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Use the 5 star rating system, 1 Star being the worst - 5 stars being the best.

Received December 2017

Wendy Shield

Melbourne, Australia


I have just finished reading John Burns delightful book ,'The Many Adventures of Pengey Penguin' and found it absolutely delightful. It is a secondhand copy sent to me for my recent 75th birthday by my friend who lives in Sweden.  We have similar tastes in books and when she read this in a secondhand bookshop decided it was for me  Everything about this book was delightful but that little guy Pengey Penguin is the star of the show.

This book will now be passed on to my grandchildren aged 9 and 13 as I like the concept of keeping books in circulation as opposed to keeping them in a bookshelf after one read.  Eventually it will be left on a bench in a children's park with a note explaining its journey and asking for it to be passed on to make its way around the world.

A precious and memorable read.

AuthorsDen.com Review

Reviewed by: MOLLY’S REVIEWS  - Molly Martin


As do many good tales of mythic proportion this one begins; Once upon a time. Soon Pengey would become an orphan and spend his first day alone with the others of his colony. But during the night a huge storm blew in, splitting the floe and Pengey was all alone. Kindness tendered by a woman, catching a ride as a stowaway on a big airplane, meeting wonderful friends; a Puffin and a Parrot and even learning human talk all are a part of Pengey’s big adventure.

Pengey is polite, inquisitive and filled with plucky determination but the elements of Antarctica are overwhelming. Very close to death, Pengey faces what appears to be nearly insurmountable struggles; his efforts are not very successful when he meets Wendy who will play a large role in his future life.

Pengey does not give up when Wendy and he are separated rather, he determines he will find her no matter the obstacle, but always being careful, forthright and very polite in the face of what might cause another to simply toss in the towel and bewail the situation.

The epic tale of Pengey’s journey to safety helps further the life lesson that many steps, small triumphs may not insure immediate success but can bring the hardest goal into reach.This is a marvelously engaging fantasy tale especially meant to be read by adults to the 4-8 set and to be read for pleasure by the middle grade reader.

Some of Pengey’s adventures are just plain fun, some are a tad hair raising, all are filled with the charisma and determination of the little penguin who is the main character of this one of a kind imaginative offering.

I do not keep all books I receive for review but, John Burns’ The Many Adventures of Pengey Penguin is one I will place in my bag for use when I begin volunteering or subbing at local schools. The Many Adventures of Pengey Penguin is a book I would use were I not retired, but still teaching in the K 1 arena of the elementary school system.

Pengey tugs at the heart strings and is sure to be a hit with the younger set, and for anyone who enjoys a super read be they 5 or 85.

ENJOYABLE -- Read highly Recommended


Reviewed by:MOLLY’S REVIEWS molly martin -- 35+ years classroom teacher


Posted July, 2013

Janice Spina

New Hampshire, USA


I fell in love with the main character, Pengey, the Emperor penguin. He is such a sweet, polite, and gentlemanly little fellow. He captures your heart with his endearing little coos and bows and as he learns to speak like a human.

Meant to be read aloud to the younger kids - they will be as enthralled as this adult as they follow Pengey on his incredible journey to find the woman who saved his life. They will also learn how to behave through Pengey's example of his kind and polite mannerisms. A wonderful story for children from a creative writer, John Burns. Children of all ages will love Pengey. He has stolen my heart.

Posted on Amazon April 2012

By Katy Bullard

5 Star Review:

Even at the ripe old age of 39 I still enjoy a children's story every now and again, and when I have the chance to find one that truly transports me back to those years of my youth I have to rate it highly. "The Adventures of Pengey Penguin" is definitely one of those books that in my opinion should be rated as an instant classic. The tales of this wonderful creature are some of the most interesting, adventurous, and delightful stories I've ever read.

I can’t imagine any child or even any adult that would not enjoy this book immensely. If you have the chance to get one book for your child or grandchild, you should make it "The Adventures of Pengey Penguin" you will be happy you made the decision and your child or grandchild will be happy too!

