The Journey of the Penguin by Emiliano Ponzi

If you are a literary nerd (I mean that in a good way, honest), a fan of publishers, or just fascinated by book illustration you will want to check out The Journey of the Penguin by Emiliano Ponzi:

To celebrate 80 years of Penguin Books, a charming picture book that tells the imagined story of the penguin who waddled his way into history as the symbol of a beloved publisher

A lonely Antarctic penguin, dreaming of adventure, sets off on a long swim north. Arriving at last in London in 1935, he encounters the chance of a lifetime: auditions are on to find the face of a brand new publishing house. The penguin wins, of course, and so begins an adventure that takes him on to New York and into the hearts of readers around the world.

In The Journey of the Penguin, award-winning graphic artist Emiliano Ponzi delivers a boldly illustrated, wildly imaginative, and terrifically fun story—told entirely through image—that brings to life the “dignified yet flippant” bird chosen eighty years ago by Allen Lane as the name and icon of his revolutionary publishing business. With cameo appearances by legendary Penguin authors including Jack Kerouac, Arthur Miller, and Dorothy Parker, this exquisite, one-of-a-kind book celebrates the enduring appeal of storytelling.

The illustrations really are wonderful and the book sparks the imagination as the reader must tell the story in their own way based only on pictures rather than text.  There is a simplicity and elegance about the illustrations.  Yet, it is interesting how much action and emotion can be conveyed within that simplicity.


As I said, fans of Penguin Books, Ponzi, and/or publishing and illustration in general would enjoy this gem.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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