Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody. 2004. My Penguin Osbert.
Every holiday picture book isn't a winner. After all, some of them are too gimmicky to be truly memorable. (Although they all have their place.) But several years ago, one came out that I really enjoyed. (Not that it could ever take the place of The Polar Express which is my all-time favorite holiday-related picture book.) MY PENGUIN OSBERT is the story of a young boy, Joe, and his imaginative, expressive quest to get the perfect Christmas gift from Santa. The book begins with Joe writing a letter to Santa. In previous years, he discovered that whenever he asked for something, he never quite got exactly what he wanted. This year he's determined will be different. He decides the problem was that he was being too vague or general with his request! What does he want? A penguin. A real, live penguin. So he enclosed measurements and pictures and even specified that he wanted a penguin named Osbert. This time Santa delivers EXACTLY what Joe asked for. But Joe may just discover that what he asked for was a little too much to handle. Will Joe finally discover that sometimes Santa knows best? MY PENGUIN OSBERT is a funny, enjoyable read for "kids" of all ages.