Though children may struggle to understand its metaphor, at its most basic level, the message of Horácek’s timeless story of friendship and community is clear. Its elliptical telling suits the mixed-media illustrations, which emphasize Blue Penguin’s loneliness and isolation with broad swathes of highly textured whites and introduce color as much as the Antarctic landscape allows as friendship develops. Sweet.
Horáek’s simple story of an outsider earning group approval will resonate with readers, especially those who have themselves experienced ostracism. The mixed-media illustrations brim with hopeful colors (especially icy blues, but also vivid greens and a bright red sun) that reassure readers that all will eventually be well…Most important, Blue Penguin never complains about his situation; instead, he finds his own path to happiness and succeeds because of his positive attitude.
Richly hued blues and greens create an enchanting polar landscape, with splashes of white forming snowy scenes that are sometimes reminiscent of those in Eric Carle’s Dream Snow…This gorgeously illustrated story about the ups and downs of being different and the magic of music is recommended for most collections and is a good choice for a storytime about penguins or friendship.
—School Library Journal
A sensitive, charming story about those who don’t quite fit in, the importance of including others, friendship and forgiveness, "Blue Penguin" is a gem.
—Reading Eagle (Kendal Rautzhan’s "Books to Borrow")