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Penguins: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about penguins?

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 picture books. 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. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about penguins, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Lost And Found to popular sellers like One Cool Friend to some of our favorite hidden gems like Up and Down.

We hope this list of kids books about penguins can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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The Perfect Sofa
Written & illustrated by Fifi Kuo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Penguin and Panda decide it’s time for a new sofa—but they are overwhelmed by the options. Will they find what they’re looking for? When Penguin and Panda decide their tired sofa is in need of replacement, they set out to find the perfect one. But none of the options are quite right and no sofa can seem to match the comfort of the one they already have. Is what they’re looking for closer than they think?

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Sunk!
Written & illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

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.

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Flora and the Penguin
Written & illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Having mastered ballet in Flora and the Flamingo, Flora takes to the ice and forms an unexpected friendship with a penguin. Twirling, leaping, spinning, and gliding, on skates and flippers, the duo mirror each other’s graceful dance above and below the ice. But when Flora gives the penguin the cold shoulder, the pair must figure out a way to work together for uplifting results. Artist Molly Idle creates an innovative, wordless picture book with clever flaps that reveal Flora and the penguin coming together, spiraling apart, and coming back together as only true friends do.

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Penguin Cha-Cha
Written & illustrated by Kristi Valiant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Penguins are dancing in their cove, and a young girl is determined to join in the fun.

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Perfectly Polite Penguins
Written by Georgiana Deutsch & illustrated by Ekaterina Trukhan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Penguins are always polite. They say “please” and “thank you,” they wait their turn patiently, and they always help to clean up when playtime is over. But one day, Polly Penguin decides that being polite is boring. So she interrupts when others are talking, refuses to clean up, and makes a mess at the dinner table. Soon, all of the penguins copy Polly and lose their good manners, too! Can Polly help make things right again?

The Second Sky book
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Up and Down book
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Penguin and Pumpkin book
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Tacky and the Winter Games book
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  • The Second Sky - An inspiring story about finding your true element Ever since he first hatched, Gilbert has wanted to fly. But with his big, clumsy feet and small, fluffy wings, learning to fly is a bigger challenge than Gilbert anticipated. His fellow penguins tell him to give up, but Gilbert is sure that if he keeps trying, he’ll be able to soar… Young readers will fall in love with this sweet, motivating story about overcoming obstacles and discovering your hidden talents.

  • Up and Down - 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.

  • Penguin and Pumpkin -

  • Tacky and the Winter Games - Tacky and his fellow penguins on Team Nice Icy Land train hard for the Winter Games, but Tacky’s antics make their chances of winning a medal seem slim.

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Blown Away
Written & 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.

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The Old Man and the Penguin: A True Story of True Friendship
Written by Julie Abery & illustrated by Pierre Pratt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Told in rhyming verse, this is the touching true story of an oil-soaked penguin, the man who rescues him and an unlikely friendship.

João hears ?a sorry screech? as he walks along the shore near his home. It’s from a penguin, whose feathers are soaked in oil.

Barely moving on the sand,
too tired to swim, too weak to stand …
João must save this little guy.
Without his help, he’ll surely die.

João takes the penguin home. He cleans him, feeds him and nurses him slowly back to health —- and the pair develop a special bond. When the penguin is fully recovered, João knows it’s time to return him to the wild where he belongs. But the penguin has other ideas …

Told in rhyming verse, this heartwarming picture book tells the true story of João Pereira de Souza of Brazil, who cared for a Magellanic penguin that had been caught in an oil spill. When João tried to release him back to the wild, the penguin returned to João’s home and stayed for months. The penguin, named Dindim by João, did eventually leave, but he now returns to visit his friend for five months of every year. A charming read-aloud showcasing a tender relationship between an animal and human, this book also promotes environmental awareness and stewardship, and explains how human activities often threaten wildlife. Author Julie Abery includes information about João and the penguin, how wildlife is affected by oil spills every year, and what to do if you find wildlife in distress. The lively art by award-winning Pierre Pratt brings a touching sweetness and emotional depth to the story. There are character education lessons here on empathy, kindness and caring.

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Lost And Found
Written & 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.

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Penguin Problems
Written by Jory John & 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. . . .

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Penguin Flies Home
Written & 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?

Flight School book
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Harriet Gets Carried Away book
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Antarctic Antics book
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Penguinaut! book
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  • 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.

  • Harriet Gets Carried Away - 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.

  • Antarctic Antics - A collection of poems celebrating the habits and habitat of Emperor penguins.

