100 books like A Visual Introduction to Penguins

By Bernard Stonehouse, Martin Camm (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that A Visual Introduction to Penguins fans have personally recommended if you like A Visual Introduction to Penguins. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Emperor Lays an Egg

Dyan deNapoli Author Of All about Penguins: Discover Life on Land and in the Sea

From my list on nonfiction about penguins for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a penguin expert, TED speaker, and lifelong animal lover. After getting a BS degree in Animal Science, I became a Penguin Aquarist at Boston’s New England Aquarium. For 9 years, I took care of the penguins there and educated visitors during daily talks. In 2000, I helped manage the rescue of 40,000 penguins from an oil spill in South Africa. (With the help of 12,500 volunteers, we saved most of them!) I founded my educational company The Penguin Lady in 2005, and speak at schools, universities, libraries, for TED-Ed and TEDx, and on National Geographic’s ships in Antarctica. I love sharing my knowledge, and passion for penguins with others!

Dyan's book list on nonfiction about penguins for kids

Dyan deNapoli Why did Dyan love this book?

This charming book gives a very comprehensive overview of the life and breeding cycle of the Emperor penguin. And it does so in simple - but entertaining - language, making the information very accessible for younger children. The large, graphic illustrations on each page are very eye-catching, and are sure to engage young children. (Even younger than the recommended age range for this book.) While this book talks about the many challenges that both parents face during the long breeding season, it focuses more on the male penguin’s job of incubating and protecting the egg while his mate is off at sea for two months. (The next book on this list focuses on the female penguin’s job during the breeding season.) Best for ages 4-8.

By Brenda Z. Guiberson, Joan Paley (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Emperor Lays an Egg as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

All the other wild creatures have left the Antarctic. The wind is too cold and the sun does not shine during the long, dark months of winter. But the father emperor stays behind with thousands of other fathers. Each of them takes care of an egg . . .

Follow as a penguin grows from egg to adulthood
in the coldest place on earth

In the middle of winter, in the coldest place on earth, the mother emperor penguin lays her egg. The father rolls the egg onto his feet and keeps it warm. He doesn't eat or even move…


Book cover of A Mother's Journey

Dyan deNapoli Author Of All about Penguins: Discover Life on Land and in the Sea

From my list on nonfiction about penguins for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a penguin expert, TED speaker, and lifelong animal lover. After getting a BS degree in Animal Science, I became a Penguin Aquarist at Boston’s New England Aquarium. For 9 years, I took care of the penguins there and educated visitors during daily talks. In 2000, I helped manage the rescue of 40,000 penguins from an oil spill in South Africa. (With the help of 12,500 volunteers, we saved most of them!) I founded my educational company The Penguin Lady in 2005, and speak at schools, universities, libraries, for TED-Ed and TEDx, and on National Geographic’s ships in Antarctica. I love sharing my knowledge, and passion for penguins with others!

Dyan's book list on nonfiction about penguins for kids

Dyan deNapoli Why did Dyan love this book?

This captivating book details the female Emperor penguin’s extraordinary journey during the long breeding season. In gorgeous prose - that includes detailed information very rarely found in other children’s books about this species - author Sandra Markle shares remarkable insights about the many challenges faced by the female Emperor penguin in preparation for raising her chick. This includes a long trek across sea-ice to the open ocean, where she hunts for two months to fill her belly with food for her soon-to-be-born chick. The beautiful illustrations help young readers visualize the many different aspects of her journey. I can guarantee that nearly every adult who reads this book with their children or students will also learn many details about Emperor penguins that they didn’t know before. Best for ages 4-8.

By Sandra Markle, Alan Marks (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Mother's Journey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Acclaimed nonfiction author Sandra Markle presents the daring story of a mother emperor penguin's struggle to reach the sea, find food, avoid predators, and make her way back to her mate and their newborn chick before they starve. Alan Marks' luminous illustrations highlight the harsh conditions and stunning landscapes of Antarctica.


Book cover of Penguins! Strange and Wonderful

Dyan deNapoli Author Of All about Penguins: Discover Life on Land and in the Sea

From my list on nonfiction about penguins for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a penguin expert, TED speaker, and lifelong animal lover. After getting a BS degree in Animal Science, I became a Penguin Aquarist at Boston’s New England Aquarium. For 9 years, I took care of the penguins there and educated visitors during daily talks. In 2000, I helped manage the rescue of 40,000 penguins from an oil spill in South Africa. (With the help of 12,500 volunteers, we saved most of them!) I founded my educational company The Penguin Lady in 2005, and speak at schools, universities, libraries, for TED-Ed and TEDx, and on National Geographic’s ships in Antarctica. I love sharing my knowledge, and passion for penguins with others!

