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Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters!

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  222 ratings  ·  57 reviews
This uplifting, charmingly told story, tells what happens when well-meaning humans knit sweaters for penguins who've encountered an oil spill.

You may have seen the cute pictures of penguins wearing sweaters--but did you know why they were wearing them? Debut author Marikka Tamura answers this question in this colorful, kid-friendly book that is told simply and charmingly.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 16th 2018 by Nancy Paulsen Books
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3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  222 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Feb 19, 2018 added it
Shelves: picture-books
Don’t you love books that teach you something you never expected to learn?

Like the author says, this may be a fictional story, but there is truth underneath the cuteness and unexpectedness.

Who ever imagined penguins, or any other animals for that matter, wearing sweaters? That’s because they don’t and they shouldn’t.

But sometimes they have to, or so people believe. Some think that it is necessary to dress penguins up so that they can function normally after oil was spilled into the sea.

I want
Feb 23, 2018 marked it as t
Shelves: 2018t
I love penguins, T is sometimes unsure if penguins are real, and the cover is cute, so I thought this new acquisition at our library could be fun (and a reminder that they are real).

V's Review

Friendly looking penguins are dressed in sweaters in a misguided attempt to rehabilitate them after an oil spill.

The narrative style reminded me of Uri Shulevitz's Snow, wasting no words. The penguins are healthy, then confronted with spilled oil, and finally returned to a blue sea. It is a gentle introduct
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, animals
It might be spoilery, but I'm not hiding my review.

I was expecting a super adorable book, but this was not that. I'm only giving it two stars instead of one because at least the illustrations were cute. I thought it was gonna be all about penguins and sweaters but no. It was about penguins and an oil slick and sweaters. It took a much different turn than I expected.

The page that was like, "But WHAT is this? Something is floating in the water," I expected it to be a long thread of material and
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a good picture book which can deepen thinking or lead to discussions about finding the right kind of support to actually help in a challenging situation. From the text of the book you get a feeling for the message but in the author's end notes the reader is shown that this book is based on a true story of when penguins were sent sweaters after an oil spill. If a teacher uses this book with a group I think it would be interesting to hear what the students first reactions are followed by a ...more
Heidi Burkhart
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A sweet and simple picture book with a powerful message about interpreting the media. How often do we just read the headlines, and perhaps a few lines after that? This true story is based on just that. A very worthwhile read for people of all ages!
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: story-time
So, apparently, this actually happened? There was an oil spill and instead of people being like, "Let's clean these animals off and then make stricter laws about the transportation of a hazardous material," they just knit sweaters for the penguins. Cool. Thanks. Penguins probably died.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very cute story
Alyssa Gudenburr
Based on a true story about penguins, oil spills, and sweaters. Humans thought they were helping by giving penguins sweaters after an oil spill when this only created more problems for penguins. A great lesson how humans should solve the CAUSE of the problem, not the EFFECTS.
Baby Bookworm
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is Penguins Don’t Wear Sweaters, written by Marikka Tamura and illustrated by Daniel Rieley, a lovely story that combines adorable penguins with a message of environmentalism.

The reader is introduced to a colony of playful penguins, living their best penguin lives. They swim and hunt for fish in the cool water, they let their fluffy feathers dry as they bask in th
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: photography
Penguins are doing penguin activities in the arctic until a passing ship leaks oil into their pristine waters. They are soon gooped all over and their water doesn't right or feel right. They are found by "boots" who ask people to knit sweaters to protect the birds so that they can clean them up. So sometimes penguins do wear sweaters! Soon the "boots" release them into the wild again, care and sweater free.

Based on a true story including at the end of the book the illustrations are darling. It i
Emma Andje
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the perfect book for environmentally aware parents for their children! When I picked this book up I was expecting a silly story; this book is so much more than that. It may get a few laughs from readers, but it is about a true story of how people around the world were knitting sweaters for penguins after an oil spill. The author also makes a point to mention that even though it was a great movement to gain awareness of oil spills and the havoc is causes, the sweaters were not the best wa ...more
Mar 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book is pretty much exactly as it is described. There are minor flourishes to the writing, such as referring to people as "Big Boots", but it's still straightforward enough for a young reader. Really, it's the illustrations that steal the show. In one two page spread, the penguins are lined up wearing their hand knitted sweaters. One penguin has on a sweater with a penguin on it- but not just any penguin. It's the penguin logo of the publisher who published this book. Is the author implying ...more
A Allen
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is the first picture book I've read that depicts an oil spill and the impact it has on penguins. I appreciated that a boat is shown spilling the oil and that the book tells us the penguins can't swim, fish, or soak up sun because of that spill. I think the sweater bit might be confusing to young readers because it is not explained that the sweaters don't actually help. The author's note at the end of the book was very helpful in giving that information and I would certainly use that when ta ...more
Sarah T.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is NOT what I thought it would be about, lol. I thought it would be some goofy book about... I don't know... some old lady knitting penguins sweaters or something, but learning that penguins can just be themselves. They don't NEED sweaters.

Turns out it's based on a news story that the author read about penguins being affected by an oil spill which caused them to need sweaters for a time because the oil affected the way that they could (or couldn't) control their body heat.

Not wacky at all
Ms. B
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, picture
The illustrations will catch young readers and parents attentions. Know that this is not another cute penguin story, it's an environmental story about taking care of penguins after an oil spill. (view spoiler)
Victoria M
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Only in the author section did this book explain how sweaters for penguins isn't a good idea. I also didn't like that it pretty much ignored the fact that there was an oil spill that is dangerous to animals. I understand it's a cute children's book about how adorable penguins look in sweaters but I think it could have served better with a bit more information within the pages and not just under the author's note.
Rebecca Davis
This book was not quite what I expected. This story is based on a true story about an oil spill in the arctic. Instead of cleaning up the spill and taking care of the penguins, people started knitting sweaters for the penguins. I thought the story was a little choppy and the author doesn't explain whether the sweaters helped/hurt until the end in the author's note. Adding this into the story would have been helpful for younger readers. Overall a good environmental story for children and adults.
Juliana Lee
When a big oil spill threatens the penguins, people begin to knit sweaters to protect them from the oil. But after the photo shoot, the penguins lose the sweaters and dive back into the ocean. The backmatter tells the true story about a group of people who knit sweaters for the penguins but soon learned that the sweaters were bad for the other animals in the environment so now environmentalists use the sweaters people donate to raise money for the penguin relief.
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVE this book! The story is true and very entertaining, but even more important to me, it speaks to the competence of children of all ages - able to understand problem solving and empathy even when well meaning adults don't go about things in the best of ways. Such a fun read - captivating - "Look at you, Penguin - wearing a sweater!" I can't wait until all the children (and adults I know) know about this wonderful book! More please, Marikka Tamura!!!
This was an adorable yet educational title, and: YES, it is published by Penguin Young Readers! I like how it provides a good little story and a perfect way to start a conversation with young children (or not-so-young children) about ecological situations and animals. This would be great title to add to a penguin or polar storytime list, as well as a Penguin Awareness Day program (it's every January 20, in case you didn't know).

Thanks to Penguin Young Readers for the review copy.
Patricia McLaughlin
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
How I wish Tamura would have told the story about how and why she and her mother and sister knitted sweaters to save oil-soaked little blue penguins, as she describes in the Author’s Note. Instead, the story gets oily when the nameless, faceless “Big Boots” sweater knitters are introduced, turning what could have been a compelling story into a fragmented news bite. Clever illustrations, especially of the penguin wearing a Penguin Books logo, earn a third star.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: prek-books
The illustrations of the penguins in their sweaters are so darn cute! It's a really cute fictitious story loosely based on an real event. I really liked how the author wrote in the end how the idea came about and how sweaters for penguins isn't ideal (it can actually hurt them and the creatures around them).
The links on the same page are also helpful if you still want to learn more and/or help out penguins.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humane-education
Like many people, I picked this one up expecting a light fantasy story about cartoon penguins in sweaters. Instead, it contained a lesson about how oil spills affect wildlife such as penguins--and how people can help. The potentially upsetting subject matter is handled in a way that is extremely gentle, so much so that I think even the most sensitive kids will be able to enjoy and gain something from the book.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Fabulous illustrations. The text and the story as a whole were less than stellar. Yes the environment in incredibly important but this presents it as a very blasé issue. Oh we destroyed the penguins habitat? Don’t worry five people will take two hours to knit some sweaters and it will all be fine. Ahem. Yeah. No consequences.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Quirky title for this sad story of real life penguins injured by oil spillage. We learn the solution to help them is not to knit them sweaters, as some "Big Boots" did, but to clean their feathers. Helping, we see, is good, but finding the successful way to help is best. (End papers celebrate lots of knitting patterns.)
Michele Knott
This book surprised me because I did not think it was going to be a story about an oil spill. I found the author's note to be interesting and it filled in some of the questions I had about the story. I'm not sure all readers will pick up on the message of the story - or if they miss the author's note, not understand that sweaters aren't helpful.
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Super cute! And also a great message about good intentions not always working out well. This book is one of those borders between a picture book and non-fiction. It will make a really great read aloud book, that will incite conversations about how cute the penguins are, but how the sweaters are bad for them.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
I’m torn. The cover illustration is SO CUTE but also... misleading? This would be neat during a science unit but I guess I’m just thrown off. I really thought this was just going to be an adorable fiction book about penguins in sweaters.

3.5 stars
Kristina Jean Lareau
3.5 stars

Colorful, expressive and dynamic illustrations underscore a valuable message about the needs of animals in the environment.

However, I found the writing a bit stilted without true cohesion.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This book says that knitting sweaters for penguins can actually do MORE HARM THAN GOOD! WHAT?!
I'm glad I learned something new today. Also, highly recommend this book for any environmental storytime.
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