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Children's Fiction Zoos

Tina and the Penguin

by (author) Heather Dyer

illustrated by Mireille Levert

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2004
Zoos, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2004
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2002
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 5 to 8
  • Grade: k to 3


Have you ever thought about bringing home a stray cat or dog? What about a penguin? When Tina meets a penguin who's tired of living in the zoo, she decides to help him escape! With quick thinking and a clever disguise, Tina sneaks her new-found friend home. But it doesn't take long for her to realize that a penguin is a very peculiar pet --- and that's just the tip of the iceberg!

About the authors

Heather Dyer is the award-winning author of a picture book and five middle-grade novels. She grew up on Vancouver Island and in North Wales, both of which reappear as the settings of her books --- with a little added magic.

Heather Dyer's profile page

Mireille Levert is one of Quebec’s most talented children’s book author-illustrators. Her previous books include Lucy’s Secret, Rose by Night and Tulip and Lupin Forever, and she has won Governor General’s awards for Island in the Soup and Sleep Tight, Mrs. Ming. Mireille lives in Montreal where she works as an illustrator.

Mireille Levert's profile page


  • Winner, Parent to Parent Adding Wisdom Award
  • Commended, Recommended Book , The National Association for Humane and Environmental Education
  • Winner, Our Choice, Canadian Children's Book Centre

Editorial Reviews

Levert's sly illustrations provide much of the humor in first-timer Dyer's story of a girl who harbors a runaway penguin for a couple of nerve-wracking days.

Publishers Weekly

Suitable for individual sharing or story time, this story will have children giggling over the endearing Tina and her stowaway.


This marvelous story teaches more about environment and empathy than many educational books.

Canadian Children's Book News

Looking after a penguin is harder work than it might at first seem, although to be fair to Tina, it wasn't a job she interviewed for.

Globe & Mail

When a penguin follows Tina after a class trip to the zoo, she dresses him in her pink coat and beret and takes him home on the bus. The expected difficulties of keeping him a secret ensue, but ultimately the bird finds a way to get back to Antarctica. The watercolor-and-gouache illustrations colorfully capture the actions, showing Tina as she tries to accommodate her guest, and careful inspection reveals whimsical touches ...

School Library Journal

Other titles by Heather Dyer

Other titles by Mireille Levert