Absolutely adorable, this is an autobiography full of eccentricity, charm and a penguin called Juan Salvador. As a young man in the 1970’s Tom Michell travelled to Argentina to teach at a boarding school. While in Uruguay Tom rescued a penguin from an oil slick and found himself with an unexpected companion. Writing in a fresh, chatty and friendly style, Tom introduces his colleagues, students and the beautiful country of Argentina. With super little titbits and recollections of his time in South America this a beautifully written memoir, however, I have to confess, that it is Juan Salvador who truly enchanted me. This confident, sociable little penguin must have been a joy to get to know. ‘The Penguin Lessons’ has left me with a lovely warm glow of optimism, there’s far more to be gained from these lessons than you would originally suspect.
As Heard on BBC Radio 2 Fact Not Fiction Bookclub. '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'. Tom Michell is in his roaring twenties: single, free-spirited and seeking adventure. He has a plane ticket to South America, a teaching position in a prestigious Argentine boarding school, and endless summer holidays. He even has a motorbike, Che Guevara style. What he doesn't need is a pet. What he really doesn't need is a pet penguin. Set against Argentina's turbulent years following the collapse of the corrupt Peronist regime, this is the heart-warming story of Juan Salvador the penguin, rescued by Tom from an oil slick in Uruguay just days before a new term. When the bird refuses to leave Tom's side, the young teacher has no choice but to smuggle it across the border, through customs, and back to school. Whether it's as the rugby team's mascot, the housekeeper's confidant, the host at Tom's parties or the most flamboyant swimming coach in world history, Juan Salvador transforms the lives of all he meets - in particular one homesick school boy. And as for Tom, he discovers in Juan Salvador a compadre like no other...The Penguin Lessons is a unique and moving true story which has captured imaginations around the globe - for all those who dreamed as a child they might one day talk to the animals.
'Entrancing ... the writing is a delight, the story itself so touching that I didn't want it to end. I really loved this book' -- Michael Bond, creator of Paddington Bear
'Fantastic, fantastic - I have been glued to The Penguin Lessons ... it's so good. A magical story' -- Dj Nihal BBC Radio 2 Fact Not Fiction Bookclub
'His tone suits the material perfectly ... you believe every word ... No fool, this penguin. No fools these publishers, who have unleashed such a delightful and charming book just in time for Christmas' Daily Mail
'An uplifting true story about author Tom Michell's years as a teacher in Argentina and the penguin he adopted as a pet' Good Housekeeping
'Warm and unique ... it's hard not to wish you were there ... a lovely story about a remarkable trip to the other side of the world and a gorgeous friendship between one man and his penguin' The Bookseller
Publication date: 16/06/2016
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
|Publication date:||16th June 2016|
|Publisher:||Penguin Books Ltd|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, eBook Favourites, The Real World, Travel,|
|Categories:||Memoirs, Birds, including cage birds, as pets, Travel writing,|
Tom Michell was born and grew up on the rural downs of southern England, where he grew to love animals, birds and plants. After living in Argentina he returned home and settled in Cornwall where he helps with the family business, tends a small plot of what he calls 'good Cornish soil' and sings with a local choir. He is an amateur artist and in his spare time he draws and paints subjects from the wildlife around his home, specializing in birds of prey. Tom is an enthusiastic proponent of understanding how humans can live in genuinely sustainable ways. He ...More About Tom Michell