by Salina Yoon
This is the best book of 2016. (Sorry, Penguin) I have already reviewed it but I feel I need to talk about it again. It is the book everyone should read.
The story is about Dennis who is not a normal boy. He communicates by actions, not words. He is a mime. I think it is really important right now to focus on how people act and not what they say. A lot of hurtful things are being said right now. There have been a lot of nice actions and there could be a lot more.
Joy accepts Dennis even though they are different. She sees beyond their differences and learns to communicate with him. Everyone needs to learn how to communicate in another way. Everyone should talk to people who are not like them. Their life will be better and they will learn new things.
I go to a school where I am different. I have found some Joys in my school and I try to be a Joy. I think I am becoming a better person because I am learning about differences and the differences aren’t really a big deal. At the end of the day, we are just kids and there is a lot in common there.
I give this book infinite number of stars, plus bonus ones. If you haven’t read it, do it.
Tell me a little about yourself I was born in South Korea, and moved to the U.S. when I was just 4 yrs old. I actually did not like books when I was little because I could not read them, and neither could my parents. We didn’t read or speak a word of English at the time. I actually learned a lot of English from watching Sesame Street. Even though we didn’t own many books at home, the few that we did have made an impression on me. I loved looking at the illustrations because you didn’t need words to understand them. I could make up my own stories! Enjoying the pictures made me want to be an artist myself. But I never dreamed that I’d be an author/illustrator of children’s books. That dream occurred to me only after college—as an adult!
How many books have you written & illustrated? Over 160… but I don’t know exactly. It’s hard to keep track after the first 100!
How did you become an author/illustrator? I wanted to be an artist ever since I was a kid. It was one thing I felt like I was good at and enjoyed. As I pursued art in my high school and college years, I learned that there weren’t many jobs out there for artists. I looked at children’s books and saw so much art in them, and it really appealed to me. I started off by illustrating very young children’s books that required very few words because I was still very afraid to write. It took me ten years of publishing before I wrote my first children’s story, “Penguin and Pinecone.” And now, I can’t stop!
Do you have a favorite book or character you have created? Penguin will always be my favorite book character of mine because it was my very first one. And he was inspired by my son, Max, who once brought home a pine cone he wanted to befriend.
Do you have words of encouragement for a kid like me? Whatever it is that you love, keep doing it! Don’t be discouraged no matter the obstacles you face. The biggest obstacle for most people is their fear of failing. Just remember that you HAVE to fail in order to succeed! You can’t have one without the other, so think of each failure as a step towards success!
Do you have a favorite author or illustrator? I have many, but at this very moment, I choose Peter Brown because I just finished reading The Wild Robot, and it was amazing! You should read it!
Why are you so awesome? I’m awesome because I don’t give up! I’ve received hundreds (maybe thousands) of rejections over my career, but I don’t let that stop me from doing what I love. I keep going until I get it right.
By Salina Yoon
This is Penguin’s last story (Boo HOO, WAHHH). I love Penguin but I believe that Penguin will be having secret adventures. Maybe he is a spy now?
This story is about Penguin wanting to celebrate Christmas with his friends instead of a present. A lot of the characters from previous stories are in this story. I didn’t find Crab but maybe he is hiding because it is so cold. There was Moose, Polar Bear, the Puffins, Bootsy and Bear & Floppy.
Everyone should add this to their Christmas book collection. It is about the true meaning of Christmas, which is not piles and piles of presents. It is about the ones we love.
And come back tomorrow because Salina finally answers my questions.
This is not really a book review. It is a review of Penguin, my favorite character in the whole wide world. His last book will be about Christmas and comes out on September 6. I am going to save that review for closer to Christmas. I think you should just buy it. All Penguin books are good.
I was 3 when I got my first Salina Yoon books. Mom found Penguin and the Pinecone and Penguin on Vacation in a store called Penguin! I loved the books at first read. I have really liked penguins since I was baby. They are my favorite thing ever!
I love Penguin because he is a penguin and he goes on a lot of vacations. I have even dressed as him for Halloween. I like sharing him with my friends. It was really exciting when he was available at Kohls.
I am going to miss his books but that means he and I will have secret adventures.
Who is your favorite book character?
By Salina Yoon
It has been a while since I reviewed a Salina Yoon book but she is still and will always be my first favorite author. (ps I know she is reading so Love ya, Salina! )
Be a Friend is a different type of book by Salina. It is doesn’t have a penguin or bear or even a duck. It has a boy that is a mime. I think he is a mime to represent kids who are different, like me. It is hard for kids who are different to make friends. I am working really hard to make friends.
I like this book because someone comes along to be friends with Dennis. She likes him just as he is and is willing to be friends with him the way he needs a friend. I want Joy in my life. I think everyone wants a Joy in their life. Because she will appreciate you just the way you are.
Don’t tell Penguin but this is my favorite Salina Yoon. I hope everyone reads it and all the librarians reading this should add it to their libraries.
Emily Arrow even has a song to go along with a reading. Don’t you just love Emily Arrow? [Bridget note: I am trying very hard to find a way to bring Salina and Emily local to me] [Bridget note 2: Annoying little brother is saving to bring Tim Kubart local.]
(Oops, just realized I called Joy “Emily”. I must have had Emily Arrow on my mind)
Warning: This is not a book about a penguin. Seriously! It is about a puffin. They are different animals. They are polar opposites! Penguins live at the South Pole/Antartica and puffins live towards the north pole. So real polar opposites!
This book is educational about the differences between penguins and puffins. For instances, puffins can fly! I don’t mean to spoil stuff but there is a point in the book when the puffin says “Do you know what would happen if I jumped off this cliff?” Well, do you?
There is a penguin easter egg in the book. There are all kinds of penguins books & movies in a picture. The best part is identifying the covers. [Bridget note: There is Salina Yoon on the page. This is how I found out about the book.] [2nd Bridget note: I have read or watched every thing on those pages except the made up Puffin Comic] [3rd Bridget note: I think we should have a Puffin comic, so puffin could be happy]
I simply recommend this book to everyone!