REVIEW ð The Penguin Lessons

Tom Michell Á 1 REVIEW

I was hoping against hope that the penguin would survive because as of that instant he had a name and with his name came the beginning of a bond which would last a life time Set against Argent. This book is about the adventures of a young man who decides he wants to see South America gets a job teaching English in a posh English medium school in Argentina and his travels In Uruguay he sees how an oil spill has affected and killed a lot of penguins but one is still alive he names it Juan Salvador and he takes it home to clean it kind of smuggles it over the border it is an Argentinian penguin he tells the Customs Officer and is going home and eventually to the school At the school the penguin looking like the ersatz little humans they do befriends everyone and goes for long walks in the woods when not living on the author s balcony The author does his best to provide him with whatever he thinks Juan Salvador might want and Juan Salvador is happy with whatever he is given even it isn t uite what a penguin would think is perfect Juan Salvador has the gift of making the very best of everything that comes his way and he loves to be in company He affects many people with his listening skills head cocked to one side paying attention The children and the staff love him And they babysit him when the author wants to go off travelling This doesn t end wellThe author is a really good writer and his descriptions on being out on a farm the size of a country with the gauchos the cowboys living their life is revelatory Who would think that in the 1970s in a first world country that people would wander looking for pasture daily carrying everything on their saddle and sleeping around a campfire under the stars at night The last part of the book is looking back on the time he and the penguin were each others best friends and loved each other fiercely The mystery of why the penguin once popped into the bath to have his feathers cleaned from the oil made no fuss and refused to go back into the sea but wanted to stay with the author is explainedDon t read the spoiler if you are going to read the book it WILL spoil it for you view spoilerAt the zoo in the penguins area there is just one species of penguin and one other of a different species The author asks why they don t rehabilitate him to the wild and the keeper says that one penguin will never leave they would just return unless they have a companion of their own kind Ahhhh hide spoiler

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The Penguin Lessons

Guay just days before a new term When The Penguin PDFEPUB or the bird refuses to leave Tom's side the young teacher has no choice but to take it with him and look after it This is their story.. Marley Me with a penguin Well sort of I don t know about you but I m a bit peeved at how this has been roped in for Christmas advertising on Goodreads It would indeed make a good holiday gift for an animal lover but this emphasizes the twee aspects of what is otherwise a sweet if slight story about the author keeping a Magellanic penguin as a pet while he was teaching in an Argentina boarding school in the 1970sMichell from England was in his twenties when he set off on his South American adventure During school holidays he traveled as far as he could get on a motorbike and it was on one such break to Uruguay that he came across an awful oil spill on Punta del Este beach All he could see was dead penguins until he realized one was still alive He named the little fellow Juan Salvador and smuggled him back into Argentina to live on his bedroom terrace and delight the schoolboys Before that though comes the uproarious process of cleaning the oil sodden bird a feat achieved with a bidet a string bag and plenty of dish detergent Pre Google days you see This was by far my favorite passage of the bookIt s touching to see Juan Salvado making friends at the school and helping an outcast named Diego Gonzales come out of his shell through swimming in the later parts of the book However I m always hesitant about anthropomorphizing which Michell does here when imagining the penguin s replies in italics Plus the language can be a bit stiff I would have dated this to the 1950s by the speech and there s precious little evidence of the political upheaval in Argentina at the time the book is set All the same stories of connection across species boundaries are always pleasant to read and the whimsical illustrations are charming

