"What's out there, where the sea meets the sky?"
"No penguin has been there."
"I might," said Ming.
Ming lives in Antarctica and is curious to visit the place where the ocean meets the sky. She leaps on to an iceberg as it breaks away from the ice shelf. As the iceberg drifts into warmer oceans, it gets smaller... and smaller... and Ming is all alone in the big blue sea. She is finally rescued by a kindly whale and delivered home, but her adventurous spirit is undiminished. Where will her dreams take her next?
Illustrated by Kimberly Andrews
What a wonderful time to get to review this book. It was perfect for Miss Five - like Ming, she had just started out on one of the biggest adventures of her life. She was a new entrant at primary school! Just as Ming had to be brave and independent, ready to aim for any new goal in order to learn and grow, Miss Five rose to the challenge. So, although Mr Three thoroughly enjoyed Ming's Iceberg, it was really Miss Five's book from the outset.
One of the most vital lessons Miss Five learned was that it is important to ask for help - from her teachers and her peers, but also from her family when she returns home and debriefs on what has happened during the day. Ming not only inspired Miss Five to seek this support, but also became more aware of her own role in helping other people in turn. This is such an important aspect of socialising for big kids as they start on their journey through school; Ming's experiences were a great learning tool in this area.
Born to be an explorer, Ming was on the go from the moment she hatched. Just as some human children are a challenge to their parents, pushing the boundaries to show how capable they are, Ming was driven by curiosity and a sense of wonder. She just had to explore the world, and when the opportunity arose to hitch a ride on a handy iceberg, she was not one to turn it down. Albert Ross the Albatross visited her and warned her about the heat, but Ming did not understand what he meant. However, she did notice that her iceberg was gradually shrinking. Luckily, Blue the Whale came to her rescue and made sure she got safely back home to Antarctica, a little wiser, but looking forward to boasting about her adventure.
The illustrations are a delight, with the blues and whites reflecting the natural surroundings of sky, sea, and ice. Against this backdrop, Ming's darker colouring makes her stand out. The other helpful creatures, too, are shown in darker outline so that they are easily visible in their blue-and-white world. We all loved the cover graphic with the whale standing on its head waving its tail in the air and the penguin sprawled comfortably on the iceberg watching. Ming looked as though she were quite relaxed about being rescued - not a care in the world!
At the end of the book is a section with facts about the three creatures who are the stars of the story - the albatross, the Antarctic blue whale, and of course the Emperor Penguin. All three have a special characteristic: the albatross has a huge wingspan, the whale is the largest mammal on earth, and the penguin is an expert swimmer. This is yet another learning opportunity for the young reader: to realise that everyone is unique and has a different skill set. Nobody can do everything, but when people work together, they are able to achieve far more than they could do on their own.
What a fantastic book. I really enjoyed reading this with my 3 year old and he loved pointing out the penguin's in the book and naming what he can see. It was child friendly and my son thought it was a great book, of course he said lets read it again afterwards. I have probably read it about 20 times now, as children like the books read over and over to them. The drawings are great, I like the colours in the pictures. The storyline is wonderful.
I feel this book is worth the price, the children would really enjoy it and get mush use from it. When kids enjoy a book and want it read over and over again then its good value for money. When I am able to, when my son lets me I will lend it to my bestie with a kid similar age as mine and see how they like it. I'm sure it will be a hit. I enjoy the Did you know fun facts at the end of the book as well, some great added infomation to learn for me and my child.
My oldest son who is 13 has over heard me reading this book over and over and he commented that it sounded like a cool story and would stop what he was doing to hear me reading it to my son. My wee girl who is one, she doesnt sit still long enough for a book, without wanting to rip pages, but she sits for about half the book while I read it, before she tries to yank out pages. A all round fabulous book and its been fun reading and reviewing it with the kids.
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