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Pablo the White Penguin

by kabclarky 

Posted: 05 November 2011
Word Count: 537
Summary: A picture book for the 3-7 range - this is in prose - which I'm afraid I'm not very good at, so all hints and advice welcome.

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Pablo the White Penguin

Pablo was a little different from the other penguins... he was totally white. Sometimes they teased
him, and that made him a little sad.

Today the penguins waddled a long way to the nesting ground. Mum sat on the nest and out popped
three eggs. PLOP PLOP PLOP. She sat on them to keep them warm, for many days, until...

“It’s sooooo cold,” shouted a penguin as he shivered. “Brrrrrrr.”
“Storm clouds are coming,” said Pablo.
“I don’t like it at all, I’m scared,” whispered another.
Mum watched the clouds gather and the first flakes of snow fall heavily.
“Oh my,” she said. “This looks like trouble.”

The penguins shivered and shook. “Can we go back to the sea?”
“But what about my eggs?” asked mum.
Pablo moved beside her. “I’ll look after them,”
Mum stroked his face, “It’s not safe for you alone,”
The other penguins shrieked and honked as the blizzard swirled.
“I’ll be fine,” Pablo hugged her. “Take the others to safety,”
Mum kissed him goodbye, and he sat down gently on the eggs.

The storm raged, and Pablo sat still, keeping the eggs warm. Suddenly he heard a noise. Footsteps
came closer, and closer... scurry scurry, scratch. It was a very hungry fox.
“What’s that I smell?” sniffed the fox. But Pablo was hidden against the white snow. He didn’t move.
“Where are you? I can’t see you... I can’t find you...”

“SO THEN I CAN’T EAT YOU!” he yelled. And off the hungry fox ran.
The storm raged on, and Pablo stayed still, he would not leave the eggs. Suddenly he heard a noise.
It came closer and closer, snuffle, snuffle, snuffle. It was a very hungry wolf.
“What’s that I smell?” shouted the wolf. But he couldn’t see Pablo either.
Pablo didn’t move.
“Where are you? I can’t see you. I can’t find you...

“SO THEN I CAN’T EAT YOU!” he howled. And off the wolf ran.
The wind howled, and the snow was thick, and still Pablo refused to leave the precious eggs.
Suddenly he heard a noise. It came closer and closer. Grrrr, Grrrr Grrrrr. It was a giant grizzly bear.
“What’s that I smell?” roared the grizzly bear. He couldn’t see Pablo anywhere.
Pablo didn’t move.
“Where are you? I can’t see you. I can’t find you...”

“SO THEN I CAN’T EAT YOU!” he roared. And off the grizzly bear ran.
Finally the storm stopped, and the snow began to melt.
Pablo was tired and hungry, but still he kept the eggs warm.
Suddenly he felt something...something rather strange.

He felt the eggs move. Wiggle wiggle They moved again. Wiggle wiggle.
“Oh my,” said Pablo.
And then, suddenly he heard a noise. ..

“PABLO!” The penguins shouted as they returned.
Mum hugged him.
“The fox, the wolf and the grizzly bear couldn’t even see me.” He laughed.
“You’ve been so brave,” they said.
And then suddenly, there was a noise...

Everyone stared at Pablo. He gently lifted off the eggs; each egg had a crack.
The penguins all agreed.
“You are indeed a special penguin Pablo.”
And Pablo simply smiled... as three totally white baby penguins broke open their shells.

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Comments by other Members

Freebird at 13:35 on 05 November 2011  Report this post
This is lovely! It has danger, elements of growing up, and in the end he's not the only white penguin! And of course it teaches about camouflage! I can picture the illustrations already - check out Tina MacNaughton's illustrations of a book set in the Arctic (not One Snowy Night - there's another one. I think it's callef Where Snowflakes Fall).

My only comment would be to wonder whether it might be worth making slightly more of the issue of Pablo being different. Often in these sorts of tales (from The Ugly Duckling onwards), being different is something painful to deal with, which makes it all the more of a triumph when that very difference is what proves to win the day.

It's a delightful tale, though. You're certainly prolific


random bizarre occurrence - I started writing a picture book recently, and the mc was called Pablo! Not a penguin though ;)


on re-reading, I see that you have mentioned Pablo being teased, so ignore what I said (unless to realise that I skipped over a little too easily. I suppose in a picture book, when each page is relished separately, that wouldn't happen)

beloscoli3 at 14:17 on 05 November 2011  Report this post
AAAAAAwwwwwwwwwww that was lovely. It made me think that even though something/someone is unusual, it/they can be very special.

kabclarky at 10:53 on 06 November 2011  Report this post

Many thanks for your comments, much appreciated. I take on board your comments Freebird about making more of Pablo being different, and will adjust the opening.

Little freaky though both of using the name Pablo.

I do find when writing prose, that it feels slightly stilted, compared to writing in rhyme, something to work on.

Anyway, many thanks again both of you.


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