#1309 – Duck and Penguin Do NOT Like Sleepovers by Julia Woolf



Duck and Penguin Do NOT Like Sleepovers
Written and Illustrated by Julia Woolf
Peachtree Publishing—Sept. 2020
32 Pages   Age 4—8

Genre:  Children’s Picture Book, Fiction
Themes: Sleepovers, Friendships



Duck and Penguin do not like sleepovers, despite what Betty and Maud might have you think. They do not like snuggly sleeping bags, they do not like supersoft pillows, and they ESPECIALLY do NOT like being extra cozy together in a teeny-weeny tiny tent!

But when Betty and Maud abandon them outside, Duck and Penguin have no choice but to stick together. The dark outside is full of strange noises, after all, and they have the oddest feeling that . . .something . . .is watching them. (from book jacket)

Opening Sentences

“This is Betty and Maud. They are best friends and they love spending time together. Especially with their favorite toys, Duck and Penguin . . . who aren’t thrilled.”

Why I like Duck and Penguin Do NOT Like Sleepovers

Betty and Maud are best friends. On this evening, they are having a sleepover in a teen-weeny tiny tent in the garden. Each has brought along their favorite toy:  Duck and Penguin. Duck and Penguin are not best friends. They do not like sleepovers, especially in teeny-weeny tiny tents. Betty says they will all be “nice and cozy” in their teeny-weeny tiny tent. Duck and Penguin cannot image they will be so nice or so cozy. Seems what the girls like to do, Duck and Penguin do not like. Or maybe it’s just because they are there together. Did I mention that Duck and Penguin are not fond of each other?

Everyone gets into their jammies, including the reluctant plushies Duck and Penguin. (They wear onesies, how cute!) Soon after drinking a fizzy pop the girls need to make a bathroom run, leaving their friends alone . . . in the dark . . . with strange noises . . . with ground-dwelling creepy crawlers . . . and both have an awful feeling . . . something is watching them. Duck grabs the flashlight and the two make a run for the house.

Very quickly, Duck and Penguin are lost! It’s dark and the strange noises are worse outside. The two toys, dressed in their onesie jammies, run back to the tent. In a hurry, Duck drops the flashlight. Finally safe and sound in the tent, Duck and Penguin decide it’s not too bad being in a the teeny-weeny tiny tent after all. But there is that feeling. Sometime during the night, that something crawls into the tent. Betty and Maud sleep in nice cozy beds. When they return to the tent, they find Duck and Penguin . . . and one other creature. What could it be?

Betty and Maud believe everything they like, Duck and Penguin like in equal measure. They do not. The two non-friends tend to get into little scuffles. The tent is a pop-up and when it “POPS!” Penguin is too close. The tent POPS . . . Penguin also pops, and flies through the air. The girls think Penguin is very clever, while Duck laughs. Then Duck trips over the ties hold the tent steady. Yep, Penguin laughs.

The girls share with their friends, trying to give Duck and Penguin bottles of fizzy pop; the red striped straw pokes far from their mouths. Everything is a disaster for Duck and Penguin. Seems the more Betty and Maud enjoy themselves; the more Duck and Penguin have an awful time. This all makes for a giggle story child will enjoy.

The illustrations add to the fun. Duck’s and Penguin’s facial expressions are hilarious, yet subtle. Duck and Penguin are having a pushing match right before the tent POPS. Taking another look, Duck does not trip over the tie-outs. No, Penguin pushes Duck into the tie-out, causing the yellow critter to trip, face-planting on the ground. Not friends. In the teeny-weeny tiny tent, the girls mention how “supersoft” their pillows are, and how much Duck and Penguin will love the pillows. They are totally oblivious to the fighting plushies to their left.

