One Book, Every Young Child Reading Initiative. Print E-mail

If You Were a Penguin, a picture book by author and illustrator Wendell and Florence Minor for children ages 3 to 6, is Pennsylvania's One Book, Every Young Child 2009 selection. This year's program officially kicked off on March 31.

This brand new book was released in December and lets children use their imaginations as they step inside a penguin's world. This entertaining and educational story provides children with fun facts about penguins and helps them identify the many different kinds of penguins found throughout the world.

This is the fourth year of this important program to highlight the importance of early literacy development in preschoolers. In its inaugural year, the One Book, Every Young Child program won the coveted, national John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award.

The collaborating agencies all support early childhood literacy efforts and emphasizing the importance of reading early and often to children, as well as engaging them in conversation and other activities around books. They are working together to develop a multi-faceted program accessible to all areas and populations of the state.

Throughout the year, there will be local events including author visits; library and museum programming for families; and activities for parents, early care providers and educators at There also will be traveling trunks developed by museum educators to help expand upon the concepts in If You Were a Penguin. Each trunk is filled with fun book-related puppets, games and manipulatives for young children, as well as a guide for librarians and educators that encourages use of the trunk contents in activities that are aligned with the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards.

One Book, Every Young Child is made possible through a collaboration of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Please Touch Museum, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Library Association, Pennsylvania Public Television Network, Pennsylvania Center for the Book, Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children, The Pennsylvania Child Care Association, PennSERVE, HSLC/Access PA and Verizon. This program was supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by Pennsylvania's Office of Commonwealth Libraries.

Previous selections for the Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child program are:

  • 2008 Book Selection
    Up, Down, and Around, by author Katherine Ayres and illustrator Nadine Bernard Westcott
  • 2007 Book Selection
    A Splendid Friend, Indeed by author and illustrator Suzanne Bloom
  • 2006 Book Selection
    Inside Mouse, Outside Mouse by author and illustrator Lindsay Barrett George


Penguin Fact

There are 17 different species of penguins: Emperor, King, Rockhoppers, Gentoo, Magellanic, Galapagos, Adélie, African, Fairy, Royal, Yellow-eyed, Snares, Chinstrap, Humboldt, Macaroni, Fiordland, and Erect-crested.

Copyright © 2020. PA One Book 2009.