  • 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.

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One Cool Friend
Written by Toni Buzzeo & 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.

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Polar Bear Island
Written by Lindsay Bonilla & 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.

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Grumpy Pants
Written & illustrated by Claire Messer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Have you ever had a grumpy day and not known why? Penguin is having a grumpy day like that. No matter what he does, he just can’t shake it! Sometimes the only thing left to do is wash the grumpy day away and start over. The simple text and lively illustrations are the perfect cure for even the grumpiest of days.

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Up & Down
Written & illustrated by Britta Teckentrup
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

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A Hungry Lion, Or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals
Written & 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.

Little Penguin Stays Awake book
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Good Night, Beautiful Moon book
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Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! book
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10 Reasons to Love... a Penguin book
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  • Little Penguin Stays Awake - A charming companion to Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups and Little Penguin and the Lollipop, Little Penguin Stays Awake is a funny bedtime tale that invites the reader to jump in and play along. Little Penguin has one wish—he wants to fly just like all the other birds! All he has to do is wish on a shooting star, but penguins have VERY EARLY BEDTIMES! Little Penguin has tried everything he can to stay up extra late—but it’s not working. Can YOU help him stay awake?

  • Good Night, Beautiful Moon - Welcome to Puffin Rock—home to two young puffins, Oona and Baba. Join them on their adventures from the Netflix series, Puffin Rock. Oona can’t wait to see the moon tonight because it will be a supermoon—super big and super bright. But Oona doesn’t normally stay up so late. Can she stay awake until moonrise?

  • Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! - 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.

  • 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.

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When Grandad Was a Penguin
Written & 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.

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365 Penguins
Written by Jean-Luc Fromental & 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.

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Geronimo
Written by David Walliams & illustrated by Tony Ross
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The brand-new HEARTWARMINGLY HILARIOUS children’s picture book from NUMBER ONE bestselling David Walliams. Illustrated by artistic genius Tony Ross.Meet Geronimo - the baby penguin who hasone dream and one dream only - and that is to fly!But everyone knows penguins can’t fly… or can they?With a little help from his dad and friends, baby Geronimo discovers that even the wildest of dreams can come true.A delightfully topsy-turvy book with an uplifting message about following your dreams - another blockbusting classic from David Walliams and Tony Ross!There are lots of funny pictures of penguins in this book, but please note any mention of ‘free’ penguins on the back cover is a joke and as such should be taken lightly.NOTE: The statement contained on the back cover of Geronimo ‘free upside down penguin with every book’ is an obviously exaggerated joke consistent with the book’s and the author’s humour. These ‘free’ item statements are included across many of the Author’s books and have always been taken at face-value as spoofs and as such lightly.

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Baby Penguin's First Waddles
Written & 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.

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Polar Opposites
Written & illustrated by Erik Brooks
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

A Penguin Story book
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I'll Wait, Mr. Panda book
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I Can Fly book
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Augustine book
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  • A Penguin Story - Edna the penguin only knows the three colors that surround her: white ice, black night, and blue sea. She is convinced there is something more out there. So she sets out on a quest—a quest for color. When she finally finds what she’s been looking for, it’s everything she hoped for and more. But that doesn’t mean she will ever stop looking.

  • I'll Wait, Mr. Panda - Mr. Panda from Steve Antony’s bestselling, funny manners book Please, Mr. Panda is back! This time, Mr. Panda’s black-and-white animal friends are curious what he’s making, but only one has the patience to stick around. An alpaca, an aardvark, rabbits, and a bird all wind up missing out. It’s the penguin who declares, “I’ll wait, Mr. Panda.” The penguin is rewarded with a big SURPRISE: a giant doughnut! I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda is a graphic, kid-friendly way of teaching the value of patience and the importance of saying “thank you.”

  • 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?

  • 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.

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Galápagos Girl/Galapagueña
Written by Marsha Diane Arnold & 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!

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Puffin Peter
Written & illustrated by Petr Horacek
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

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Ella and Penguin Stick Together
Written by Megan Maynor & 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.

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Once Upon a Zzzz
Written & illustrated by Maddie Frost
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Once upon a time, an author took a snooze and an illustrator took the reins telling the story—exactly the way she wants! Featuring a llama princess, a scheming penguin, space travel, and maybe even a ninja—or, wait, a dragon!—this rambunctious, clever, no-holds-barred meta-story will have young readers giggling from start to finish.

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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.

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