Authors: Stan and Jan Berenstain

Illustrator: Mike Berenstain.

Publisher: Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

ASIN: B0092WAW28


Nothing Ever Happens at the South Pole is a delightful book by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain, and illustrated by Mike Berenstain. Children and adults will certainly find themselves smiling and laughing as they read it. The tale of a young penguin looking for novel experiences in the South Pole will captivate any reader who follows his quest for adventure. The penguin’s diary has the inscription: ‘Write in Me! Something happens every day. Write it down right away.’ The fact that he is surrounded by fascinating and even dangerous creatures, such as the walrus, adds to the humour of the book, for the young penguin remains somewhat oblivious to his exciting surroundings.

Oceanhouse media has made the book available as an app in which the text and beautifully coloured illustrations come to life. There are three functions to this Oceanhouse Media digital book: “Auto play” and “Read to Me” (in which the words light up as you read them), and “Read It Myself” (a more traditional mode of reading). Wonderful sound effects are embedded in the book. For instance, if you click on any one of the “stepping stones” that illustrate the phrase “Stepping stones made of ice,” you can hear water sounds. When you click on a drawing of our young protagonist penguin, the word “penguin” appears and you hear him squawk and squeal. This is a fantastic feature for children learning how to read. There are all kinds of words which a child can learn by reading this book, such as “igloo,” “pencil,” “walrus,” “chair,” “hook,” and “ear muffs.”

I read this book on my friend’s iPad. She commented: “I’d love this book if I were kid. See, things have come forward since we were kids. We didn’t have this much fun.” There’s also a lot of internal rhyme in the story, something that is very pleasing to the ear. When I finished reading, hearing, and experiencing the story, I thought of a famous quote by an English poet, Sir Philp Sidney. His words, written hundreds of years ago, struck me as particularly relevant to this beautiful book by the Berenstain family: “Poetry is … a speaking picture--with this end, to teach and delight.”

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