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My Penguin Osbert
Ages 4-8; Candlewick Press; September 2004

The Story: Each year at Christmas, Joe writes a letter to Santa describing what he’d like. But in the past they’ve had some misunderstandings. Last year, for example, Joe wanted a fire-engine-red racecar with retractable headlights. He did get one – but it wasn’t quite what he was looking for... This year Joe is really careful in his letter, and he gets just what he wants for Christmas – a real penguin! But living with a penguin is a little more complicated than Joe imagined. Is he cut out for this pet?

Inspiration: I love everything about Antarctica, especially penguins. I love the idea of all that ice and snow and wind, and I can imagine myself bundling up to hike through the winter wonderland. But when reality sets in, I can’t stand the cold, and I think that is how Osbert was born. Osbert, incidentally, is named for English writer Sir Osbert Sitwell.


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