Posted on Amazon December 2011

By Read and Write California

5 Star Review:

This is a most charming story. Pengey is a wonderful character full of determination and goodwill and excellent manners. He never lets life's troubles get him down and he is always kind and polite and courageous - an excellent role model for any child or adult. It's a great book for snuggling and reading aloud. There's plenty of action to hold a child's attention. And, of course, a happy ending. John Burns is an amazing storyteller. Along with the adventures, he has woven in lessons about life and penguins and geography in such a way that you don't even notice that you're learning as you read. This is truly a book to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone - no matter your age.

Posted on A Barnes and Nobel :

Absolutely The Best Chapter Book in a generation.

The main character Pengey Penguin is simple wonderful. He's humble and kind, but also an orphan who is undaunted by his troubles. And while he strictly adheres to penguin principles, he manages to get in some fixes because he learns to talk human. There are evil humans that want to take advantage of the tiny penguin. But because Pengey always, 'ponders his options' before he acts, he manages quite well with resolving his problems and escape the bad guys. He's like a little boy that's on a mission to find the person he loves and won't be stopped. It takes friends to succeed in life and beat the odds, and Pengey meets Lionel the parrot and Rufus the puffin who are the best friends anyone could ever want. Together they travel across continents, finding food for each other and saving each other's lives several times over. The whole book is filled with little cliffhangers that make it perfect for reading aloud over several nights at bedtime. The last three chapters contain some of the best prose I've ever read in a children's book. And the feeling this little charmer named Pengey leaves us with is one of hope and the value of true friendship. BRAVO!

Lessons in Love and Courage,

By Kate Wilson -- Posted on Amazon - August 10, 2009

My grandchildren find this their favorite chapter book. They never tire of cuddling up with Grandma and Pengey.

In part, the attraction to this story is the wholesome hero's journey at its core, because Pengey,although greatly disadvantaged by his tiny stature and enormous challenges he faces, remains intelligent, humble, polite, and undaunted by his troubles.

We learn from the simple tenacity of Pengey Penguin that success does not come in a lump sum ,but that added together increments of small successes make even the toughest goal achievable.

Some of the most amazing things about this story are that it reveals its wisdoms effortlessly, without a hint of preachy-ness. It is refreshing by way of the new characters and clever personalities that populate the story. It's exciting and funny by way of Pengey's varied adventures; some of which are hair raising and others that are simply hilarious. And it's lastly adorable by way of one of the greatest children's characters you'll ever meet. Pengey Penguin is simply a charismatic wonder.

What we have is a book that is a marvelous fairy tale. It reflects the trials and tribulations of life through the eyes and experiences of an extremely responsible little boy portrayed as an orphaned baby penguin. All Pengey wants to do is find his way back to that place that we are all most loved, a place called home.

While I read this book, I thought of someone back in the 1930's who did something similar with a cartoon character he created. Both he and the author of Pengey Penguin did something unique in the world of storytelling...--they created a wholesome character that is, without a shadow of a doubt, worth caring about. Perhaps author, John Burns is the next Walt Disney.


I’m only 8 years old but I really like to read. I got Pengey for my birthday. When I read the book it made pictures in my mind, like when you go to the movies. Except Pengey is better than the movies. Because I was worried for him, and his friends Lionel and Rufus, because they are always in trouble, it was exciting how they help each other get out of trouble. Pengey and his friends are smart. But they are each smart in a different way. So when something bad happens they help each other figure out how to fix what’s wrong or get out of trouble. Sometimes it’s pretty close that they can fix it in time. It’s very cool how they make it home. But I won’t tell how they did it. I just got Pengey’s second book, yesterday. I’m already up to chapter 5. It’s really a big book and it’s really cool too, and I already don’t want it to end.  My mom and dad got it for me on Pengey.com because you can’t get it anywhere else. Thank you to Mr. Burns for writing both of the books.

PS My dad helped me write this review. And I will make another review when I’m done with Pengey 2.

Michael - Chicago - June 2008 

Hi Pengey, I rate your book a 100/100 and I just love the ending. I also have your second book and am reading it now.

