Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Penguin Lessons

The Penguin Lessons: A True Story'I was hoping against hope that the penguin would survive because as of that instant he had a name, and with his name came the beginning of a bond which would last a life-time.'

Tom Michell is in his roaring twenties: single, free-spirited and seeking adventure. He has a plane ticket to South America, a teaching position in a prestigious Argentine boarding school, and endless summer holidays. He even has a motorbike, Che Guevara style. What he doesn't need is a pet. What he really doesn't need is a pet penguin. Set against Argentina's turbulent years following the collapse of the corrupt PerĂ³nist regime, this is the heart-warming story of Juan Salvador the penguin, rescued by Tom from an oil slick in Uruguay just days before a new term. When the bird refuses to leave Tom's side, the young teacher has no choice but to smuggle it across the border, through customs, and back to school.

Whether it's as the rugby team's mascot, the housekeeper's confidant, the host at Tom's parties or the most flamboyant swimming coach in world history, Juan Salvador transforms the lives of all he meets - in particular one homesick school boy. And as for Tom, he discovers in Juan Salvador a compadre like no other... The Penguin Lessons is a unique and moving true story which has captured imaginations around the globe - for all those who dreamed as a child they might one day talk to the animals.

Hmmm...this book.  Aside from the cover being adorable, I couldn't help but absolutely fall head over heels for Juan Salvador.  I mean, a penguin, named Juan Salvador???  Instant love.  He is probably my most beloved animal in a book, because I so desperately wanted to have him for myself.  However, I wasn't always as in love with the direction of the story.  I realize it was a true story, but I wanted more about the penguin!  Rather than stories that didn't involve him, but involved the culture and politics of Argentina, I would have loved to hear from others about the affects of Juan on their lives.  We heard about the author and Diego, but I have to believe there was more.  I would have so much enjoyed it if the author would have been able to connect with those people from long ago to hear their accounts as well.  That's why the book only got 3 out of 5 stars from me because the star just wasn't showcased as much as I felt he needed to be to make it great.  In the meantime, I'm looking for a stray penguin...   

 * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *

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