Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for Penguin cha cha
Penguin cha cha


1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Random House, ©2013.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Penguins are dancing in their cove, and a young girl is determined to join in the fun.


Call Number
E Valiant
JP Val

On Order



Follow a determined girl named Julia as she tries to join in the fun of a mischevious group of dancing penguins. Set in The Romping Chomping Park and Zoo, author/illustrator Kristi Valiant creates a vibrant, funny, and spirited picture book that will leave young readers shaking their very own tail feathers.

"Valiant has crafted a fast-paced and entertaining tale of zoo shenanigans." - Kirkus Reviews

"...this one is gauranteed to dance off shelves." - School Library Journal

Author Notes

KRISTI VALIANT is the illustrator of Pretty Minnie in Paris , Pretty Minnie in Hollywood , the Little Wings chapter book series, and Penguin Cha-Cha , which she wrote and illustrated. She graduated magna cum laude from Columbus College of Art & Design. Kristi lives (and dances!) in Indiana with her husband and daughters. Visit Kristi online KristiValiant.com.

Reviews 2

Horn Book Review

While visiting the zoo, Julia catches the penguins jitterbugging. Julia tries to join in (donning a penguin costume, recruiting a hippo dance partner), but the penguins give her the cold shoulder--until she offers to teach them to cha-cha. Rhythmic text with internal rhyme and the illustrations' energetic lines capture the vitality of dance. The colorfully costumed penguins are both comical and surprisingly graceful. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Julia devises a plan to dance with penguins at the zoo. Sharp-eyed Julia is perched high up in a tree watching a human dance troupe perform when she notices penguins stealing away with a boa, hats and fans. She follows them back to Penguin Cove, but all she sees are immobile black-and-white forms. Still curious, she brings out her binoculars and watches from a Ferris wheel as they jitterbug, hip-hop and boogie-woogie. Donning a top hat, she runs in to join them, but they are as still as "penguin Popsicles." Still determined, she designs a perfect penguin costume and enlists Hippo as her partner. The penguins stand motionless. At long last, Julia achieves success when she teaches the penguins how to cha-cha. Now it is "[t]ap, flap, cha-cha-cha," all around the ice. Valiant has crafted a fast-paced and entertaining tale of zoo shenanigans. Her watercolor paintings are fluid, swirling about the page with dance-floor fluidity. She plays with perspective and page design to present an eye-catching array of dance moves and colorful attire that could grace any ballroom floor or penguin habitat. Fans of penguins and fans of dance and movement alike will enjoy this humorous romp. (Picture book, 3-7)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.