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One Cool Friend

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  3,277 ratings  ·  481 reviews
On a momentous visit to the aquarium, Elliot discovers his dream pet: a penguin. It's just proper enough for a straight-laced boy like him. And when he asks his father if he may have one (please and thank you), his father says yes. Elliot should have realized that Dad probably thought he meant a stuffed penguin and not a real one . . . Clever illustrations and a wild surpr ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Dial
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisa Vegan
Aug 05, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everybody, with a caveat for vegans and literal minded readers and listeners
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
I was enthusiastic about this book because I’m a fan of David Small's illustrations, and they are wonderful here, but so is the story. It’s completely charming and absolutely adorable, and very amusing. Both story and pictures are at times very, very funny.

The story and pictures are both stellar. I love the boy, the penguin, the father, and the surprise/twist ending, and the science too.

The book’s humor reminds me somewhat of the Bad Bears books by Daniel Pinkwater and that is high praise indeed
This story is so much fun! I think it should be taken as pure fantasy (don’t get too up in arms about the penguin not being in his natural habitat) and then it’s just a delight. I’m already a fan of David Small’s illustrations and they shine here. That very proper, polite young Elliot has such a perfect look and it’s so cute how he looks kind of like his new penguin friend. I love the contrast between him and his father—yet how alike they are in some ways, too. The father’s look is great, too, a ...more
Jul 05, 2012 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a very humorous story about an inquisitive, polite and intelligent boy who manages to 'acquire' a very interesting pet. The story is silly and the boy's efforts to make his new pet comfortable reminded us of Mr. Popper's Penguins. I loved how formal and polite the boy and his father are, and I love how the story emphasizes how completely absorbed his dad is in his own studies and oblivious to the boy's actions.

The ending of the story is very hilarious, and we had to reread the tale to s
Bailey Hauge
My opinion is I really, really liked this book. The book was about a penguin named Magellan and his friend Elliott. The main idea was Elliott getting a penguin friend. My favorite part was when Elliott made his wading pool into a skating rink in his bedroom. And his dad didn't even know!
Jammie Mays
Awe. This short story will take you on a roller-coaster of emotions. At first I was upset with the father for not paying attention to his son. He offered to take him to the aquarium and then didn’t partake in any of the activities with him. It made me think about a time when I was left alone and had high hopes of doing something fun with my parent. But as the story progressed I soon forgot about the father and focused on the antics of the little boy. I thought he was very smart to make all of th ...more
The very proper Elliot falls in love while on a visit to the aquarium. While his father reads his National Geographic, Elliot avoids the crowds of noisy kids at the other exhibits and revels in the appearance and antics of the penguins. When he politely asks if he can have a penguin, his father assumes that he wants a stuffed one, and provides the cash for it. Once Elliot and the kidnapped penguin he names Magellan have arrived home, Elliot does his best to make things comfortable for his new fr ...more
Maureen Houston
Elliot is a very proper young boy, who is not too thrilled about being invited by his father to family day at the aquarium. Too polite to say no, he says agrees and the suit and tie wearing Elliot soon finds himself captivated by the Magellan penguins. He asks his father (who throughout the book is distracted with his reading), if he could have money for a penguin. Father agrees thinking Elliot is going to buy a stuffed penguin, but Elliot brings home a real Magellan penguin and the adventures s ...more
Sarah W
Elliot is a very proper boy. When his father proposes a trip to the aquarium, Elliot politely accepts the invitation while he would rather avoid the noisy mob of kids sure to be there. With his father distracted by a copy of National Geographic, Elliot slips away to the penguin exhibit. There he discovers one Ferdinand Magellan.

