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Reviewed by Pieta Hyland, teacher, Edendale Primary School, Southland
Opening sentence
Hey Big Blue. Guess what?
This is a cute series of mini stories based around two penguin friends navigating their relationship.The characters in this story are endearing and relatable for kids. Most tamariki have found themselves in similar situations to the two friends and I can see links to sibling relationships and friend relationships. The concepts relate to well being and hauora, showcasing important parts of growing up and managing ourselves in today's busy world. In the story ‘Space’ where Bigsies uses the calm down strategy of alone time.

Finishing each story with 'fun friend facts' links back to the main idea of the story and is something you could have up in your classroom or refer back to when the tamariki are having friendship problems.

From a direct teaching perspective I really like the idiom 'stop the bus'; it creates explicit teaching points for older primary children, I would have liked there to be more.

The illustrations are inspiring for students, they are simple but effective in their use, and something that could be used as modelling for teaching how to create digital images. I would recommend this book to be in a browsing box or read to the whole class for a health/hauora lesson. My children also really enjoyed reading this book.
Author & Illustrator: Raymond McGrath
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9781775438342
Format: Paperback
Publication: Aug 2023
Ages: 5-7 years
Themes: Friendship and feelings