A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Comic fantasy, meant to entertain. Kids learn the basics of werewolf lore -- transferred onto penguins.
Strong messages -- all delivered with humor --about forgiveness, trying your best, and the value of family in many forms.
Positive Role Models
There aren’t many positive role models for Bolt throughout the book, but Annika’s dad comes around in a big way when he sees her bravery, and Bolt himself is a constant force for good. There’s an orphan trying to save a town he barely knows, a young bandit who overcomes her stubbornness, characters who don’t let their pride get in the way of doing what’s right, and a huge focus on family.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Allan Woodrow’s The Curse of the Werepenguin takes absurd hilarity to another level, and blends it with a fast-paced, engaging story that would be sad if it wasn’t so funny. This wacky tale is full of “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” moments for the reader while having all the trappings of a tragedy: an orphan looking for his parents, a mean child-baron in a castle, a village under siege, bandits who plunder in the forest, and more. This zippy adventure will keep the attention of readers of many levels.
Is It Any Good?
This funny adventure takes a predictable plot and turns it on its side, adds humor and absurdity, and lets the reader enjoy the fabulous results. The pacing of The Curse of the Werepenguin is excellent; fast, with moments when the narrator jumps in that let the reader take a breath and think about the plot. This could easily have been a formulaic story, but that goes out the window as soon as author Allan Woodrow brings in the whale cult led by a guy who wields a stale loaf of French bread as a weapon, the friendly/sinister fortune teller, and of course, the premise of werepenguins who do battle by the light of the moon. Everything ties together in the end, and there’s a wonderful focus on how important family is, no matter what form it takes.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.