Book review: The Perfect Sofa and I Can Fly by Fifi Kuo

Taiwan born Fifi Kuo’s has a rather exciting year ahead of her with three books due to be published. The Perfect Sofa will be the first of those released and will be published on April 11th by Boxer Books. This fun, colourful read brings a smile to our faces each time I share it with my little ladies and the illustrations are super.

Front cover of The Perfect Sofa with artwork

Panda and Penguin are the best of friends and come to realise that their sofa is a little worse for wear with tears a plenty and springs that would rather expose themselves then stay neatly wound in the sofa. How can this be fixed? Well they decide that heading to the shops is required.

Extract from The Perfect Sofa

There, like many of us, they are overwhelmed by the choice of sofas on offer but they don’t resist testing them out. Fifi Kuo does a wonderful job at creating humour amongst her illustrations and varied text sizes. Penguin and Panda find colourful sofas, ones which are too small for them both and some which are a nod to popular artists such as Piet Mondrian.

Choice of Sofas - The perfect sofa

Amongst all the choice and fun to be had, with much descriptive language used along the way Panda and Penguin return home empty handed. However, it seems that their day of searching for the perfect sofa has made them realise that actually the sofa they have at home will do. With a little love and attention, some springs replaced and sewing completed Panda and Penguin do indeed now have a sofa that is perfect for them.

Extract from The Perfect Sofa when no sofa found

This cheery read is entertaining and is filled with illustrations that my girls absolutely love.  They are delighted to have met Panda and Penguin who are so united in their decisions and such lovely friends to each other. Their black and white features against the colourful sofas displayed makes a wonderful contrast. Fifi Kuo introduces the idea of upcycling and encourages us to appreciate what we have.


I Can Fly is a book which Boxer Books published at the end of last year. Also written and illustrated by Fifi Kuo, it features penguin from The Perfect Sofa, at least I like to think it is the same character, and is all about him wanting to fly.

I can Fly by Fifi Kuo cover photo.

Little Penguin is determined on flying. He asks a seagull why it is that he can’t fly and the seagull explains that “Penguins CAN’T fly!” Little Penguin knows he has wings so finds  this difficult to comprehend. Undeterred with the seagulls’ response he does everything he can to fly but it just doesn’t happen.

I can Fly, penguin communicating with seagull spread.

The illustrations really capture all that penguin is going through. The limited use of colours and the almost crayon feeling of illustration truly draw you in. The varied text layout and larger print makes it an accessible text for toddlers as well as children who are beginner readers like my 4 year old.

Penguin is very persistent about being able to fly but after a conversation with his father and an accidental stumble in to the water Little Penguin understands that what he sees as wings are not for flying in the air but for swimming in the water.

I can Fly by Fifi Kuo extract of dad and penguin.

I Can Fly is a sweet read sharing Little Penguin’s perseverance and makes a fun read aloud with wonderful backdrops of artic landscapes throughout.

It is wonderful to have been introduced to an author and illustrator who is new to me. I look forward to seeing more of Fifi Kuo’s work.

Disclaimer: I received these books from the publishers for the purpose of review. All words and opinions are entirely my own. This post contains affiliate links.

2 thoughts

    1. Hello Fifi, Ah a pleasure. Your work is wonderful. Thank you for letting me know about your page, shall keep a look out. Filza

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