Book review: The Lost Penguin (An Oliver & Patch Story) by Claire Freedman and Kate Hindley.


The Lost Penguin (An Oliver & Patch Story) is a story all about friendship and new beginnings.

This well presented read has had both my little ladies (1 and 3) utterly absorbed. Claire Freedman and Kate Hindley have created an absolute delight of a book which you are completely transfixed by when you are greeted with these beautiful illustrations!


Familiar with Claire Freedman, who is also the author of  the series of Aliens Love Underpants, we were less familiar with Oliver and Patch and my girls were first introduced to the duo reading this book.

The Lost Penguin is a sequel to the book Oliver and Patch where a young boy makes friends with a dog named Patch and a child called Ruby. The three of them are what could be described as the three musketeers, good friends, who enjoy spending lots of time together and it is in this book, The Lost Penguin where their friendship is tested.


The three of them decide to visit the zoo, in fact this is one of their favourite past times. They take such interest whist on their visit to the zoo and it clear to see that they absolutely adore animals. Even Patch the dog has such adoration for the animals he sees at the zoo, including Peep, a penguin who is new to the zoo. img_0047Peep is a small, rather cute penguin and Oliver and Ruby both acknowledge that a new place can take time to get used to, of course Oliver knows what he is talking about having moved to the city in the first book. They are delighted at meeting Peep and on their return to the zoo the next day are excited to see him but he isn’t there!

The illustrations that follow are fun and comical with an element of hide and seek, which my 1 year old daughter loved. Each place the children look Peep is no where to be seen but if you look carefully Peep is actually there. I love this double page.


Thankfully Peep is found but the zoo is closed so who will take him home? This question becomes quite a problematic one and results in Oliver and Ruby having an argument. As draining as arguments can be, I’m pleased that it features in the story. It’s real and opens up discussions. It’s emotive and the way in which Claire Freedman writes about it explores the loud voices, the stomping and you witness the children reflecting on their actions.  It shows that friendships may well have ups and downs and Oliver and Ruby show post argument how good they are at working as a team.

Kate Hindley’s illustrations are so lovely to look at it. Filled with detail and the use of a beautiful palette of colours. Kate Hindley’s work is wonderful and combined with Claire Freedman’s writing the book is an absolute treat.

The Lost Penguin is a super picture book, filled with enjoyment of visiting the zoo and themes of teamwork and friendship.

Disclaimer: Thank you to publishers and Toppsta for sending us this book.

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