Dyan's book list on nonfiction about penguins for kids

Dyan deNapoli Why did Dyan love this book?

This wonderful book is informative, very comprehensive, and visually stunning. It covers everything from the first recorded penguins, to their locations, their feeding and breeding behaviors, their predators, and the various threats to penguins - both historically and in the present. But this is in no way a dry, “just the facts, ma'am” book about penguins. The scientific information about penguin biology and behavior is told in a very engaging way, and it is enhanced by absolutely gorgeous and lifelike watercolor illustrations. This book provides a thorough, age-appropriate overview of the lives of penguins, and is one of my favorite books for both the content and the beautiful illustrations. Best for ages 7-10.

By Laurence Pringle, Meryl Learnihan Henderson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Penguins! Strange and Wonderful as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Laurence Pringle's fascinating and informative book, with stunning illustrations by Meryl Henderson, introduces young readers to the life and behavior of one of nature's most remarkable-and most popular-birds. The seventeen species of penguin come in all sizes and live in a surprising range of habitats. Readers familiar with the emperor penguin that stands almost four feet tall and lives in the Antarctic may be surprised to encounter the little blue penguin that's only about sixteen inches high and hops ashore into the green forests of southern Australia and southern New Zealand. This book is packed with such a wealth of…


Book cover of The Great Penguin Rescue: Saving the African Penguins

Dyan deNapoli Author Of All about Penguins: Discover Life on Land and in the Sea

From my list on nonfiction about penguins for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a penguin expert, TED speaker, and lifelong animal lover. After getting a BS degree in Animal Science, I became a Penguin Aquarist at Boston’s New England Aquarium. For 9 years, I took care of the penguins there and educated visitors during daily talks. In 2000, I helped manage the rescue of 40,000 penguins from an oil spill in South Africa. (With the help of 12,500 volunteers, we saved most of them!) I founded my educational company The Penguin Lady in 2005, and speak at schools, universities, libraries, for TED-Ed and TEDx, and on National Geographic’s ships in Antarctica. I love sharing my knowledge, and passion for penguins with others!

Dyan's book list on nonfiction about penguins for kids

Dyan deNapoli Why did Dyan love this book?

I’m sure I’m biased, but I love that this book picks up where my book with the same title (for adults) leaves off. I’m very pleased that the author has highlighted the important conservation story of the African penguin (an endangered species), and the efforts to save it, including the hand-raising of African penguin chicks. The author discusses in detail the many ways that humans have impacted this species - both negatively and positively. This is definitely a book for older children, as it talks about the various threats to penguins, which could be upsetting information for younger children. But, for older children wanting to understand how a species becomes endangered, and how humans can help save those animals, this is a highly informative book. Best for ages 9-12.

By Sandra Markle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great Penguin Rescue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

African penguins waddle around nesting colonies in lower numbers than ever before. Despite South African government efforts to protect the penguin colonies and their ocean fish supply, young penguins still struggle to survive. Fuzzy chicks waiting for food in open nests may overheat in the sun or become prey. Others simply may not get enough food to survive on their own once their parents leave. But new conservation methods, including rescuing and hand-feeding vulnerable chicks, are giving experts hope. Can volunteers and scientists help save Africa's only penguins before it's too late?


Book cover of The Penguins: Spheniscidae (Bird Families of the World, No. 2)

Dyan deNapoli Author Of The Great Penguin Rescue: 40,000 Penguins, a Devastating Oil Spill, and the Inspiring Story of the World's Largest Animal Rescue

From my list on penguins for adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a penguin expert, TED speaker, and life-long animal lover. I was a Senior Penguin Aquarist at Boston’s New England Aquarium, where I worked for 9 years. In 2000, I helped manage the rescue of 40,000 penguins from the Treasure oil spill in South Africa. I founded my educational company The Penguin Lady in 2005, and give presentations at schools, universities, libraries, conferences (including the International Penguin Conference), and on National Geographic’s ships in Antarctica. I’ve given 4 TEDx talks, wrote and narrated a TED-Ed video about penguin conservation, and am a frequent guest expert on radio, podcasts, and TV in the US and abroad whenever penguins hit the news.

Dyan's book list on penguins for adults

Dyan deNapoli Why did Dyan love this book?

