A Goofy Guide to Penguins

A Goofy Guide to PenguinsA Goofy Guide to Penguins
Written by: Jean-Luc Coudray
Illustrated by: Philippe Coudray
Publisher: TOON Books
Format: Hardcover, 9 x 6, 40 pages, Full Color, $12.95
ISBN: 978-1-93517-996-2


Goofy is right! Silly humor and ingenious penguin questions and answers abound in this first through third grade early reader comic.

Because I believe that educators and students will surely find many likable, silly snippets about penguins on their own in A Goofy Guide to Penguins I'll share two of my favorites just to help readers better understand the craft and structure of this early reader comic.

1. On page 12, panel 1 the question is: "How do penguins know that they reached the South Pole?" The answer: The next panel supplies the punchline. And so on and so one with this double-panel-punch format until all the goofy penguin knowledge is shared.
2. On page 19, panel 1 the question is: "The sun shines sideways at the South Pole?" Just like before, the goofy penguin punchline is delivered in the next panel.

Just as witty as Philippe Coudray's hit Benjamin Bear, A Goofy Guide to Penguins will not only pleasantly surprise the reader with all of its ingenuity, but also seriously question just how deeply they have thought about asking questions about penguins, or any other animal for that matter.

English Language Arts Elements of Story

Plot(s): The guiding questions in this early reader comic: "What do you know about penguins? Is what you know fact, fiction, or just plain silly?" The Coudray twins have some clever, laugh-out-loud answers for you in A Goofy Guide to Penguins.

Major Characters: Various Penguins, whale, fish

Major Settings: South Pole, On Top of the Ice, Underneath the Ice, Seasons, Swimming in the Ocean

Major Themes: Instinct, Sticking Together, Facts and Funnies, Clever ("out of the box") Questions, Behavior, Relationships with Other Animals, Puns

Reading/Literacy Recommendations For Young Adult Readers in Language Arts Grades 1 - 3

Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.

*The fourth grade standard Literacy.RL.4.6 encompasses the same standard in grades 1 - 3 so it is referenced here as symbolic of the ultimate higher grade level goal.

Guided Reading Lesson Idea for Language Arts Readers in Grades 4 - 8

Directions: Choose three of your favorite goofy penguin stories. Draw them in the boxes provided (with their punchlines).

Choice # 1











Choice #2











Choice #3










Finally, make a list of how your three choices compare (are similar), and / or contrast (are different).








Dr. Katie Monnin is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of North Florida. Besides the joy that comes with reading comic books and graphic novels, Dr. Monnin enjoys a Peter Pan-ish life of researching and writing her own books about teaching comics, graphic novels, and cartoons: Teaching Graphic Novels (2010), Teaching Early Reader Comics and Graphic Novels (2011), Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning (2012), Teaching Reading Comprehension with Graphic Texts (2013), and Get Animated! Teaching 21st Century Early Reader and Young Adult Cartoons in Language Arts (2014); Teaching New Literacies in Elementary Language Arts (2015). When she is not writing (or sitting around wondering how she ended up making an awesome career out of studying comics and graphic novels), Dr. Monnin spends her time with her three wiener dogs, Samantha, Max, and Alex Morgan Monnin.