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Reviewed by Kathy Golden for Readers' Favorite
Spike: The Penguin With Rainbow Hair is written by Sarah Cullen and Carmen Ellis. It is a warm and wonderful story about a penguin with a beautiful rainbow-colored mohawk. One of the things I found moving was being able to see Spike’s parents watching him hatch from his egg and being able to witness firsthand that the color of his hair wasn’t an issue for them at all. This aspect of the story suggests the kind of love and support kids, who are born obviously different, need to have from their parents, right from the start. That parental acceptance is a subconscious security blanket, and, even when kids don’t consciously acknowledge it, some part of them knows it’s there.
In Spike: The Penguin With Rainbow Hair, it was good to see how Spike, despite his parents’ acceptance and even that of his friends, still struggled with being different. Being different is such a personal matter for a child. It requires a level of self-acceptance that these children must reach for themselves. So, Sarah Cullen and Carmen Ellis allow us to journey with Spike as he tries to find ways to deal with his concern about being different. They make these attempts adventurous, and they introduce some fun side characters. Zuzana Svobodova is the illustrator, and the illustrations for this book are so colorful, and brrrrr! - you do feel cold as you go on some of those escapades with Spike. All in all, I enjoyed this story very much, and I invite you to read about Spike as he learns to choose between standing out, fitting in, or just accepting himself for who he is.