For serious penguin geeks, this book has long been the penguin bible. If you’re looking for scientifically accurate information about the biology and behavior of each penguin species, this is a fantastic reference book. Written by a leading ornithologist who has done field research on penguins, The Penguins gives a very comprehensive overview of each species, with detailed information about everything from breeding biology, to foraging ecology, to physical measurements, and much more. There are many illustrations and graphs as well. (The Penguins is manna for natural-science geeks and hard-core bird nerds.)

By Tony D. Williams, J.N. Davies (illustrator), John Busby (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Penguins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bird Families of the World is a multivolume series of handbooks, intended to serve the interests of both the professional scientist and the serious amateur ornithologist. Each volume will provide a comprehensive and accurate synthesis of our knowledge of one bird family or several related families. In each book the reader will find: * Six to nine general chapters on the biology, feeding ecology, breeding behaviour, evolutionary relationships, and conservation of the family * Specially commissioned colour plates by a leading artist, showing both sexes and juveniles of all species and many subspecies * Black and white drawings illustrating special…


Book cover of Reggie: Kid Penguin

Jay Cooper Author Of Styx and Scones in the Sticky Wand: Ready-to-Read Graphics Level 2

From my list on silly early graphics readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I take “silly” graphic books quite seriously: I’m a firm believer that encouraging young people to read for pure enjoyment creates lifelong readers. Originally a reluctant reader myself, it was primarily graphic books that strengthened my reading skills, my vocabulary, and that ultimately turned me into a fierce advocate for literacy. Now a professional creative, I try to share my love of books and graphic books by paying it forward and creating my own books that I hope will resonate with readers and turn them into strong readers as well! 

Jay's book list on silly early graphics readers

Jay Cooper Why did Jay love this book?

Even though Reggie, Kid Penguin isn’t in the Ready-To-Read graphics series, it’s a very sweet book with a lovable main character, Reggie.

This is a longer book, but is separated into short tales… Readers will be able to read as much as they want, or take the book one small chunk at a time. Jen’s art and colors are so delightful to navigate, and I adore her typography. I’m sure that Reggie will become a favorite of your household!

By Jen de Oliveira,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reggie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Fans of Babymouse and Owly will love this early graphic novel series about the everyday adventures and high jinks of Reginald "Reggie" Guinn, a little kid penguin with a big personality! Reggie is just like any other kid: always looking for fun and adventure! But Reggie's curious, playful side sometimes gets him into trouble. Like when he tries to give himself a haircut before picture day...and ends up gluing his feathers back on his head! Or when he sneaks a mouthful of cookie dough from the kitchen...then feels the sun baking cookies in his tummy! Or when his babysitter puts…


Book cover of Smithsonian Q & A: Penguins: The Ultimate Question & Answer Book

Dyan deNapoli Author Of The Great Penguin Rescue: 40,000 Penguins, a Devastating Oil Spill, and the Inspiring Story of the World's Largest Animal Rescue

From my list on penguins for adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a penguin expert, TED speaker, and life-long animal lover. I was a Senior Penguin Aquarist at Boston’s New England Aquarium, where I worked for 9 years. In 2000, I helped manage the rescue of 40,000 penguins from the Treasure oil spill in South Africa. I founded my educational company The Penguin Lady in 2005, and give presentations at schools, universities, libraries, conferences (including the International Penguin Conference), and on National Geographic’s ships in Antarctica. I’ve given 4 TEDx talks, wrote and narrated a TED-Ed video about penguin conservation, and am a frequent guest expert on radio, podcasts, and TV in the US and abroad whenever penguins hit the news.

Dyan's book list on penguins for adults

Dyan deNapoli Why did Dyan love this book?

This is an incredibly informative and fun book! The author is a field researcher who has written many books about penguins - all imbued with his cheeky sense of humor. The Q&A format makes this book easily digestible for both adults and kids. Each themed chapter has many questions that are answered with a few paragraphs and photos. The answers are both detailed and succinct. The Q&A format even works well for those with dementia. When my father had Alzheimer’s, and could no longer comprehend what he was reading, he actually read this book for a few solid hours, often turning to me to say, “Did you know that penguins could…[x, y, z]?” I already loved this book - but this gave it a permanent special place in my heart.

By Lloyd Spencer Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Smithsonian Q & A as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There is a whole lot more to these adorable tuxedo adorned birds than meets the eye. Penguins are remarkable creatures with fascinating behaviors. SMITHSONIAN Q & A: PENGUINS refutes common myths and reveals often–unknown facts as it answers hundreds of unusual and fascinating questions about the complex courting, breeding, and eating habits of penguins.

Why can't penguins fly?

Do penguins make nests like other birds?

