Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “One Cool Friend” as Want to Read:
One Cool Friend
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

One Cool Friend

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  5,097 Ratings  ·  606 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 Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about One Cool Friend, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about One Cool Friend

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lisa Vegan
Aug 05, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 10, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
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 really liked it
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
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Mar 18, 2013 Randie D. Camp, M.S. rated it it was amazing
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.
Bailey Hauge
Oct 19, 2014 Bailey Hauge rated it it was amazing
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!
Jul 26, 2014 Luann rated it really liked it
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!
Cassandra Lemieux
Oct 24, 2016 Cassandra Lemieux rated it it was amazing
Shelves: summaries
1. Summary- This children's book is about a young kid named Elliot. Elliot isn't like most kids; he finds himself proper. One day his father brings Elliot to the aquarium and tells him to go off and have some fun. Elliot wanders over to the penguin enclosed and believes that the penguins proper posture and tidy black feather tuxedos reminds him of himself. He runs back to his father and asks for a penguin. So, Elliots father hands him 20 dollars and Elliot walks right over and picks out the smal ...more
Jordan Schmidt
Jun 12, 2015 Jordan Schmidt rated it really liked it
Shelves: state-awards
How many of you have a pet at home? If you just raised your hand, tell me where you got that pet. So most of us got our pets from a pet store, a shelter, or a friend who raises animals to sell. In the story that we are going to read today, the character gets his pet from a different place then all of us. (hold up the book) The title is One Cool Friend. Where do you think the boy got his friend at? (take answers) Well, we will have to read to find out if our predictions are correct.
When we have
Maureen Houston
Oct 08, 2013 Maureen Houston rated it it was amazing
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
May 05, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
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
Jammie Mays
Sep 09, 2014 Jammie Mays rated it it was amazing
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
Sarah W
Oct 31, 2011 Sarah W rated it really liked it
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
Oct 09, 2015 MaryannP rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This picture book won the Caldecott award for its cartoon images. The pages are full of cartoon images, text boxes, and 3D art. The images look like they are illustrated with a pencil making them very simplistic but outstanding. The book is black and white with very little color. What is in color stands out because that is whats being accentuated. The illustrator used space very well so the eyes go up and down. He also used the space well to organize the text and speech bubbles making some large ...more
Jim Erekson
Feb 04, 2013 Jim Erekson rated it liked it
Shelves: comedy, picturebooks
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
Mar 05, 2015 Debbie rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. David Small is one of my favorite illustrators. But by page 11, the animals rights issues overshadowed everything else for me. Penguins are one of the most social birds there are, and family structure is very important (see And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson). When Elliot takes a small penguin from the penguin exhibit, he is likely breaking up a family unit (and I won't even go into the penguins in captivity thing). Sorry, I was not able to suspend my disbelie ...more
Jul 04, 2012 Kirsten rated it it was amazing
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
May 17, 2015 KevinL rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This was one COOL story. When Elliot went to the aquarium with his dad no one expected him to bring home a proper friend from the southern tip of Argentina. Elliots dad hought he was only bringing home a stuffed animal penguin not the real thing.This story goes through the friendship of Elliot and his pet penguin at the expense of his dad. The best part is the curve ball at the end! This would be a great story for students to learn how to be a good friend
Oct 12, 2013 Jacoba rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 14, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, fathers
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.
The Reading Countess
Nov 21, 2011 The Reading Countess rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, arc
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.
Jan 23, 2012 babyhippoface rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 12, 2012 Lorna rated it really liked it
I liked this story, which is of course far-fetched, about a wealthy boy acquiring a penguin from the aquarium. Lots of reminders about Mr. Popper's Penguins. I loved the ending, with it's funny twist which made me quickly go back to re-read it.
Nov 09, 2013 Michele rated it liked it
Cute and whimsical story about a boy who brings home a penguin from the aquarium and lives with it for some time before his father notices.
Feb 26, 2012 Flora rated it it was amazing
one cool friend i like so i asked dad to read it olive the time funny joke by flora
Feb 11, 2013 Tomiko rated it really liked it
I love this book for its clever visual hints and absolutely implausible but jaunty storyline.
Feb 28, 2012 Alyson rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I loved the suprise ending!
Mary Kate
Aug 11, 2015 Mary Kate rated it it was amazing
This book is unique!! Made me chuckle and brought me and my listener a smile (:
May 18, 2015 Robert rated it really liked it
**** Caldecott Honor (2013) ****
Feb 06, 2014 Laurie rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stefanie Burns
Jan 22, 2017 Stefanie Burns rated it liked it
Shelves: caldecott-honor
This have looked at this book for many years, yet never read a it. I think I even owned it! It was a pleasant surprise. I didn't realize the "cool" friend was a penguin, though I should have from the front cover. I don't think I even ever looked at the illustration on the front cover until after I read the book.

Elliot is a very polite, intelligent boy who lives with his intelligent, scientific father. They go to the aquarium and Elliot brings home a penguin. Everyone thinks it's stuffed until th
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Children's Lit Su...: My Stupeflix Video 2 4 Jun 20, 2015 08:47AM  
Children's Lit Su...: Digital Book Promo 1 3 Jun 19, 2015 12:10AM  
  • Sleep Like a Tiger
  • Green
  • A Home for Bird
  • Chloe and the Lion
  • Chopsticks
  • Oh, No!
  • Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team
  • Z Is for Moose
  • Creepy Carrots!
  • Boy + Bot
  • More
  • Boot & Shoe
  • Baby Bear Sees Blue
  • Same, Same But Different
  • Xander's Panda Party
  • I'm Bored
  • Just Ducks!
  • This Moose Belongs to Me

Share This Book