Edward and Annie by Caryn Rivadeneira | Book Review

Join famous penguins, Edward and Annie, the viral sensations, as they waddle through Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium in this funny and surprising adventure story.

What The Book Is About

When no one comes to visit the aquarium, penguin pair Edward and Annie wonder, Where did everyone go? This colorful romp through Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium from author Caryn Rivadeneira takes children and their families on an adventure of wonder through the marine world. As Edward and Annie explore the unknown parts of their aquarium home and meet the other wonderfully strange creatures living there, these penguin friends discover that the world is much bigger and more interesting than they ever knew. After much excitement and many surprises, they return to the penguin habitat for the best end to any day: a cozy rest at home.

Edward and Annie teaches 4 to 8-year-olds that

  • great discoveries and new friends can come from life’s biggest changes
  • the best adventures start with trying something new
  • a community is made of individuals who are each different, beautiful, and amazing

In this funny read-aloud picture book, children will

  • meet the real-life rockhopper penguins, Edward and Annie, who made a splash on social media
  • learn about the other sea animals that live at Shedd Aquarium, including Wellington the penguin and Annik the baby beluga
  • have fun learning fascinating science facts during family reading time or as part of preschool and elementary STEM lessons in marine biology
  • laugh at the penguins’ curious questions and silly antics

Your family will fall in love with these sweet, energetic penguins as together you discover that the world is a wonderful and surprising place–a place that is even better when explored with a friend by your side!

My Review

Edward and Annie is a children’s picture book targeted to 4-8 year olds but I read with my 2-year-old and we both enjoyed it for different reasons. She likes the gorgeous pictures of the penguins, including main characters Edward and Annie, and the other animals at the Chicago Shedd Aquarium, like otters and turtles which are animals she knows and enjoys hearing stories about. I appreciated the representation of the black woman caretaker, Kai, who explains what is happening at the aquarium during the pandemic when life is different for everyone, not just the penguins. The storyline includes some repetition which makes it easy to emphasize the message of the story but it also has several layers of subject matter, like referencing that the exotic animals at the aquarium are not captives, but rescues, because they cannot thrive in their natural habitat. I also liked that the page format flipped at a section in the book to mirror movement within the aquarium. Such an attention grabber and my little one enjoyed that too.

While this book is probably excellent for children who are starting to read for themselves, it is also great resource for parents and caregivers to read aloud to younger children who may be able to follow a simplified version of the story, and also serve as a reminder of the changes brought on by the pandemic. 

Note: I received a complimentary copy of the book from Thomas Nelson Publishers and TLC Book Tours in order to participate in a publicity tour. I was not otherwise compensated and my review above reflects my honest opinion of the book.

Book Details

  • Title: Edward and Annie 
  • Author: Caryn Rivadeneira 
  • Illustrator: Katy Tanis
  • Format: Hardcover, Soft pages 
  • Pages: 32
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • Publication Date: March 8, 2022

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts as well.

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