The book bunnies naturally love bunnies, but the whole family also has a special place in their hearts for penguins. And many children’s book authors seem to agree that penguins make great characters. Caramel has already reviewed several books about them; see Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story by Salina Yoon, Penguins Hate Stuff by Greg Stones, And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, Penguin Pete by Marcus Pfister, and The Trouble with Penguins by Rebecca Jordan-Glum. (Even Marshmallow has reviewed one; see Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater.) Today Caramel is talking to Sprinkles about another book with penguin heroes: Spy Penguins: Golden Egg, written by Sam Hay and illustrated by Marek Jagucki.
Sprinkles: Okay Caramel, you got this chapter book a while ago, and finally you decided to talk about it for the blog. Perhaps we just needed to finish all the dragon books in the house first.
Caramel: Yup. And don’t forget pangolin books!
S: I guess those dragons and pangolins are always going to be your favorites. But it seems that penguins come quite close.
C: Yes, penguins might be possibly my third favorite creatures. But if you include robots, then maybe penguins might be fourth on my list. Still I like them a lot.
S: I know. You already reviewed several books for the blog about them. But let us focus on this one now. What is Spy Penguins: Golden Egg about?
C: It is about two penguins named Jackson and Quigley, who want to be spies. They are young though; at least Jackson is still living with his parents. Still, they want to join the FBI and solve crimes.
S: What is the FBI? Is it the Federal Bureau of Investigation?
C: No, no, no! It is the Frosty Bureau of Investigation!
S: Hmm, this kind of reminds me of the book N.E.R.D.S. that you reviewed a while back. There, too, you had a bunch of characters who were solving crimes.
C: Yes, Jackson and Quigley also have gadgets and gizmos, like the kids from N.E.R.D.S. But they are penguins and actually they are too young for the FBI. Still they try to solve crimes. Even when they are told not to. Which is kind of like Harry Potter, who never listens to the grownups in his life.
S: I know, right? It seems that a lot of book characters don’t listen to the grownups in their lives and get mixed up in all sorts of things. But sometimes they turn out to be fun and exciting. So tell me what kinds of crimes are Jackson and Quigley working to solve?
C: In this book, there is a criminal named Icejob, who has escaped from prison. And the two spy penguins try to find him.
S: And what is the golden egg in the title?
C: There is a game called the Golden Egg Games, which is kind of like the Olympics. It happens every ten years. And the winner, the caretaker and the egg, get rewarded.
S: Wait, so you are supposed to run or do some athletic stuff with an egg??
C: Pretty much. And Jackson is taking care of his sibling egg because his mom is sick. And so the two of them, Jackson and the egg, play in the Golden Egg Games, and —
S: Hey! No big spoilers! How is the Golden Egg game related to the criminal Icejob?
C: Well, Icejob steals the Golden Egg and the egg which is supposed to become Jackson’s sibling.
S: So is the Golden Egg like a trophy you get when you win the Golden Egg Games?
C: No. It is a giant golden egg, and the winners’ names are written on it.
S: Hmm. Kind of like the record of the history of the games, then?
C: Yes, I think you could say that.
S: Hmm, this all sounds quite fun and exciting. I’m guessing those two words might be some of your words for this book, am I right?
C: Yep. I’d say, fun, exciting, and funny. And there are neat pictures in the book, too.
S: I can see you liked the book Caramel. Did you know this was one of a series of books about these two penguins?
C: Yes. This is apparently book three in a series.
S: Did you know it when you began to read the book?
C: Not really, but you figure it out soon enough. It did say some things about some characters and events from the earlier books.
S: Hmm, but it seemed like you still enjoyed the book, even though you had not read the first two books.
C: Yes. I think you could definitely enjoy this without having read the first two books. But now I want to read them!
S: We’ll see if we can find copies to get in your paws some time Caramel.
C: And this third book kind of ends with a cliffhanger. What I mean is that there is some new mystery that we learn about.
S: Kind of like in The Menagerie, then.
C: Right. The main story of this book is finished, but there are hints about the next adventure, and I want to learn more!
S: I don’t know if there will be a fourth book though, Caramel. I did not see anything about it online. So maybe the author might have been thinking of writing a fourth book, but I’m not sure if she ended up doing so.
C: Oh I hope she does! I want to read more about these spy penguins!
S: I can see that! But perhaps this is a good time to wrap up this review. What do you want to tell our readers?
C: First I want to say to the author: please please please write a fourth book. And then maybe some more!
S: Okay… And to our readers?
C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!