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Enter the dark Antarctic winter, where a pair of emperor penguins share the task of keeping their young one alive—and discover how fighting climate change is key to their survival.
As harsh winter descends and other birds move toward warmth, lines of emperor penguins appear in search of the perfect ice for breeding and raising their chicks. One wise old empress finds her mate, and after laying a single, huge egg, heads to the stormy ocean to hunt for fish. For weeks, her mate must warm the egg in his pouch, huddling against blizzards and bitter cold. When his mate returns, the two take turns fishing and minding their newly hatched chick until it’s big enough to stay warm on its own. Luminously illustrated by Catherine Rayner, Nicola Davies’s engrossing narrative expands the focus from one emperor family to the plight of the breed as it faces displacement due to climate change. An afterword details the loss of many emperor chicks at Halley Bay after a storm broke up the ice under one of the largest penguin colonies—and encourages readers to help protect the environment so these extraordinary survivors will continue to be found in the Antarctic for generations to come.
About the Author
Nicola Davies is a zoologist and award-winning author whose many books for children include Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes; Grow: Secrets of Our DNA; and Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth, all illustrated by Emily Sutton, as well as Bat Loves the Night, illustrated by Sarah Fox-Davies, and other Read and Wonder books. Nicola Davies lives in Wales.
Catherine Rayner is the author-illustrator of My Pet Goldfish and the illustrator of Hello, Horse by Vivian French as well as many other books for young readers. She has won many awards for her artwork, including the Kate Greenaway Medal. She lives in Scotland.
Once again, zoologist Davies’ enthusiasm for the natural world and her ability to shed light on it for a young audience are on full display. . . . A moving story of resilience in a changing world.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
As winter sets in Antarctica, the emperor penguins begin their trip to the solidly frozen ice of Halley Bay, where they will find a mate and safely raise their chicks. Young readers may be somewhat familiar with the generalities: dad takes care of the baby, mom goes off to hunt, and baby is a cute ball of fluff. Davies, however, brings in details that give a sharper picture of the penguins’ experience in this harsh climate.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books