Age Range: 3 to 6
When Penguin Blue flies a kite for the first time he literally gets Blown Away! But where will he land and will he find a way to get home again?
The Story: Penguin Blue’s kite gets blown away in a strong wind and takes him with it. Various friends try to help him but they get blown away as well! After a long flight the animals land on a jungle island but they miss home so Penguin Blue comes up with a rescue plan to get them back again.
Blown Away tells the story of the animals’ adventure using an easy to read, bouncy, rhyming text. The penguins are joined by Wilbur the seal (and his washing!) and Clive the polar bear but they find the jungle habitat very different to their icy home and one penguin misses his family. The jungle animals help Penguin Blue put his plan into action and we love the way that the friends get home (with a stowaway on board!)
Rob Biddulph’s illustrations are beautiful and they include so many humorous touches that are not mentioned in the text, my daughter loves the ice-cream van in the jungle and I find the inclusion of spotty underpants on Wilbur’s washing line hilarious – are they his I wonder?! The final endpaper shows the stowaway with a kite which leaves us wondering about a possible sequel and we’re intrigued by the animal wearing the spotty underpants on the final page.
Blown Away is a fantastic book to use for a classroom topic on animals and their habitats. Reading the story can stimulate discussion about climate differences, which animals live in cold lands and which live in warmer environments. I would absolutely love to make a classroom wall display using this story, the children could choose and create their own animals to fly behind the kite.
It is amazing how this simple, enjoyable story introduces so many themes (friendship, problem solving, homesickness, animal habitats) both through the text and the pictures which complement each other in such a wonderful way. It’s fantastic that there are so many translated versions too!
Author / Illustrator: Rob Biddulph