Score: 93+/100 (9.3+ out of 10)
Pedro Penguin: Let's Go to the Beach is a fun, lighthearted, and positive children's book by Pedro Samuel Saquic & Annie Saquic!
This mother-son duo brings to life a couple of colorful, compelling animal characters as they meet at the beach, come to a common understanding, and become the best of friends!
This book champions such values as sharing, kindness, compassion, gratitude, thankfulness, appreciation, and friendship. This is best illustrated through the characters of Pedro Penguin and Shannon Shark, who form a beautiful bond that crosses boundaries. We were kinda hoping that this book was longer so that we could see their friendship develop! The book ends a bit abruptly, but it is still satisfying. There is the hope for more books in this series to continue the story and adventures with these lovable characters.
Now, your kids will definitely pick up the ironies of a penguin encountering and befriending a shark. Indeed, the book plays on that idea with Shannon Shark expressing that she is hungry and is considering eating Pedro. This is presented in a funny and unserious manner, but it still gets the point home that Shannon has needs like all animals have. The poor thing is just hungry!
Thankfully, Pedro has come prepared with a big bowl of fruit salad including slices of pineapple, apples, mandarins, pears, strawberries, watermelon, bananas, and kiwis. Pedro comes up with the idea of sharing his fruit salad with Shannon Shark so that she isn't hungry anymore. He doesn't just do it for self-preservation (so he doesn't get eaten), he seems to do it because he sympathizes with Shannon Shark and because it's the right thing to do.
So, you could make the argument that doing the right thing and being unselfish are other lessons that this little book teaches.
Shannon Shark is a very compelling character. She is brightly and colorfully illustrated with a purple and yellow color-scheme. Her eye-lashes are long. She wears the top half of swimsuit, which children might find very funny (in a good way). She says she is a grumpy shark, and we look forward to her becoming happier and more cheerful as the book goes along.
One of the most beautiful scenes in this entire book is when Pedro and Shannon give each other hugs and emphasize how important it is to be thankful and to have “grateful hearts.”
This cute, cuddly book also doubles as a bilingual book, seamlessly incorporating a Spanish version of the text on the right side of each page. As the number of bilingual and multinational children grows, these types of books can be incredibly helpful. Children have a superpower that adults begin to lose with age: the ability to easily learn new languages simply through exposure. This book (and books like it) presents the opportunity for English-speaking children to learn some Spanish and for Spanish-speaking children to learn some English.
Now, we noticed some minor issues with the writing and grammar (in English). There were many sentence fragments that could have been avoided with additional proofreading. There were times when periods and commas were misused. There were times when they shouldn't have been used at all. For example, there shouldn't be a period after “Not a moment too soon” on page 16. There were also times when quotation marks (“”) were overused such as when Shannon Shark is speaking, usually on the second line following the initial line of dialogue. You don't have to use a new set of quotation marks unless another character is speaking.
For example, you could fix a section like:
“Don't do that!”
“I know just what to do.”
“I love to share my food with you.”
And turn that into:
“Don't do that!
I know just what to do.
I love to share my food with you.”
Notice that only one set of quotation marks is used because the same person is speaking.
The illustrations by Safiro Mariely Velez are bright and colorful, and they are certainly adequate. They have a very cartoonish, appealing appearance.
This is a children's book that clearly has a lot of heart.
Check it out on Amazon!