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The Penguin Lessons

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Tom Michell is going down to teach college in Argentina. While visiting Uruguay, he comes across and rescues a Magellan penguin from an oil spill that he ends up adopting (or is it the other way around?) and names Juan Salvador. This book is a memoir depicting Michell's relationship with this adorable Megellan penguin and how he warms the hearts of Michell's students, the housekeeper where Michell lives, and others, such as a boy named Diego that is learning how to swim and he even encourages a young man to ask a woman out on a date. Don't read the spoiler if you are going to read the book, it WILL spoil it for you. At the zoo, in the penguins area there is just one species of penguin and one other of a different species. The author asks why they don't rehabilitate him to the wild, and the keeper says that one penguin will never leave, they would just return unless they have a companion of their own kind. Ahhhh

Biću iskrena - malo mi je falilo da od knjige odustanem na nekih 60%. Završila sam je čisto da vidim kako će priča S PINGVINOM ići dalje, a poglavlja i priču o njegovim putovanjima i nekim sporednim stvarima sam preskakala, no shame in that.

Far more adventurous that I ever was or will be, Mr. Michell takes a first job at a boy’s school in Argentina during a restless time in that lovely country’s history. The monetary inflation in 1975 Argentina could double the prices of things in weeks, days, sometimes even hours. My first visit to beautiful Argentina was in 2002 and the banks were often closed for exactly the same reason! While we were in Buenos Aires, those who needed local currency went down to the leather-merchant just a few doors down from our hotel. He would look at your money, look in the air as if communing with the gods of commerce, and then offer you a sum of Argentine pesos. I have no idea if we got a reasonable exchange rate, but that should be the least of one’s worries when travelling. If you are well enough off to do the travelling, you can take a small haircut on monetary conversions, I think. One day, I believe, we will be able to confirm that many animals have the capacity to understand and process information and experience emotions to a far more sophisticated degree than opinion currently holds." This was an absolute delight and it's especially good on audiobook, narrated by the actor Bill Nighy.

Witty and heartwarming, The Penguin Lessons is a classic in the making, a story that is both absurd and wonderful, exactly like Juan Salvador.

Het gaat dus over de pinguïn, maar ik had soms een tikkeltje het idee dat het best lastig was het boek te vullen met alleen pinguïn ':D. Er gebeurt namelijk ook weer niet superveel met het dier. Vooral zijn aankomst en de beginfase is spectaculair, maar daarna gaat 't een beetje z'n gangetje. Bij sommige semi-filosofische overpeinzingen (ook veel herhaling), vroeg ik me af: doe je dit nu echt omdat je dit als auteur wilt vertellen of zit je pagina's te vullen? Hij maakt naast de pinguïn meer dingen mee in Argentinië en af en toe dacht ik: 'was dit boek misschien nog interessanter geweest als de reis meer centraal had gestaan en de pinguïn een supertof bijfiguur was?'. Maar goed, pinguïns op de cover verkopen denk ik wel beter. So touching that I didn't want it to end. I really loved this book' Michael Bond, creator of Paddington The relationship that developed between bird and man, and also between the bird and the school community at large,was astonishing. There are many LOL moments as the reader can't help picturing this little penguin roaming the school grounds or rolling down a staircase. The author has a love of animals and a belief that they understand more than most give them credit for (I'm with him on that one!):

This is such a gem of a book!! When i read the blurb and saw the cover I knew it was for me and it has been an absolutely delightful read! Ocr_converted abbyy-to-hocr 1.1.20 Ocr_module_version 0.0.17 Old_pallet IA18122 Openlibrary_edition

The narrator for the story is the author, Tom Michell, and this is part recount, part story, part travelogue and entirely entrancing. It is a brilliant, fun read, as the author shares his experiences and imagined conversations with Juan Salvado( r ). I’ll let you imagine some of the amazing, often hilarious, antics as a little penguin joins a boarding school then suggest that you go read the book yourself to find out just what happens. From all the time you spent with Juan Salvador, do you have one standing moment that you will always remember?

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