When Duck and Penguin are outside, children will be able to spot various animals, all of which Duck and Penguin do not like. Look closely and you might find the yellow-eyed creature that is definitely following Duck and Penguin (for once the two agree on something; having the same creepy feeling something is watching them). As the two high tail it back to the teeny-weeny tiny tent, those yellow eyes are close behind. Another favorite illustration has the yellow-eyed creature in shadow at the back of the tent, courtesy of the dropped flashlight. Duck and Penguin are in the shadow’s arms.

Duck and Penguin Do NOT Like Sleepovers will tickle the funny bone of children and adults. This is a story that must be looked at closely, else readers will miss a lot of Duck’s and Penguin’s antics. Betty and Maud don’t look closely. They are cute little girls, oblivious to their toy’s fighting, making the story that much more entertaining. Most children will have their own favorite “Duck” or “Penguin” plush toy. Hopefully, after reading Duck and Penguin Do NOT Like Sleepovers, these children will be more observant of their plushie’s feelings, likes, and dislikes, especially when sharing the night (or day) with a friend and their favorite plush toy. In a way, Duck and Penguin Do NOT Like Sleepovers, is a service announcement and should be read many times over. Teachers, librarians, and parents will find Duck and Penguin Do NOT Like Sleepovers is the perfect storytime book.

Duck and Penguin Do NOT Like Sleepovers is the sequel to Duck and Penguin Are NOT Friends. While both are wonderful stand-alone stories, it might be best to read the first story for a clue as to Duck’s and Penguin’s NOT-friendship. (I’m guessing, as I have not had the joy of reading the initial story.) Based on the sequel (which we all know is never as good as the first), I am betting, from reviews, that the first and second are both whimsically equal and can be read in any order. (So much for what we all know about sequels.)

Duck and Penguin stories should be in every plushy-loving child’s bookcase. I am hoping Julia Woolf loves her Duck and Penguin enough to keep writing—and illustrating—more of their outings with Betty and Maud.

Favorite Scene

This one is difficult to pin down. Every page is my favorite scene and makes me laugh. I love the irony between what the girls think Duck and Penguin like and what Duck and Penguin actually like—not much. So, let me tell you about the end-pages, which I think are a riot!

FRONT-END PAGES: On both end-pages Duck and Penguin go at each other in every vignette. On the left page Duck torments Penguin. Duck clicks the flashlight on and off, alternately throwing a beam of light into Penguin’s eyes and Duck squirts water at Penguin from a water bottle. On the right page it’s Penguin’s turn to aggravate Duck. Penguin throws items out of Duck’s backpack and stomps on Duck’s “supersoft” pillow. They fight over a blanket, each pulling hard pulling a blanket both want. I’m surprised it didn’t rip in two. Simply put, Duck and Penguin act horribly toward one another.

BACK END-PAGES:  Duck and Penguin are a happier pair after their terrifying sleepover. On both sides of the back end-pages, Duck and Penguin are getting along! The two work together without fighting, nap together in their onesie jammies, dance a happy dance, and burp up fizzy pop they consume together. And remember the blanket Duck and Penguin fought over on the front end-page? Still on opposite ends of a blanket, Duck and Penguin pull hard once more, this time in unison, sending Frog joyously into the air. Something has changed. Duck and Penguin are happy together and actually having fun—just like best friends.

To Learn More About Julia Woolf:  www.juliawoolfillustration.com

Available at Amazon:  Duck and Penguin Do NOT Like Sleepovers


Duck and Penguin Do NOT Like Sleepovers. Copyright © 2020 by Julia Woolf. Published by Peachtree Publishing Company, Atlanta, GA.


Copyright © 2020 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
[912—word count-review only]

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2 thoughts on “#1309 – Duck and Penguin Do NOT Like Sleepovers by Julia Woolf

    • I would love to tell you which creature is in the tent, but then the ending is kind of ruined. But, no, it’s not a puppy (no one is afraid of a puppy, not even plush toys . . .oh, dog toys can be plush, so yep, a puppy could be terrifying to Duck and Penguin, but it’s not).


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