Prying Penguins and Northern Lights: Book Review of Pandora’s Box by Julia Dweck
Do you march (or, in the case of penguins, waddle) to a different drummer? Do you go left when everyone else goes right? Then you will love Pandora the Penguin, the delightful main character in Julia Dweck’s Pandora’s Box.
Pandora doesn’t want to just fish like her penguin siblings. She simply has to explore, and it is her wanderings across the ice that bring her face to face with a mysterious box, hidden under the icy water.
How will Pandora open the frozen box? What is locked away inside, and how is it related to the extraordinary Northern Lights? You’ll have to read to find out!
This book is a wonderful way to encourage your child to follow his own path, even when others would rather he leave well enough alone. Pandora’s confidence and pure spunk will endear her to young readers, and her adventures will entice them to seek their own.
What makes this version of the Pandora story different is that the results of Pandora’s curiosity are wonderful. Rather than releasing misery upon the world, she brings it something wondrous and awe-inspiring, And I love that in the end her friends decide to help her open the box, despite their initial skepticism.
But enough about me – what did Monkey think??
He loved it! As soon as we finished he wanted to read it again. This was lucky because a few minutes later when I started to give Baby his bath, Monkey settled himself in a nearby chair and asked me to read the book a third time. I didn’t know it well enough to recite all of the fun rhyming verses of the original, but well enough to satisfy Monkey until bath time was over and we could sit down and read it properly.
I wasn’t sure what he would think of an e-book, but Monkey loved the format, since he likes getting to swipe the screen to turn the pages.
Julia Dweck has a background in elementary education, which is perhaps why she has such a good feel for how to retell a classic tale so that it will interest young children. Monkey laughed out loud at Pandora’s tumble through the ice, and he cheered when she pulled out a jackhammer to try to open the mysterious box.
Another book for preschoolers by Dweck is Donuts, a modern fairy tale that will help children think about the importance of caring for the earth – perfect for Earth Day! And Dweck writes for older children as well, so be sure to browse the full list of her works on her author page.
Disclaimers: This post contains affiliate links. I was provided copies of the above books for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are mine.