Heartfelt and hopeful: Read our review of Penguin Bloom (Young Readers’ Edition) by Chris Kunz

Heartfelt and hopeful: Read our review of Penguin Bloom (Young Readers’ Edition) by Chris Kunz

Penguin Bloom tells the story of Sam Bloom, a young mother whose world is turned upside down after a near-fatal accident in Thailand leaves her unable to walk. Sam’s husband, her three young boys, and her mother are struggling to adjust to their new situation. But then an unlikely ally enters their world in the form of an injured baby magpie named Penguin.

Penguin – whose fragile state mirrors Sam’s – is a physical symbol of the change in the Bloom household, which is undergoing renovations, and their family dynamics, which includes the addition of their new pet. Penguin’s arrival is a welcome distraction for the Bloom family, except for Sam. Sam was a nurse, avid traveller and a beach enthusiast before the accident and she’s struggling to come to terms with her new reality. But ultimately, Penguin makes a profound difference to everyone – even Sam, who’s at her lowest point.

This young readers’ edition by Chris Kunz is adapted from the major Australian motion picture starring Naomi Watts, Andrew Lincoln and Jacki Weaver. Told from the perspective of Noah, one of the three Bloom boys, this edition of the true story speaks directly to young readers. Kunz’ use of truncated sentences and to-the-point language makes the story easy for young readers aged 8+ to follow. This perspective introduces heavy concepts of loss, depression, and life-changing circumstances in a tender and innocent way.

It teaches young readers that strength, resilience, and positive thinking are the traits you need to get through the tough times. For example, Oli, the youngest Bloom boy, sees his mum’s paralysation as a superpower, illustrating how you can alter their frame of mind to coincide with a change of pace. Young readers can resonate with these traits and themes through their own transitions and changes, such as moving from primary school to high school, for example.

While parents may be familiar with the other books on this story such as Penguin Bloom and Sam Bloom: Heartache and Birdsong, this edition also speaks to parents in an indirect way. Parents can witness the way children respond to and are impacted by the various shifts in the mood and atmosphere of a household when there has been a change. This can be seen in forms as significant as Sam’s accident, or an impactful change in pace, such as moving schools or towns.

Despite their initial distance, Penguin’s strength to literally spread his wings and fly, gives Sam the burst of hope she needs to (figuratively) spread her wings and fly in these changing circumstances. And it might just give each reader the hope that they need for their own individual journey of growth.

Reviews

Spread your wings and fly: Read an extract from Penguin Bloom (Young Readers' Edition) by Chris Kunz

Review | Extract

24 February 2021

Spread your wings and fly: Read an extract from Penguin Bloom (Young Readers' Edition) by Chris Kunz

Synopsis

I guess we all kinda knew our life was perfect and that we wouldn't change a thing. But sometimes you don't get that choice, do you? Sometimes stuff happens that you would do anything to try to avoid. But you can't. And that's what happened to us. Penguin Bloom tells the true story of Sam Bloom, a young mother whose world is turned upside down after a near-fatal accident leaves her unable to walk. Sam's husband, her three young boys and her mother are struggling to adjust to their new situation when an unlikely ally enters their world in the form of an injured baby magpie they name Penguin. The bird's arrival is a welcome distraction for the Bloom family, eventually making a profound difference in the family's life. This young readers' edition, adapted from the major Australian motion picture starring Naomi Watts, tells their story through the eyes of Noah, one of the three Bloom boys.
Chris Kunz
About the author

Chris Kunz

Chris Kunz is a writer, editor and publisher who works across the TV, film and publishing industries. She has written and script edited for children's television, and has worked at various publishing houses, where she has been an editor and children's publisher. Chris created, storylined and wrote bestselling children's series with the Irwin family and Australia Zoo, and the RSPCA for Random House Australia. She has an MA in Theatre Studies from UNSW.

Books by Chris Kunz

COMMENTS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *