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Reviewed by Kristine Zimmerman for Readers' Favorite
Stripes: The Friendly Penguin by Seth Clay is about a little striped penguin who lives with his family and friends in Patagonia. One day while fishing, he gets stuck in an oil slick and becomes lost. He eventually washes up on shore in Brazil where a boy named Lucas rescues him. Lucas cleans him and takes care of him for several months. During this time, they develop a friendship and Lucas tells him about his friend Jessica who moved away. Stripes decides he needs to look for his own family and leaves, but he returns to visit Lucas every year. Eventually, their friendship brings them Internet fame. Lucas reunites with his friend Jessica and Stripes finds his family.
Stripes: The Friendly Penguin is ultimately a tale about friendships. Stripes and Lucas develop a bond after Lucas rescues him. Their bond deepens each time Stripe visits and they spend time together. I really enjoyed the message that you can develop new friendships but that doesn’t mean you forget your old friendships. Another refreshing aspect is the inclusion of technology which reflects the world today. The illustrations by Hay Santos are outstanding. The warm colors make you feel like you are at the beach. All the characters are full of life and movement. Penguins are a favorite with kids and Stripes is a memorable character. Seth Clay’s message that “no distance can keep away true friends” will reassure those kids who have had to move away from friends. Kids will wish they had a friend like Stripes.