Reviews for Tacky and the Winter Games

Booklist Reviews 2005 September #1
PreS-Gr. 2. While Tacky's friends train for the winter games, he sleeps during sit-ups, pigs out on pizza and doughnuts, and goofs off late into the night. At the games, he lags behind until the ice-skating relay race and even then jeopardizes his team's chances by swallowing the baton. Though children will enjoy laughs along the way, Lester manages to bring in many facets reminiscent of the Olympics: training before the games, the march of the athletes into the stadium for the opening ceremonies that include the lighting of a torch. Of course, there are also differences between these games and the televised ones. For skis, the penguins strap frozen fish to their feet, and medals saying "not bad," "PRETTY GOOD," and "BIG WINNER!" are awarded for various events. Once again, Lester and Munsinger create a winning combination of action, detail, and understated wit. Librarians will want to remember this story for those hard-to-fill picture-book requests during the Olympics. ((Reviewed September 1, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring
Tacky is nowhere near peak physical condition, but he's part of the Nice Icy Land team, which is "ready for the long waddle to the Winter Games." In their sixth book, Tacky and company exercise the spirit of friendship and acceptance. The Antarctic animal characters are easy to warm up to, and Lester's energetic story keeps pace with the silliness. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2005 #6
Ah, the thrill of victory; the agony of defeat. Do the Nice Icy Land penguin athletes stand a chance of winning a medal at the Winter Games? Opting for doughnuts, pizza, and late-night TV binges rather than a strict diet and early bedtime, Tacky is nowhere near peak physical condition. But Tacky is part of the team, and the team is "ready for the long waddle to the Winter Games." In their sixth book, Tacky and company again exercise the spirit of friendship and acceptance. Though "Tacky marches to a different drummer," he's included rather than ridiculed. That's not to say that his friends -- Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly, and Perfect -- aren't often frustrated with him. By the final event, Tacky's goofy antics have put Team Nice Icy Land in last place. But it's Tacky's goofiness that brings home the gold (despite his mistaking the baton for a hot dog in the speed skating relay). Munsinger's Antarctic animal characters are easy to warm up to, and Lester's energetic story keeps pace with the silliness. Go, Tacky, go! Copyright 2005 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2005 October #2
Lester's Tacky is tacky, though he is even more a Society of Oddfellows unto himself, a pleasing misfit among his righteous penguin cohort of Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly and Perfect. Tacky is joyously oblivious of their rectitude as they prepare for the penguin Winter Games, pumping iron and skipping rope as Tacky catches a few zzz's and equips his exer-cycle with a horn and tassels, chows pizza and donuts as the others dutifully swallow their spinach (and Munsinger is perfect here, easily capturing both sniffyness and unbridled appetite). Tacky unintentionally subverts the rules of the Games, winning but losing as officials disqualify his unorthodox stratagems. Finally, his team grabs a victory despite the fact that Tacky ate the baton. A citizen of the deep cold, it's another Frost that Tacky emulates, the one who recommends the road not taken. Tacky, the clueless role model, takes it all the time. (Picture book. 4-6) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2005 December #2
The lovable ice bird returns to compete in Tacky and the Winter Games by Helen Lester, illus. by Lynn Munsinger. Penguins from the Highlands, Lowlands and Funlands take on Team Nice Icy Land (with Tacky as its resourceful team member) to compete for the "Big Winner!" medal. Tacky's unusual tactics may not always fly in bobsledless racing or downhill skiing, but his appetite for fun lands the Nice Ice Land's team in first place. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2005 October

K-Gr 2 -Fans of this endearing penguin won't be disappointed with his latest adventure. Tacky and his friends are training for the Winter Games and when the competition finally arrives, the other animals are worried that he will ruin their chance at a medal. The illustrations are very funny. For instance, on one page the text reads, "They did one hundred sit-ups a day" and the art shows all of the other penguins doing sit-ups while Tacky is sleeping on his mat in the back. On another page, the text reads, "They ate special training meals"; while the other penguins eat spinach, Tacky is shown stuffing his beak with chips, doughnuts, and pizza. Furthermore, the drawings are detailed and full of life. All in all, this is a fresh, lively, and totally engaging read-aloud from start to finish.-Lisa S. Schindler, Bethpage Public Library, NY

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