Best Kids Books About Penguins

23 Kids Books About Penguins

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Lost And Found book
#1
Lost And Found
Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

Ella and Penguin Stick Together book
#2
Ella and Penguin Stick Together
Written by Megan Maynor and illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Up and Down book
#3
Up and Down
Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A penguin has wings for a reason . . . doesn’t he? Having a best friend with his own airplane is one thing, but actually experiencing what it feels like to fly by himself? Here is one penguin who believes this is precisely what he needs to feel complete. Only . . . if flying by himself is so wonderful, then why does he feel so empty? Because some experiences are better shared. (And penguins are much happier on the ground.) Oliver Jeffers delivers the perfect companion to his much-loved Lost and Found. Penguins everywhere will take flight in delight.

Blue Penguin book
#4
Blue Penguin
Written and illustrated by Petr Horacek
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A moving fable about friendship and belonging from award-winning illustrator Petr Horacek. Far away, near the South Pole, a blue penguin is born. It is not something you see every day. "I feel like a penguin," says Blue Penguin. "But you're not like us," the others tell him. Blue Penguin can't jump or dive very well, so the others wander off and leave him behind. In his loneliness, Blue Penguin begins to dream, and he starts to sing. Will he ever convince the other penguins that he is one of them? Beautifully illustrated in icy blue hues, Blue Penguin is an affecting ode to self-expression and connection by a picture book creator whom the Washington Post has called "the thinking tot's Eric Carle."

Baby Penguin's First Waddles book
#5
Baby Penguin's First Waddles
Written and illustrated by The American Museum of Natural History
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9

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.

I Can Fly book
#6
I Can Fly
Written by and illustrated by Fifi Kuo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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?

A Hungry Lion, Or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals book
#7
A Hungry Lion, Or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals
Written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! book
#8
Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters!
Written by Marikka Tamura and illustrated by Daniel Rieley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

You may have seen the cute pictures of penguins wearing sweaters—but did you know why they were wearing them? Debut author Marikka Tamura answers this question in this colorful, kid-friendly book that is told simply and charmingly. Penguins love the sea. Happy in the dark blue water. But what is this? One day something is floating in the water. Dark. Gooey. Oily . . . When the penguins become coated in an oil spill, many Big Boots arrive. The humans want to help the cold, greasy penguins, so they knit sweaters to keep them warm. The Big Boots mean well, but . . . penguins don't wear sweaters! So after a good, soapy scrub, the penguins dive back into the deep blue sea, happily dressed only in their own penguin feathers.

Penguin Problems book
#9
Penguin Problems
Written by Jory John and illustrated by Lane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This penguin has come to tell you that life in Antarctica is no paradise. For starters, it is FREEZING. Also, penguins have a ton of natural predators. Plus, can you imagine trying to find your mom in a big ol’ crowd of identical penguins? No, thank you. Yes, it seems there is no escaping the drudgery of your daily grind, whatever it might be. Or perhaps we’ve just learned that grumps are everywhere. . . .

Harriet Gets Carried Away book
#10
Harriet Gets Carried Away
Written and illustrated by Jessie Sima
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

While shopping with her two dads for supplies for her birthday party, Harriet, who is wearing a penguin costume, is carried away by a waddle of penguins and must hatch a plan in order to get herself back to the store in the city.

10 Reasons to Love... a Penguin book
#11
10 Reasons to Love... a Penguin
Written by Catherine Barr and illustrated by Hanako Clulow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

Five Flying Penguins book
#12
Five Flying Penguins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Five little penguins flee from a seal, flying through the water, and find themselves in an innocent game of tag.

Blown Away book
#13
Blown Away
Written and illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Come on an unexpected journey with a fearless blue penguin in Rob Biddulph's debut picture book, Blown Away. In this brilliantly captivating and gloriously illustrated story, a brave young penguin takes a kite flight to a tropical paradise. But in the end, he realizes that home is where his igloo is.

Polar Bear Island book
#14
Polar Bear Island
Written by Lindsay Bonilla and illustrated by Cinta Villalobos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

"Welcome to Polar Bear Island. NO OTHERS ALLOWED!" So says Parker, the mayor, eager to keep the island just the way it is. But Kirby, a newly arrived penguin, is shaking things up--much to Parker's dismay. The other polar bears love Kirby and beg Parker to let Kirby (and her family) move in. Will Parker agree . . . and make the island fun for EVERYONE? With its gentle message of inclusivity, this energetic story will delight children.

Sunk! book
#15
Sunk!
Written and illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: -

A pirate hat. A sunny day. For Penguin Blue A game to play... Penguin Blue is back in a swashbuckling new adventure about pirates, treasure, and friendship. While sailing the seven seas Captain Blue and his friends are unexpectedly sunk! But with a shipwreck to explore and a mysterious stranger on a desert island to meet, they might still find some treasure after all. The follow-up to the bestselling and award-winning Blown Away.

Ella and Penguin: A Perfect Match book
#16
Ella and Penguin: A Perfect Match
Written by Megan Maynor and illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Ella and Penguin are best friends. So it only makes sense that they like all the same things. But Ella loves tutus. Penguin does not. Ella loves finger painting. Penguin does not. Oh no! They don’t match! They must not be friends after all. Then again, maybe Ella and Penguin don’t need to like all the same things to love being friends. An irresistible follow-up to Ella and Penguin Stick Together!

The Little Red Elf book
#17
The Little Red Elf
Written by Barbara Barbieri McGrath and illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Who will help the little red elf prepare for Christmas? This clever retelling of ""The Little Red Hen"" features a little red elf and her lazy friends: the hare, the penguin, and the reindeer. When the cheerful elf can't get help planting the pinecones or decorating the Christmas tree, she knows just how to reward her friends.

Penguin Flies Home book
#18
Penguin Flies Home
Written and illustrated by Lita Judge
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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?

When Grandad Was a Penguin book
#19
When Grandad Was a Penguin
Written and illustrated by Morag Hood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

Penguin book
#20
Penguin
Written and illustrated by Alex Brinded
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Here children can explore some of the most interesting and important life cycles in the animal kingdom. With engaging language and an innovative use of design, this series makes the science behind life cycles accessible to reluctant and confident readers alike.

365 Penguins book
#21
365 Penguins
Written by Jean-Luc Fromental and illustrated by Joelle Jolivet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

The penguins are back! A slightly smaller trim size and all-new cover art give this classic, first published in 2006, a refreshed look. Full color.

Galápagos Girl/Galapagueña book
#22
Galápagos Girl/Galapagueña
Written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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!

One Cool Friend book
#23
One Cool Friend
Written by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by David Small
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

From New York Times bestselling author Toni Buzzeo and Caldecott Medal winning illustrator David Small, comes a cool tale about an unlikely friendship. On a spontaneous visit to the aquarium, straight-laced and proper Elliot discovers his dream pet: a penguin. When he asks his father if he may have one (please and thank you), his father says yes. Elliot should have realized that Dad was probably thinking of a toy penguin, not a real one… Clever illustrations and a wild surprise ending make this sly, silly tale a kid-pleaser from start to finish.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.