I love Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon for language lessons because of its simplicity in storyline and illustrations which leaves a lot to talk about that is implied. Penguin discovers “something curious,” a little pine cone in the snow. He couldn’t figure out what it was but felt that it was cold so got busy knitting a little scarf, just like his, for his new friend. He went sledding, swimming and played catch with Pinecone but got no reaction. Wise Grandpa recognized that Pinecone belongs in the forest, not on the cold ice. Penguin packed his sled, braved the cold and arrived at the forest. After making a cozy nest of pine needles, Penguin placed Pinecone in the hot forest and returned home. He couldn’t stop thinking about how his friend was faring. Penguin returned to the forest to a grand surprise. So many clever details provide added commentary to the story. Kids have actually seen things that I haven’t! I’ve used this book to
- Talk about comparisons: too brown to be a snowball, too hard to be food
- Describe the action of Penguin and Pinecone when they play
- Brainstorm, “What would you take on the journey?”
- Predict what will happen to Pinecone after he was left in the forest
- Compare before and after pictures of Pinecone wrapped in his orange scarf, placed in his nest between the large evergreens, the heart of stones encircling him, with the scene when Penguin returned to see a large pine tree.
- Talk about friendship–what you like to do with your friend, how you can help a friend, or a visit to a friend