Why do penguins fast annually?

Do mates remain faithful for just one season, or for a lifetime?

Hundreds of full–color photographs and illustrations enhance and illustrate the text. Published in association with the Smithsonian.


Book cover of Penguin

Petr Horacek Author Of A Best Friend for Bear

From my list on illustrations that inspire reading and writing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning author and illustrator of 20 board books and over 20 picture books, who very occasionally illustrates books for other authors too. I was born in Czechoslovakia, but have spent the second half of my life in England. 

Petr's book list on illustrations that inspire reading and writing

Petr Horacek Why did Petr love this book?

Penguin is a beautifully designed picture book. It is a book with unexpected surprises, a book about feelings, empathy, and understanding. I think every child can find something in this book with which they can identify. The book is funny and the illustrations are lovely. 

By Polly Dunbar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Penguin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Ben is delighted when he rips open his present and finds a penguin inside. "Hello, Penguin!" says Ben. Penguin says nothing. Ben tickles Penguin; he pulls his funniest face; he puts on a happy hat, sings a silly song and does a dizzy dance. "Can't you talk?" says Ben. Penguin says nothing. It isn't until a passing lion intervenes that Penguin finally speaks...and when he does, Ben discovers something that was really worth the wait.


Book cover of Spill: Saving Africa's Oiled Penguins

Dyan deNapoli Author Of The Great Penguin Rescue: 40,000 Penguins, a Devastating Oil Spill, and the Inspiring Story of the World's Largest Animal Rescue

From my list on penguins for adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a penguin expert, TED speaker, and life-long animal lover. I was a Senior Penguin Aquarist at Boston’s New England Aquarium, where I worked for 9 years. In 2000, I helped manage the rescue of 40,000 penguins from the Treasure oil spill in South Africa. I founded my educational company The Penguin Lady in 2005, and give presentations at schools, universities, libraries, conferences (including the International Penguin Conference), and on National Geographic’s ships in Antarctica. I’ve given 4 TEDx talks, wrote and narrated a TED-Ed video about penguin conservation, and am a frequent guest expert on radio, podcasts, and TV in the US and abroad whenever penguins hit the news.

Dyan's book list on penguins for adults

Dyan deNapoli Why did Dyan love this book?

This is the only other book for adults (besides mine) about the world’s largest animal rescue, when 40,000 penguins were rescued from the Treasure oil spill in Cape Town, South Africa. Spill is written by six individuals from various organizations who headed up this groundbreaking rescue effort. At just 96 pages, and featuring numerous dramatic photos, this 8x12” softcover is more of a coffee table book. The riveting stories are all told by rescuers who were on the front lines of this historic event. The compelling photographs by award-winning photographer, Jon Hrusa, bring the reader face to face with the oiled penguins and their polluted environment. Published in South Africa, Spill is out of print, but rare copies occasionally pop up online. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for.

By International Fund for Animal Welfare,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World

Emma Darwin Author Of This is Not a Book About Charles Darwin: a writer’s journey through my family

From my list on failing to write a book.

Why am I passionate about this?

Alongside writing, I’ve been running workshops, teaching and mentoring writers for nearly twenty years, helping people get unstuck and keep going. So I spend most of my working life thinking about creativity and writing—then suddenly I, too, couldn’t write the book I needed to write. Every book in this list is about not-writing for different reasons, in different circumstances, but between them they tell us so much about how we write, why we write, how we get writing to happen—and what’s happening when we can’t. These very different stories resonate with each other, and I hope some of them resonate with you.

Emma's book list on failing to write a book

Emma Darwin Why did Emma love this book?

This was the book that had just sold to great acclaim when my own book was looking for a publisher. Like almost all of us, Stevens was desperate for peace, quiet and freedom from distractions so she could write her first novel. But she went further than most of us would dare: an uninhabited island off the Falklands. Yet on Bleaker Island every forward move she tried to make with the novel got tangled up in the impossibility of avoiding her self, her past, and how she got here. Writing does that—and it’s often also absurd, as Stevens knows too. I loved this book.

By Nell Stevens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bleaker House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Perfect' Lena Dunham 'This year's literary sensation' Evening Standard

How far would you travel to become a writer?
8000 miles from home
1085 calories a day
3 months to write the novel that would make her name

At least that was the plan. But when Nell Stevens travelled to Bleaker Island in the Falklands (official population: two) she didn't count on the isolation getting to her . . .

Hilarious and heartbreaking, this is a book about loneliness and creativity. It is about discovering who you are when there's no one else around. And it's about what to do when…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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