June 2008 (Entire review) From Dean from Sydney, Australia


I have just ordered Pengey ‘2’ for my granddaughter Jordan. She loved the first one and would not let us stop reading aloud.  She will enter first grade in the fall. Please personalize this second book to Jordan.

I DONT LIKE PENGUINS TOO MUCH, BUT PENGEY IS WAY COOL - 10 STARS ((sorry Benjamin we can only take 5 stars)

I got this book cause I have to read something for summer. It’s about a penguin called Pengey. I didn’t think I would like it because I think penguins are not that cool.  But Pengey is way cool. He is in trouble all the time but not because he wants to be in trouble. He just wants to find Wendy. Because Pengey makes two real good best friends, they all help figure out how to get out of trouble. Even though I didn’t think I would like this book it turns out to be my favorite book ever.

Benjamin S. - Toronto, Canada


Pengey Penguin is the absolute best book in the world. There are lots and lots of other kids books, but I’m 9, and I read a lot, and I cried at the end of Pengey. I don’t know why I cried because it is a happy ending. Maybe it’s because Pengey is so little that you don’t think he can make it. And maybe he would not have made it except he finds friends and the Macaw named Lionel is kind of a smarty pants but he’s also very funny and keeps Pengey from hurting himself, and the puffin named Rufus helps Pengey find food and is always smart but more conservative. Pengey is tiny but he is so big in so many ways. He has the courage to make his journey and his journey is about finding Wendy. Thank you Mr. Burns for writing it.  I love PENGEY and I love his book. Elizabeth age 9 . . . London, England

THE BEST PENGUIN EVER . . . Double Five Stars •

Pengey, you are the best penguin in the world. The Many Adventures of Pengey Penguin was the best book in the world!!!!,

and I give your book a double 5 star rating !!!!!!!!!

MY PENGUIN PENGEY . . . Five Stars •

I got The Many Adventures of Pengey Penguin for Christmas. I thought the picture on the book of Pengey was

kind of neat and I have a stuffed penguin from when I was little that I named Pengey. I had to read a book and make a report on it so I started reading Pengey Penguin.

WE DIDN”T WANT IT TO END . . . 5 Stars -- •

My daughter is 5 1/2 and enjoyed every word. She laughed at all the right places and truly enjoyed Pengey’s big adventure. It is also an enjoyable book for adults. Excellent fun filled book!

I LOVED THIS BOOK . . . 5 Stars

A wonderful fairy tale that’s filled with so much courage and trust. Pengey has got to be the coolest character to ever waddle down the pike. • 

BRAVO! . . . 5 Stars  

My six year old daughter thinks she is Pengey.  --  Frank - Seattle, WA


"The Many Adventures of Pengey Penguin" is just the ticket to introduce your child to the chapter book. Loved it!--R Wright • Dallas, TX --


I just finished reading Pengey to my kids, ages 5 and 7. And since I didn’t want it to end we read it again while we wait for the second book to be delivered-- Thank you for creating such a great story. Stacey Colburn •

AWARENESS MAGAZINE, Los Angeles, CA - 5 Stars -- A professional review • November 2006 •

Highly recommended for children 5 and up.

A CHARMING TALE. . . 5 Stars , November 5, 2006 -- Midwest Book Review • A professional review •

A charming tale, sure to capture the reader's hearts from the very first page.

PENGEY PENGUIN RULES!, 5 Stars -- July 13, 2006 •

There is an undercurrent of good character traits throughout the entire story. Bravo, Mr. Burns! -- Palm Springs Teacher (Palm Springs, CA)

AN ENCHANTING CHARACTER, 5 Stars -- May 30, 2006 •

I noticed another review that calls Pengey "a good spokes person for penguins"...I have to agree and would say a good example for humans too! 

