Ark! Ark! At the frozen seaside, the penguins greet each other with a loud barking noise. Father Penguin returns from a swim in the sea. He builds up speed until he can leap out of the water and land on the ice. Then he shakes the water off his feathers. It is now Father Penguin’s turn to stay close to the nest so Mother Penguin can go fishing.
Mother Penguin climbs from the nest. Her movements wake her baby. Baby Penguin blinks her bright black eyes.
Baby Penguin is a slowpoke. When she was born, she took half a day to break out of her shell. It takes a long time for her to eat, too. And even though she is three weeks old, she has never left her nest.
Baby Penguin looks around. Penguins are everywhere, and they are all squawking loudly! They sure are noisy.
Penguins are birds, but they cannot fly. Baby Penguin’s wings are really more like flippers. Although she’ll never fly in the sky like other birds, Baby Penguin will be able to fly through the water with her special wings.
Each family of penguins guards its nest. If a stranger gets too close, Father Penguin stretches his neck. His neck feathers fluff out. He points his head up to the sky and grunts. Baby Penguin stretches her neck and grunts, too.Father Penguin and his baby tell the stranger to keep away from their home.
Father Penguin protected Baby Penguin when she was just an egg, too. He held the egg on top of his feet so it wouldn’t touch the ice for almost two months. A flap of warm belly skin covered the egg and kept it warm. Baby Penguin is lucky to have Father Penguin!
Mother and Father Penguin must go fishing often to catch enough food for their tiny baby. They will have to leave her for a while. Baby Penguin’s mother and father bring her to a group of young penguins. She slowly waddles after them.
Baby Penguin will be safe in this group. The older penguins will watch for danger. They circle around the babies and shelter them from cold winds. If an enemy approaches the babies, the adult penguins will beat their wings and screech, scaring the enemy away.
Baby Penguin snuggles with the others. She falls asleep. Baby Penguin does not notice the group moving away from her. She wakes up and sees a bird diving at her! Luckily, an older penguin is nearby. The big penguin runs toward Baby Penguin, waving his flippers and barking loudly. He scares the bird, and it flies away!
Baby Penguin hasn’t learned how to escape danger yet. Soon Mother and Father Penguin will teach her how to swim really fast through the water and away from danger.Baby Penguin goes back to the other penguins. She is frightened and very hungry. Suddenly she hears her father calling to her! Will he find her? Baby Penguin is lost in a crowd of fuzzy little black penguins that look just like her.
Baby Penguin lifts her head and barks as loudly as she can. Her parents hear her over all the other noise. They find her!
Baby Penguin is happy to return to the nest with Mother and Father Penguin. She knows it is time for them to feed her the fish that they have caught in the sea.
Penguins get all of their food from the ocean. They eat fish, crab, and squid. They also eat small sea creatures called plankton. Penguins have spiky tongues that help them grip the slippery fish in their beaks.
When penguins get thirsty, they can eat snow to quench their thirst. And they can drink salty ocean water without getting sick.
After Baby Penguin eats her meal, Mother and Father Penguin “clean house.” They replace the rocks that have tumbled off their nest pile.
A snowstorm has blown in from the ocean. Large, white flakes are falling everywhere. Baby Penguin is lucky to have her parents to shelter her from the cold winds and keep her warm.Penguins have bodies that are built for the coldest weather on earth. Their bodies are covered with three layers of tiny, waterproof feathers, which keep out the cold wind and keep in their body heat. They also have a thick layer of fat all over their bodies to keep them warm.
The penguin family huddles together. When the sky clears, the snow will melt. It will be fishing time again!
A few weeks have passed. Baby Penguin has new feathers. Now she looks like a grown-up. Baby Penguin flaps her flippers. Now she is ready to go somewhere. So are the other penguins. They form a big group near the water.
Baby Penguin follows them. She uses her flippers to slide across the cold ice on her belly. Baby Penguin quickly discovers that sliding is the best way to get around on the cold snow and ice. Penguins do this by using their fat bellies as toboggans. It is now time for the young penguins’ first swim in the sea. Baby Penguin is one of the last little penguins to dive in. She’s really swimming fast! Baby Penguin is no longer such a slowpoke!