Review – The Penguin Party – Annabee’s Books

Disclaimer: We were gifted this book and asked to review publicly or privately.

Reading is something that we love in our house. We love to read to the kids, putting on silly voices and creating a whole atmosphere that makes them enjoy feeling immersed in the world of the book. We love all sorts of books, but especially books with messages that Kally and Finley can learn from. We will review more books on the blog, books that are gifted to us and ones that we buy. The first of these is:

The Penguin Party – Written by Alison Orlandi, Illustrated by Katherine Gutkovski and Published by Annabee’s Books

Photo from

The Story

Mythical penguins live on a far away magical island. They are throwing a party to celebrate the arrival of your child. During the party they give gifts to the child, gifts that will impart life lessons.  

Main Themes

Happiness, kindness, gratitude, growth, patience, exploration, courage, forgiveness, acceptance and self-worth.


The Child

The child that is born on the mythical magic island can be personalised to resemble your child.

There are skin tone options.

There are three clothes options; a dress, dungarees and t-shirt and trousers.

They have different hair lengths and styles which can then be matched to the colour of your child’s hair. There is an option for no hair and an option for a head scalf. You can’t change the colour of this however.

There is an option to add glasses, you can choose from two pairs.

You can then choose masculine, feminine or gender neutral pronouns for your child.

The Family

You can create a single parent/carer or two parent/carer profiles.

The biggest attraction for us was being able to add two Daddies. You can add a Mam and Dad, two Mams, two Dads, Grandparents, Uncles/Aunties etc or names.

These parents/carers can then be personalised in the same way the child can.

The Penguins

You can choose the names of the penguins to be familiar to your child; friends or family members for example. We chose to give them names from the kids’ favourite things at the minute. Finley’s penguins were named Peter, Gwen, Ben etc from Spider-Man because he’s currently obsessed with it. Kally’s were named after characters from Monster High.


There is a dedication at the beginning of the book that features your child’s name and you can keep this or write you own.

Our Thoughts

The personalisation element is the best thing about this book and there are a lot of options, but I think there could be more. Also a problem we noted with the personalisation of the child characters and parents/carers is that not all options can fit the given clothes options. Some of the hair options wouldn’t work with some of the clothing options. We wanted to choose the third option for Finley with the longer hair for example and it wouldn’t let us do that. This would also happen with the parent/carers personalisation.

The best thing for us is that the diverse range of family options means that any family can be included. Sometimes it can be hard to find books that show families your child will recognise are like their own.

There are a lot of words in this book and the paragraphs can be quite big, so I think it would best serve as a book that would be read to children rather than they read themselves, for younger ones anyway.

We were given two books for our two children, it would be nice for an option to include more than one child in the book, but maybe this could happen in another story.

Overall we would recommend this book because of the positive messages it teaches children and because of the options for different family representations.

You can personalise and then buy the book in either paperback or hardback formats over at

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