DOWNLOAD Ç THECOLCHESTERCIRCLE.CO.UK Á Tom Michell

Ina's turbulent years following the collapse of the corrupt Peronist regime this is the story of Juan Salvador the penguin rescued by English schoolteacher Tom Michell from an oil slick in Uru. When I saw the cover of The Penguin Lessons I simply couldn t resist reading it and I m glad I didn t or I would have missed out on a great storyTom Mitchell s true story chronicles his life during the early 1970s when as a 23 year old from the UK he moved to Argentina to teach at a prestigious English language college and live the free wheeling life of an unencumbered adventurer exploring South America During a trip to the Uraguayan coast he comes upon hundreds of Magellan penguins that have all been killed by an oil slick except for one lone penguin covered in oil but hanging on to life Not uite knowing what to do he decides to take the penguin back to Argentina and nurse it back to health yeah I know it sounds crazy but remember this is the 1970 s and Uraguay I doubt anyone could get a penguin through customs todayThe penguin named Juan Salvado flourishes under Tom s care Although Tom explores options of turning Juan over to the Buenos Ares zoo or returning him to the wild neither of these pan out and seeing that Juan is thriving Tom decides to raise him While the book covers the reuisite funny anecdotes of trying to raise a penguin and the heartwarming tales of how those at the college bond with Juan Salvado Mitchell includes a bigger picture of the time and place in his book He includes an interesting commentary on the political and economic situation of Argentina during the early 70s as well as beautiful descriptions of the Argentinian landscape I was less interested in the lengthy descriptions of rugby an Argentinian pastime A particularly moving part of the book comes near the end when Mitchell relays in beautiful detail about the way Juan Salvado helped transform a student who was struggling and an outcast at the college It brought a tear to my eye In my professional life I work with an organization that brings nature and animal therapy programs to vulnerable populations including children and teens who have experienced trauma and suffer from PTSD There is something incredibly profound about the human animal bond and for so many people the connection with an animal is their first step toward healing and transformation 375 stars rounded up to 4Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group Ballantine for a galley of this book in exchange for an honest review


10 thoughts on “The Penguin Lessons

  1. says:

    This book is about the adventures of a young man who decides he wants to see South America gets a job teaching English in a posh English medium school in Argentina and his travels In Uruguay he sees how an oil spill has affected and killed a lot of penguins but one is still alive he names it Juan Salvador and he takes it home to clean it kind of smuggles it over the border it is an Argentinian penguin he tells the Customs Officer and is goi

  2. says:

    Proves the adage that large things can be found in small packages Can refer to the less than 300 pages in this delightful book and the penguin Juan Salvador who will touch and change the lives of many He will soon make his

  3. says:

    I saw this book on many friends' pages and I felt this was a book I must read for myself Penguin Lessons is 64 year old Michell's recollections of his time 40 years earlier as a house counselor in an Argentine boarding school and importantly the life lessons he learned from Juan Salvado the penguin In his 20s Michell des

  4. says:

    I am impressed by this book It gave me much than I expected I picked it up because I had heard it was humorous It certain

  5. says:

    This is a delightful account about a young man and Juan Salvador the penguin that he rescued who came to live with him for a time Tom Michell a young Englishman teaching at a boarding school in Argentina in the 1970s was enjoying the summer break in Paraguay when he came across the devastating site of hundreds o

  6. says:

    When I saw the cover of “The Penguin Lessons” I simply couldn’t resist reading it and I’m glad I didn’t or I would have m

  7. says:

    This is an enchanting and beautifully written book about an unusual relationship between a man and a penguin and it's full of the glorious flavours of Argentina in the 1970s I cannot give it a better review than Caren's which is here one add is to say if that you are concerned about animal welfare you may want to skip the section dealing with the Argentinian cowboys

  8. says:

    Marley Me with a penguin Well sort of I don’t know about you but I’m a bit peeved at how this has been roped in for Christmas advertising on Goodreads It would indeed make a good holiday gift for an animal l

  9. says:

    What a charming little bookI picked this up simply because of the penguin on the cover who can resist a cute penguin? and i'm glad I

  10. says:

    This is an absolute gem of a book It is the author's first book although he is now in his mid sixties It is a sort of memoir of a time in his youth in the 1970s when he taught at an elite boarding school in Argentina An Englishman he noted that others of his ancestors had worked in far flung parts of the British Empire in its glory days but none had lived in South America From an early age he felt a strong pull from that continent and bega

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