We love Rob Biddulph’s first picture book, Blown Away, in which we were introduced to Penguin Blue and his friends. Now they’re back in another story, Sunk!, a fun, rhyming adventure about pirates and friendship.
The Story: Penguin Blue and his friends set sail on a pirate adventure across the seven seas. When an accident causes their ‘ship’ to sink they discover a shipwreck below the waves. The captain of the ship has been stranded on a desert island but thanks to Penguin Blue’s ingenious idea his ship is recovered and the friends discover treasure of the non material kind.
Rob’s bouncy, easy to read, rhyming text, combined with his amusing illustrations, sets a fast, swashbuckling pace for Penguin Blue’s adventure. He’s joined on the treasure trail by two penguin friends plus Clive, the polar bear, and Wilbur, the seal, but they find more than they bargained for when their dinghy sinks. We love Penguin Blue’s brilliant plan to raise the ship from the seabed which ensures that everybody can get home but that’s not quite the end of the story…
Sunk! includes all the ingredients necessary for a pirate adventure. The friends put on their pirate headgear and arm themselves with a cutlass, a treasure map and Penguin Blue’s favourite book which helps them to identify the ship. Even Clive and Wilbur don pirate themed teeshirts and, as in Blown Away, Wilbur’s washing and his washing line play an important role in the story (his spotty tablecloth comes in useful more than once!). We keep finding humorous little details in the illustrations, my daughter was really excited to spot the ‘stowaway’ from Blown Away! I love the map showing the seven seas which shows the magnitude of the friends’ journey in an original way (and helps to promote number recognition!) but my favourite illustration shows the friends setting sail to find treasure, I find Clive’s ‘accessories’ particularly amusing!
Sunk! will appeal to all young penguin and pirate fans. We love both the text and the illustration on the final double spread which show how Penguin Blue’s pirate adventure has benefited not only him and his friends but many other penguins as well.
Age Range: 3 to 7
Author / Illustrator: Rob Biddulph