by Sebastian Meschenmoser
All you need to make a penguin fly is a sharp pencil and a sharper wit. In absolute deadpan, Meschenmoser explains how he took in a penguin who'd crash landed one wintry day after other birds convinced it that it couldn't fly.
The two bond over fish sticks and the penguin snuggles in his sink, and they team up to re-take the skies. Meschenmoser sketches himself in full slouch, scruffy beard and all, timing the penguin in a stress test in the dryer or launching it like an arrow.
The book was originally published in German, and in translation it keeps its Teutonic sensibility in the way it takes its absurdity seriously. Even the happy ending -- a colony of penguins flies overhead -- has a degree of fatalism about it.
Meschenmoser added only spot color to certain sketches, aiming for an expressionistic touch, and the spare layout underscores the story's stark realism.
Here's Meschenmoser in real life, with a real penguin, taking himself way too seriously -- but in a mocking way. Perfect. While marketed to kids, I'm betting adults will more readily relish this fable about not letting the turkeys get you down.