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My Penguin Osbert
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My Penguin Osbert

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  358 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Fabulously illustrated by H. B. Lewis, Elizabeth Cody Kimmel's hilarious romp through the land of be-careful-what-you-wish-for offers a whole year's worth of holiday fun magic.

This year, I was very specific in my letter to Santa Claus.

Each year at Christmas, Joe writes a letter to Santa. But they've had a few misunderstandings in the past. Last year, for example, Joe wante
Paperback, 40 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Candlewick (first published July 1st 2004)
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3.5 stars. Very cute drawings and engaging text. Would have liked it better if the little boy actually voiced enjoyment at some of his time with Osbert rather than feeling annoyed/responsible the entire time, though...
Nov 26, 2008 Tawnya rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents and childrens alike

By far one of my all-time favorite children's Christmas books! While I pack most Christmas books away after the holidays, this book stays out to enjoy all year long. It provides great insight into the life of a little boy, Joe, who wants a real penguin for Christmas. Santa has blundered Joe's requests in the past, so he wants to make sure Santa gets it right this year. Joe learns the hard way that having a real penguin is quite the chore. So next year, he'll settle for a helicopter instead!
A sweet little book of a little boy who asks for a live penguin for Christmas and after taking care of it for a few days realizes that this might not have been a good idea. Luckily Santa comes through and remedies the situation. A good story to read when a kid starts begging for a pet - it sounds like a good idea but usually has more responsibility than expected.
Joe never gets what he asks for, for Christmas, so this year he is being very specific! In every which way he can describe it, he writes to Santa in hopes of getting a REAL LIVE PENGUIN this year. Well, much to his surprise, Joe finds a live penguin named Osbert waiting for him under the tree the next morning! Joe is so excited and accepts taking on the responsibilities of a penguin. BUT, after all the ice baths, fish breakfasts, and other issues, Joe decides that Osbert is not going to work out ...more
Chelsey Wilson
I really enjoyed this book! Definitely one of my favorite picture books! I liked how it explained that if you want something and you get it, there will probably be consequences that come along with it. Definitely going to be a must read around Christmas time!
Filled with wry and dry humour as a boy is 'very specific' in his Christmas letter and finally gets exactly what he asks for, even if he has to put up his penguin's predilections for snow, cold and herring. Cute.
It's a very adorable book about a penguin. The illustrations pull you in, and the story is sweet. Not much else to say. It's a short children's book with nice, large pages.
Jul 17, 2011 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Our girls love stories about penguins and we found this one at our local library. The story takes place during Christmastime, but what better time to read about the cold and snow than in the middle of a hot summer, eh? Anyway, we really enjoyed this story. It offers a lesson about being careful what you wish for, without being too heavy-handed about it. And the story and illustrations are very funny, so we had a lot of laughs while reading it together. We will have to look for the next book, My ...more
Virginia Jacobs
This story is very cute, but just a little bit sad. The illustrations are very nicely done, but a little too faded looking.
Melanie Rightmyer
I love the illustrations! Cute story about being careful what you ask Santa to bring you for Christmas!
My mother finds the most wonderful books to share with her grandchildren and this one is terrific!
Johnny gave this book 5 stars. Wonderful read!
Rosa Cline
This was an adorable story about a little boy asking Santa for things for Christmas. Not getting 'exactly' what he asks for until he gets a real live penguin. He soon learns that having exactly what he thought he wanted isn't all it's cracked up to be but he cares for Osbert because 'after all I did ask for him' (teaching children that they have to continue taking care of a pet once they get one)in the end he finds a good home at the zoo with other penguins for Osbert and they both are happy. Il ...more
Is this more for parents to read to their children who are begging for a pet? Or more for kids to be careful what you wish for?
W.H. Beck
My Lesson Notes for 1st Grade

Questions: What do we know about penguins? Have you ever wished for a present that wasn't what you thought it'd be?

Color bookmarks from: Students can list the books they read over break on the back.

Silly penguin video:

Read Alikes:
A Mother's Journey
A Penguin Story
And Tango Makes Three
Antarctic Antics: a Book of Penguin Poems
This beautiful picture book has been recommended to me by many parents as a "must have" holiday read. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, and the story is cute.

Joe has been displeased with some of the gifts that Santa has left him in the past, so he is very specific in his letter this year. He wants a real live penguin from Antarctica.

Santa, being the wonderful fellow that he is, comes through! The question is: Is having a penguin all that it is cracked up to be?
Christopher Obert
This is a charming and beautifully illustrated book about a little boy that wants a real penguin named Osbert for Christmas. The boy writes a letter to Santa and believe it or not, Santa brings him a real penguin! But it is much different wishing for a penguin and having one. The little boy realizes that he can not keep Osbert and sadly gives him up. Next year the boy will have to ask for something that will work out better but we see that that may not be the case…
Oh, my. Be careful what you wish for, indeed. I really, really like this book. I've read it aloud to 1st and 2nd graders every Christmas. This boy just has a good heart, doesn't he? He wants a penguin so, so badly, then darned if he doesn't realize that, wow, maybe this wasn't such a good choice after all.

And that Osbert? How adorable is he??? Really great pictures, too. Terrific book for reading to your kids at Christmas time. Just terrific.
My Penguin Osbert is the Christmas gift a boy really wants this year. After last year's mistake, he was really careful to ask for exactly what he wants. What he wants is a penguin and Osbert is delivered. But, caring for a penguin is harder and trickier than he thought. Be careful want you ask for.

Used for "World Traveler's Club: Antarctica" Storytime-June, 2010 and

"Penguin Party" Storytime-July, 2010.

This book is a lot of fun and has a very heartfelt twist since the child at its center makes a tough choice to do something in the best interest of his friend rather than to keep his friend, the penguin, at home with him. This is a beautiful book and I really enjoyed reading it with my students.
Amber Baker
Jun 26, 2008 Amber Baker rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I bought this book solely based on the cute cover and the fact that it was 50% off at Barnes and Noble. I loved it so much I went back the next day and bought another one for my niece and nephews. It's one of my favorite children't books. Clever and funny. The kids love it to.
Every year Joe writes a letter to Santa but Santa never seems to get it right....except for this year when Joe gets a penguin. Except having a penguin is not exactly what he thought it would be...

The illustrations are watercolor, pastel and digital rendering.
My boys love this book. They have had it read to them at school. This is my first christmas reading it, and I agree it's a great christmas story. I love how Joe sticks it out, does what the Penguin wants. Because he did ask for him and now he has him.
A boy specifically asks for a real penguin for Christmas and gets one. It's pretty funny and the wonderful illustrations make it even better. It's a cute way to teach children that there are consequences for everything - even Christmas presents.
Library Quine
Sam really wants a penguin for Christmas. However, when he gets one, he realises that don't really live comparable lives, and he writes to Santa to see if a swap is available. Santa comes up with a solution which suits them both.
This is for all the kids who wished for a pet--better yet, an exotic pet! What to do after the newness and novelty have worn off? This is one of my recent favorite additions to the season's readings.
43 months - Picked this one up for a new read this holiday. Beautifully illustrated and a good moral... Be realistic in what you ask Santa for for Christmas.
PreSchool-Grade 2 SLJ
story of a boy who asked for a penguin for Christmas and received it- the moral: be careful what you wish for. humorous, fabulous illustrations.
Be careful what you wish for and more importantly how you wish for it. A really sweet tale about a little boy and the real life penguin he asks Santa to bring him.
Crystal Cook
I love the colors in this book, the crosshatching of the pastels, and of course Osbert. :) Me and my boys read this at least ten times every Christmas season.
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