Elliot asks his father for a penguin and is given twenty dollars for a toy. Elliot, however, has other plans. He squeezes Ferdinand into his backpack and takes the well-d
Jim Erekson
This is child-centered fiction. The adults don't get in the way (Dad, Librarian--and where was aquarium security? Quietly never pictured.), and Elliot moves forward assuming they won't--even though I was worried the entire time about when he would be found out. "Wild surprise ending"? No, a calm vindication of the story arc. This ending provided not only resolution to my worry, but also deconstructed it--a pleasant ending! And never a worry about there being a 'lesson' to be taught. Hmmm. I woul ...more
I loved this picture book. It is so different from other picture books that I have read, and I have read many! It even had a surprise ending that I didn't see coming. Afterward, I flipped back through and saw the ending forshadowed in many of the illustrations. So clever! Elliot is such a fun, unique boy. The only thing I had trouble with was Elliot just taking a penguin from the aquarium, but I will suspend my disbelief and trepedation and take this one as it is meant to be, as a fun, imaginati ...more
Carly Meyers
This story was about a little boy named Elliot who was unlike most children. He was very proper and hated large groups of other children. When dad wanted to take Elliot to the aquarium, Elliot agreed and went straight to the penguin exhibit. When he found interest in them, Elliot went and asked dad if he could get a penguin. Dad, thinking that it was a stuffed penguin, agreed and gave him $20. Elliot went into the exhibit and took the smallest penguin home with him and named him Magellan. This b ...more
Elliot is a straight-laced boy who is not in favor of crowds and noise. His father took him to the local aquarium for family fun day but it was Elliot who did the exploring while his father read a magazine. Elliot finds his favorite animal the penguin and asks his father if he could have one. His father approved thinking it is a stuffed penguin and not a real one. Elliot names his penguin Magellan and the next several pages are filled with page turning explorations between the two. Elliot even t ...more
Being proper was what Elliot was good at. When Elliot's father asked him if he wanted to go to the aquarium, he didn't really want to. Instead of saying no, Elliot responded properly and said, "Of course. Thank you for inviting me." Once at the aquarium Elliot discovers the penguins. WIth the penguins looking proper themselves, Elliot decides he must have one. Find out what happens when Elliot takes a penguin home.

This book is great for teaching conversational situations, conversational bubbles
I really enjoyed the style and artwork of this picture book because I believe is quite fun. The words are put as in a cartoon mode. It tells the story of a smart child named Elliot and his dad in the aquarium. The Dad is basically reading the whole time, and the kid wondering around. Elliot asks his dad if he can get a penguin and his dad said yes and gives him money, maybe thinking that he was talking about a stuffed animal rather than a real one. Elliot takes the real penguin and puts it on hi ...more
K. Vela
One Cool Friend During the first reading I did think Elliot’s father was somewhat distracted by his studiesand thought Elliot, although well behaved, waslonely (he would read to his stuffed toys).I did not blame Elliot for “adopting” Magellan; they seemed to belong together. I absolutely liked the surprise ending to this book and seeing how Elliot and dad were not so different after all.Of course you just have to go back and read the story looking forthecluesand paying close attention to the ill ...more
One Cool Friend, by Toni Buzzeo (2012)
Picture Book
Elliot, a very proper young man, feels a kinship with the penguins at the aquarium and wants to take one home with him.
No considerations or precautions
Review citation (if available): Bateman, Teresa. School Library Journal , Jul2012, p46-46, 1/6p
Section source used to find the material: ALA Notable Children's Book (2013), Caldecott Honor Book (2013)
Recommended age: Pre-K to 3rd grade.
The Reading Countess
Elliott is not your ordinary boy, but then again, neither is his father. When the father and son duo travel to the aquarium for some "quality time," they both get more than they bargained for. But in the end, father and son seem to have many, many traits in common.

The story was okay, but I have to say that I liked how the speech bubbles were included in the text. This would make a great mentor text for younger readers for that element alone.
Allison Barry
Text-to-self: This story reminds me of my middle school years. My parents would give me money to go see a movie and I would wind up coming home with a new shirt. It was always upset my mom that I used her money in a different way that she intended, but my dad was okay with it!

Text-to-text: Elliot, the character in this book, reminds me of Bean Dog and Nugget. All of the characters cause all sorts of mischief. Bean Dog and Nugget play jokes on each other by pretending to hold an invisible donut w
After a visit to the aquarium with his distracted father, the very proper Elliot comes home with a live penguin. His father is apparently oblivious to the fact that Elliot has a penguin living in the freezer and other strange happenings. Or is he?

