Project Description


Penguin’s Hidden Talent

by Alex Latimer

The talent show is coming up and Penguin doesn’t have a special talent to showcase—or does he?

All of Penguin’s friends are excited about the upcoming talent show, but Penguin can’t seem to figure out what his talent is. He tries juggling appliances with Bear, doing magic tricks with Rabbit, and burping the alphabet with Fox, but he doesn’t seem to be good at any of it. Stuck behind the scenes organizing, Penguin leaves the contest saddened, the only one who hasn’t received a medal. When his friends decide to throw him a party, but their festivities fizzle, Penguin discovers he might have some special skills after all as he sets to work planning them all the best party ever.

Author and illustrator Alex Latimer’s quirky charm lights up the pages of this entertaining picture book about finding your true talent. Latimer’s distinctive illustrations take the story beyond the text, adding humorous touches that will keep readers laughing on every page.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-629-1
Publication Date: 10/1/12
Page Count: 32
Size: 10-1/2″ x 9-1/4
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
AR Level: 2.6
GRL: L, Gr 2
Lexile: AD500L
Themes: Compassion, Friendship, Self-Discoery, Talent
BISAC 1: JUV019000 JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories
BISAC 2: JUV002000 JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / General
BISAC 3: JUV031000 JUVENILE FICTION / Performing Arts / General


“There are plenty of arch asides that parents will enjoy in this droll little book, which shows that it may be the stars who shine, but it’s those who provide the behind-the-scenes technical support and organizational know-how who actually put the show together.” ―The New York Times

“The illustrations are clean and simple, with a cool-toned palette, and lots of humor packed into them…This is a fun book to read, but it also carries the message that not everyone has to be good at the same things. Sometimes you really need a penguin to plan the party.” ―School Library Journal

“Lots of goofy interpolations add sauce to the story line…Latimer’s asides are quite funny, and the book is a standout in another category, too: not many picture books champion ordinary administrative skills.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Offbeat illustrations – stylized pencil drawings, digitized and then finished with color and texture – are delightfully droll. And he tucks many deadpan jokes into the story (the king’s pie chart indicates the proportional ingredients of a pie, for instance). Quirky, with a side of self-esteem.” ―Kirkus Reviews

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“Penguin is upset when he can’t figure out how to win the talent show. But when he realizes his true talent, all of his friends help him to celebrate.” ―MetroFamily Magazine

“A great winter read that celebrates all kinds of talent!” ―Rio Grande Family Magazine

“Delightfully written and illustrated by Alex Latimer, this sensational book is loaded with humor, wisdom, and a solid message of what it is to be a friend.” ―Books to Borrow, Books to Buy

“The story is simple but gives a great life-lesson to young readers” ―Madhouse Family Reviews

“I like that this book explores and explains that everyone is talented in their own way. Kids need to see that. It floors me that Mr. Latimer could do it in 25ish pages!” ―Maestra Amanda’s Bookshelf

“Witty, fresh, and the illustrations are funny yet sweet…seemingly simple yet filled with personality” ―Media Darlings

“A sweet story about how we are all good at something and that it isn’t always obvious. I love the illustrations” ―Red Ted’s Art

Read Less


Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Primary) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2013

Morning Calm Medal (Nominee) ―International Schools of Korea, 2014-2015

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Meet the Author/Illustrator

Alex Latimer lives in South Africa near the border of a national park. So when not writing or drawing, he spends his free time shooing baboons out of his lounge. He has written several picture books for children. You can visit his website here.