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Penguin Flies Home by Lita Judge

Even fifth graders can’t help but love a penguin story, especially when the penguin has “the soul of an eagle!”  This is Lita Judge’s sequel to Flight School, which is another one of my favorite picture books.  She creates amusing stories that teach wonderful life lessons.  The theme of this book is friendship. It could be the springboard for some rich classroom discussions about accepting differences and supporting your friends’ interests, even if they aren’t the same as your own.

My students loved the personality of this unusual penguin.  They described him as cute, funny, and passionate about flying.  They cheered as he followed his dreams and flew (with a little help from flamingo) on a field trip to the South Pole.  We all adored his goggles!

The author and illustrator’s craft was a topic of discussion in our classroom.  My class noticed…

  • the repetition: 

“First, you flip, flap,

flip, flap, flap.

And then 


jump up,




  • the alliteration:

 “they flipped and flapped for days”

  • the sensory details:

“Penguin loved everything about flying:

the feel of the wind beneath his wings,

the song that rose from his little round belly,

the sight of new and wonderful places.”

  • the creative illustrations

  • and the scrapbook pages on the endsheets

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