David Small's illustrations delightfully foreshadow the unexpected conclusion. This is a book about a boy and his pet, but it is also a touching story about a boy and his father.
Melissa Piesche
This story was about a little, proper boy named Elliot and his father who brought him to the aquarium. Elliot was not like the other children at the aquarium though and, he went straight towards the penguins. He asked his father for a penguin and instead of buying the stuffed animal, he stole a live penguin. The rest of the story tells about Elliot keeping Magellan, his penguin, at his house. But what will happen when his father finds out?

The theme of this story was like father, like son. Althou
Melissa Morton
One Cool Friend is a picture book that brought a smile to my face when I reached the end. It follows Elliot, a boy who goes to the aquarium with his father. At the aquarium, Elliot visits the penguin exhibit by himself. He returns to his father and asks if he can get a penguin, who says yes. Elliot packs his new penguin pet away in his backpack and takes him home. Throughout the book, Elliot's father seems to have no idea that he brought home a real live penguin! The illustrations are really wha ...more
Elliot is not your typical kid, he's very proper. Perhaps, so proper that his father doesn't notice that he brings home a real penguin from their outing to the aquarium. Elliot and his penguin, Magellan, become friends and it turns out Elliot's father has a special friend of his own too.

Fun story, illustrations are both proper and silly to compliment the text.
Sep 26, 2014 Cathy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 2nd - 5th grades
Recommended to Cathy by: Caldecott Honor Book 2013
On a momentous visit to the aquarium, Elliot discovers his dream pet: a penguin. It's just proper enough for a straight-laced boy like him. And when he asks his father if he may have one (please and thank you), his father says yes. Elliot should have realized that Dad probably thought he meant a stuffed penguin and not a real one . . . Clever illustrations and a wild surprise ending make this sly, silly tale of friendship and wish fulfillment.

As always with a good picture book, it may be necessa
Chase Vombaur
This story is extremely funny and well written! The story is about a young boy who some how stumbles upon a very interesting pet. One day at the aquarium the boy finds himself in love with the penguins. He ask his dad for money so he can buy one of the penguins. The father thinking he was going to buy a penguin doll gives him the money. Elliot brings home the penguin and then the fun starts. Elliot’s dad doesn’t notice all the craziness going on in the house until the end of the story.
The book i
I've heard a lot of buzz over this one, and it's so great! Lots of humor in both the text and the illustrations, and the ending cracked me up. Very funny. I think kids will get a big kick out of this one.

Pair it with Elizabeth Cody Kimmel's and do a compare/contrast between the two books.
Victoria Alvarez
This book is about Elliot, a very proper little man, the idea of messy kids and messy places did not quite suited him. Until he went to the aquarium and he discovered penguins, that in a way reminded him about himself. He bought the penguin with his fathers permission, and they began a journey together. He took care of him and made a research about penguins and took care of him. They became really good friends and Elliot had a new best friend. The theme about this book was all about manners. I w ...more
Peter Besbeas
This book is about a boy named Elliot. His father asks him to go to the aquarium one day where Elliot takes a penguin home with him; his father is unaware that it is a real penguin. Elliot spends most of the book taking care of his pet penguin Magellan and hiding him. At the end his father finds the penguin and seems to be okay with it because he has a pet turtle named Captain Cook. This book was very funny and the illustrations were very well done. The illustrations were mostly white and black ...more
This book is about a boy named Elliot who goes out with his father and comes across seeing some penguins. He falls in love with them and really wants to take one home. He asks his father if he could buy a penguin to take home and his father says okay! But the father thinks his son is talking about the plush penguins on display. So Elliot takes the real penguin and puts it in his backpack thinking his father doesn't have a problem with it. He brings his the penguin home and realizes work that goe ...more
I enjoyed this - especially the ending! As always, David Small's illustrations are interesting and have great details. I laughed at the father's turtle pajamas. When I reread this, I noticed all sorts of turtle details! Too fun!
Denis Vukosav
“One Cool Friend” written by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by David Small is story about a boy, his father and boy unusual pet that will delight you with its story and mostly with its style.

The main character, a boy named Elliot is a very distinguished young man, who is very polite and even wears tuxedo and tie at home.
When his father invited him to family day at the aquarium Elliot wasn’t too excited though he agreed with properly answer "Thank you for inviting me”.

Once they came at the aquarium
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