Written by: Lynne Rickards
Illustrated by: Margaret Chamberlain
Published by: Wacky Bee Books
Pink! is a heart warming picture book about challenging stereotypes. It would be a great way to stimulate a discussion about gender both for parents at home and teachers in school. Patrick the Penguin turns pink overnight. His parents try to reassure him that it is OK to be a boy who is pink, but the other penguins tease him.
Discussing the issue of teasing and bullying could be used to encourage compassion for others and also empathy for people who have experienced sudden change. Patrick was not born pink and it was not a gradual change of colour over time. He just woke up one morning and discovered he had turned pink. This must have been a very traumatic experience for Patrick. Suddenly he is different and not because he wanted to be different he just woke up different.
Patrick does not like being different, so he decides to run away to Africa to be with the pink flamingos. But he soon discovers he is not suited to the African environment so returns home where the other penguins are eager to learn about his adventures.
Again from a teaching point-of-view this book would be useful in the classroom to discuss animal adaptations and climates in different parts of the world. The children can compare the features of Antarctica’s penguins with African flamingos and how they are suited to their environment.
The book was first published in 2008 by Chicken House. Pink! Is also a musical. Pink! The Musical, written in collaboration with Hopscotch Theatre, has toured over 200 Scottish primary schools.
This book is empowering for children and demonstrates that the colour pink is for everyone regardless of gender. I believe it will encourage children to be more confident in themselves and the way they look.