the penguin’s Antarctic home, this nonfiction picture book captures the first few months of a baby penguin’s life and her transformation into adulthood. With fun and engaging text, Baby Penguin’s First Waddles is sure to delight animal-loving kids.
The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan - Meet Ace and Bub, the flying beaver brothers! Ace loves extreme sports and is always looking for a new adventure. Bub loves napping and, well, napping. But when penguins threaten to freeze Beaver Island for “resort and polar-style living,” the brothers put their talents to work saving their tropical island paradise. Can they save Beaver Island from environmental destruction? And can they do it in time to still win the annual Beaver Island Surfing Competition?
Galápagos Girl/Galapagueña - Valentina was born on an island formed by fire, surrounded by blue-green sea. As a Galapagueña, Valentina spends her days observing the natural world around her. She greets sea lions splashing on the shore, scampers over lava rocks with Sally-lightfoot crabs, and swims with manta rays. But Valentina also understands the fragility of this wondrous world, and she makes a solemn promise to protect the islands and her animal friends. This delightful bilingual story was inspired by the childhood of Valentina Cruz, whose family was one of the first permanent inhabitants of the Galápagos. Valentina is now a biologist and naturalist guide who has dedicated her life to the conservation of the islands. Whimsical illustrations by Pura Belpré Honor recipient Angela Dominguez transport readers to these unique islands, which shelter a diverse number of plant and animal species, many found of which can be found nowhere else on the planet. Come discover this beautiful world with Valentina and her animal friends!
Want to see books about science and nature?
Polar Opposites - Alex is a BIG polar bear. Zina is a tiny penguin. Alex lives in the Arctic. Zina lives in the Antarctic. Alex and Zina are polar opposites! They live on opposite sides of the world. Their personalities are very different, too. But they find a way to meet in the middle. Erik Brooks’s simple text and vibrant watercolor illustrations bring opposites to life in this lively look at two unusual best friends.
Chilly da Vinci - While others do “penguin” things, Chilly da Vinci—self-declared inventor penguin, builds machines that don’t work…yet! Chilly ties into the popular “maker” movement with humor and imagination. While others do “penguin” things, Chilly da Vinci—self-declared inventor penguin, builds machines that don’t work…yet!
Where Is My Butt? - Do you know where your butt is? Morty the penguin has no idea! He’s pretty sure he has one, but where IS it? So he does what any reasonable penguin would do: ask. But no one around him can help, so he goes on a wild trip—all the way to outer space— to find the answer. Morty’s crazy adventures will make kids laugh their butts off!
When Grandad Was a Penguin - Last time I went to see Grandad, he seemed a little different. What do you do when your Grandad starts acting VERY much like a penguin? Find out in this brilliantly funny and heartwarming story from talented author and illustrator, Morag Hood. Boys and girls alike will love the witty, sweet and brilliantly surreal depiction of everyday settings and situations in this fish-out-of-water story with a difference. When Grandad was a Penguin is perfect for sharing with children (and grandads) young and old. Morag Hood’s artwork is gorgeously bold and stylish and her illustrative talent and keen eye for design won her a place as runner up in The Macmillan Prize for Illustration.
Love, Mama - With a heartwarming story and tender illustrations, Jeanette Bradley’s debut picture book is perfect for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and any day when a child needs a reminder of the strength of a mother’s love.
Want to see books about family?
Baby Penguin: Finger Puppet Book - Meet Baby Penguin! How does Baby Penguin stay cozy and warm? Where does Baby Penguin play? Follow along as she experiences her world, from playtime to bedtime. The simple, comforting stories in this go-to baby gift series have made it a multimillion seller. Featuring a permanently attached plush finger puppet, each volume offers parents and children a fun, interactive way to play and read as they build a lifelong love of books together.
Ella and Penguin Stick Together - Sometimes all you need is a good friend to help you be brave. Ella has a surprise for Penguin—glow-in-the-dark stickers! But to see the stickers glow, Ella and Penguin must be in the dark. And the dark is so . . . dark! If only they could see the stickers glow in the light—but that won’t work. Soon Ella and Penguin find out that if they stick together, they can face anything. Megan Maynor’s sweet and lively text, paired with Rosalinde Bonnet’s irresistible illustrations, will have readers clamoring for more Ella and Penguin.
Five Flying Penguins - Five little penguins flee from a seal, flying through the water, and find themselves in an innocent game of tag.
Want to see books about imagination and play?