One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo
Illustrated by David Small
Published by Dial Books for Young Readers
"Elliot was a very proper young man." He always wore a stylish black tux, bow-tie and all. His father took him to the aquarium, and while trying to avoid the mobs of kids at the other exhibits, Elliot reaches the penguin room. And there they were, "in their tidy black feather tuxedos with their proper posture." A perfect pet for a gentleman like Elliot. When he asked his father for a penguin, he gave him money to buy what he thought was a stuffed animal penguin. But Elliot packed a real penguin in his knapsack instead. Elliot named his perfect new pet Magellan. Now, a penguin is not easy to keep at home, especially when you're trying to keep it a secret.
I loved One Cool Friend! Just like Elliot, I found it to be stylish and cool. The illustrations by David Small are a perfect match with the story and I loved the way the text plays with dialogue bubbles as part of the regular text. The final twist in the story totally sold it. Great read aloud!