Reviewer:future grand-ma (California)

THE ART OF STORYTELLING AT IT’S VERY BEST -- 5 Stars -- May 21, 2006 •

Not since I was a little girl in Paris, reading Collodi's masterpiece, have I fallen so in love with a fairy tale character. Not since "Pinocchio" have I found a fairy tale so complete, so inspiring and so well developed as "Pengey's Many Adventures." -- Clarissa Beaufort (San Francisco, CA)

“The BEST Story out recently” -- 5 Stars - - Read the review

I was amazed at how the beginning seems to tie in with the movie "The March of the Penguins".  Olive Kruden - Kingman, AZ

A GREAT BOOK TO SHARE, April 26, 2006 -- 5 Stars -- Read the review

I am very impressed with the way the author developed the main character's personality. I feel I have read a story about a real character...a young boy on a quest and mission of his own undertaking who will not be stopped by adverse circumstances. Big Reader (San Francisco)

Letter’s and E-mail to Pengey

Dear Pengey,

Thank you for your Valentine's card. My mom just showed it to me, and we printed it out. I like your book and I read it a lot. Mom bought me a penguin toy that looks exactly like you. He has an igloo. Now Pengey sleeps with me every night. I hope you get a lot of Valentine cards. I will have a party at school tomorrow and it should be fun.

Amy Z.


Dear Pengey,

I love your book and your story and Rufus and Lionel.

Jordan B.


Hi Pengey,

My birthday is march 27, i was born in 2002, my whole family loves the book, my dad reads me a chapter every night before i go to sleep. my mom loves it too, what a great story. thanks for the wonderful story

Henri P.


Dear Pengey,

I love your website, and I wanted to send you a valentine. I can't wait to read your book. Happy Valentines day. I hope you have a good day. Is it cold there now? Thanks!

Emma v.


Dear Pengey,

My name is Natalie and I am from New York, even though I live in Massachusetts now. I am 8 years old and my birthday is March 16, 1997. I LOOVVEE your book!  It was soo... good!  I have a stuffed penguin named Pengey, too, and I've had him since I was 2.  I also have a penguin collection.  I have an older sister named Eliza who helped me type this letter.  Please ask Lionel and Rufus how they are doing.  My mom thinks your book would make an amazing kids movie.


Natalie B., the penguin lover

P.S.  How is Wendy and New York?


Dear Pengey,

My mom is helping me write this letter. I want to tell you that you and your book helps me to learn how to read. I was worried about you when you got in trouble, but I'm glad that you have good thinking and got out of trouble. I love Lionel and Rufus they are the best friends in the world. Thank you for reading my letter and thank you for your great book and thank you for being a penguin. -- Elizabeth P.


Pengey's Adventures, October 16, 2006

Dear Pengey,

I just finished reading "The Many Adventures of Pengey Penguin". The thing I liked best about this book was the relationship between the three main characters. They were each different types of birds that had to learn to work together to survive on their trip. They helped each other out of dangerous areas and had fun along the way. I think most people would enjoy this book.


Pengey,Lionel and Rufus are Great Friends, October 13, 2006

Dear Pengey,

My Mom and Dad bought this book for me when we went to the Book Fair in Santa Rosa. I also got two other books. They are all good to read. I finished Pengey the Penguin first and I like him and his friends the best. I thought the chapter where Pengey the Penguin falls into the aquarium was really funny! It was also lots fun to look at the map when we read the book together to see where Pengey came from and where he and Lionel and Rufus were going to. It was a long trip from Antarctica to New York City. I'm glad they made it there!



Pengey is good and he is kind but he gets in truble and is smart and gets out of truble. Pengey's pals are neet too. My dad reads pengey to me every night. I love Pengey and I am in his fan club. Thank you for your atenchun. Billy P.


PENGEY IS GREAT!, February 28, 2006

Dear Pengey,

I think that Pengey is the best Penguin in the whole world! He is brave and he is nice and he is a good friend. When I go to sleep at night, my mom reads Pengey's adventures to me and I think he has a really good story. I also like his pictures a lot. I hope he has another story real soon.


I LOVE PENGUINS, but most of all, I LOVE PENGEY PENGUIN, April 25, 2006

Pengey is awesome! My uncle and aunt gave me this book for my birthday. My older sister reads to me and she likes him too. He is a good friend. He also knows a parrot and puffin who are way cool too. The evil guys can't catch him because they help each other. I like to hear his story. My sister or Dad reads a chapter to me every night. Sometimes I read the story and they help me. Pengey is awesome!