Owl And Penguin: Best Day Ever by Vikram Madan

Do y’all have any books that you immediately whip out when you want to soothe your young readers? Maybe your kid is having a bad day and just needs some cheerful illustrations and easy text to take their mind off things. Or maybe you want to sneakily show them how sometimes the best way to fix a problem is to come at it from outside the box. Either way, this is one of my go-to books for reading with my own youngsters when they need a way to turn their own bad days into best days.

Owl and Penguin are two friends who often have a different perspective on life when it comes to abilities and activities. Over the course of these five short chapters, readers get to see how they negotiate wanting to play different games, swimming in the ocean, scary movies, performing music, and flying a kite. While they each have different outlooks on these issues, they genuinely strive to see things from the other’s point of view and care about each other’s feelings and the outcome. It’s a book about the many different ways you can compromise without sacrificing your own individuality.

Which is quite astonishing given how relatively sparse the text is, with easy vocabulary strategically placed amidst the illustrated panels. This is a testament to Vikram Madan’s excellent artwork, which is expressive, adorable and gorgeously colored. The colors in Making Music especially are a visual feast, putting the truth to the saying that a picture, at least in the hands of a really good artist, is worth a thousand words. And the pacing is exquisite throughout, building the perfect level of suspense for each short vignette before the resolution of its conflict.

Both of my reluctant readers really enjoyed reading this book with me. I personally appreciated how it gave me the chance to discuss their current woes and to see how we could work them out in productive fashions. Owl And Penguin: Best Day Ever is a perfect starter graphic novel for kids, and just overall a really terrific picture book. Recommended.

Owl And Penguin: Best Day Ever by Vikram Madan was published June 6 2023 by Holiday House and is available from all good booksellers, including

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