Pepe the Penguin is so happy! Winter is over and spring has finally arrived. He stretches his wings, waddles around and then decides that he better get down to business and start building his first nest.
As Pepe walks around the "rookery" (a breeding area for animals such as birds), his friends tell him that they all need to collect stones for their nests. "Stones?" Pepe asks. "Yes," his friends tell him. They explain that stones are needed to build nests and they all must have wonderful nests.
It doesn't take long for Pepe to find a wonderful rock, a rock so lovely that it will make the perfect first stone for his nest. Then he's off to collect more stones. As Pepe searches for stones, he realizes that it is a lot of work to build a nest, but he knows that it has to be done so he doesn't stop. He searches and searches for stones, and carefully places each one that he finds on his nest. Soon Pepe has the most wonderful nest - a nest that will be perfect for his "Queen."
As Pepe's nest grows in size and beauty, it catches the attention of Otto, the bully of the colony. The bully waits until Pepe leaves his nest in search of another stone and then Otto creeps in, and steals first one stone, then another and another. Pepe soon discovers what Otto is doing, but how will the young penguin deal with the bully?
Author Theodore Jerome Cohen is principally known for his many adult novels, but with this newest writing endeavor, he has dipped his talented quill into the realm of children's books. As a scientist with three degrees in the physical sciences, Cohen spent some time in the early 60s studying in Antarctica. It was there that he met the stars of Pepe Builds a Nest, and these adorable and fascinating birds piqued his interest and the story of Pepe was born. But Pepe isn't just a story about penguins - it's a fun story that also deals with a very important topic for children. Tackling the sensitive subject of bullying, the author shows young readers how to handle a bully with the use of an easy rhyming verse and photos of real penguins. Kids will love following Pepe build his nest and at the same time learn how to handle a bully.
Quill says: A delightful story that tackles an important topic - bullying - in a gentle way that children will understand, while also educating readers on the life of penguins in Antarctica.