Here’s one of the best letters I’ve received so far in 2013. Ashley’s writing was interesting, and she sent three pictures. My reply is at the bottom.
Dear Jean Marzollo,
I like your book Pierre the Penguin. I like how Pam helped Pierre, and also tell Laura Regan that her illustrations rock. For example, my favorite part was when Pam made a suit for Pierre. It was very nice of her to do that.
Mrs. Reeder’s Third Grade Class
Dr. Edward L. Whigham Elementary School
Cutler Bay, FL
Thank you very much for your beautiful paintings of Pierre. I will tell Laura Regan that her illustrations rock. Yours do, too!
Happy writing and illustrating,
Penguins are studied in lots of kindergartens at this wintery time of year. Recently, I was told that a kindergarten teacher in New York City reports that she is using my non-fiction picture book Pierre the Penguin to talk about bullying with her kindergartners. In this true story illustrated by Laura Regan and published by Sleeping Bear Press, a real scientist at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco discovers that Pierre, one of the penguins in the aquarium, has lost his feathers.
The other penguins begin to bully Pierre. They never did that before, but now he looks different so they are afraid of him. How do they make fun of him? They bray at him, sounding like donkeys! These are African penguins, and, as you can see by the lack of snow and ice in the picture, they don’t live in cold climates. The lesson we can learn from these penguins? The penguins were scared of Pierre because now he was different.Sometimes people make fun of others who are different from them. Differences can scare people. Sometimes the reason people bully other people is that they are scared.
The story of Pierre the Penguin
has a happy
ending. Pam Schaller, the scientist, helped Pierre grow his feathers back. How? Read the book!
You can also watch these penguins online at: www.calacademy.org/webcams/penguins
Photos (c) Sleeping Bear Press