CHAPTER 1 Stop That Egg! In the not-too-distant past . . .
Skipper. Kowalski. Rico. Private. They are penguins, but more than penguins. They are an elite unit. Soldiers. Heroes. Saving penguins who have been kidnapped from zoos and aquariums all over the world from bad guys. But like other heroes before them, these penguins came from humble beginnings. They were hatched in the frozen wasteland of Antarctica, where they waddled and played with the rest of the young penguins.
In those days, it was just Skipper, Kowalski, and Rico. When they weren’t frolicking, they spent endless hours marching in long lines. Luckily, a documentary crew was there to capture it all on film.
“Does anyone even know where we’re marching to?” young Skipper asked his friends.
Four adult penguins waddled past them.
“Who cares?” asked the first one.
“I question nothing!” announced the second.
“Me too!” added the third.
“Me too!” finished the fourth.
But Skipper did care. There had to be more to life than marching in line. He craned his neck to look up ahead, but all he could see were more penguins.
“Well, fine,” Skipper said. “We’ll just fly to the front of the line and see for ourselves. Kowalski, Rico, engage aerial surveillance!”
The two penguins stood on their tiptoes, flapping their short wings as hard as they could. Kowalski grunted. Rico’s face turned red from the effort. But they didn’t budge.
“Skipper, we appear to be flightless!” Kowalski reported.
Skipper held up his flippers.
“Well, what’s the point of these?” he asked angrily.
Rico, the silent member of the group, looked thoughtfully at one of his flippers. Then he slapped one of Skipper’s flippers with it in a high-five.
Skipper’s eyes widened.
“Whoa! I like it!” he exclaimed. “Hey, this could be our thing! What are we gonna call it? Let’s call it the, uh . . . the high-one!”
Suddenly a large white egg rolled into the penguins, knocking them over. It rolled away as they got back on their feet.
“Hey! Anybody see that? That’s an egg! Is someone gonna go and get it?” Skipper yelled.
The nearest adult penguins stopped. They looked at one another nervously. “We can’t do that,” one replied.
“Well, why not?” Skipper asked.
“It’s a dangerous world out there,” another penguin explained. “And we’re just penguins. You know, nothing but . . . cute and cuddly.”
“Yeah, why do you think there are always documentary crews filming us?” a penguin asked.
Another penguin shrugged. “Sorry, kid. We lose a few eggs every year. It’s just nature.”
“Right, nature. I guess that makes sense,” Skipper replied, but then his eyes narrowed with steely determination. “Something . . . something deep down in my gut tells me that it makes no sense at all. You know what? I reject nature!”
The penguin marchers gasped loudly. Skipper raised a flipper like he was leading a charge in battle.
“Who’s with me?” he yelled. “Ya-ha!”
He took off after the egg, sliding on his belly across the slippery ice. The egg launched right over a cliff! Skipper tried to stop, but he was going too fast. He slid headfirst off the cliff!
Then he suddenly stopped. Craning his neck, he saw that Kowalski and Rico had grabbed his feet and were pulling him back.
Skipper hopped to his feet and the three penguins peered over the cliff’s edge. The egg was still furiously rolling down the cliffside, dodging sharp spikes of ice.
“Gah!” said Skipper, Kowalski, and Rico.
Then the egg landed on a ledge of soft snow, and the penguins breathed a sigh of relief.
But the ledge broke off!
“Gah!” said the penguins again.
The snow tumbled farther down the cliff with the egg in the center, forming a giant snowball as it rolled. At the bottom of the cliff, the snowball hit the bow of an old abandoned whaling ship. It cracked in half.
“Gah!” cried the three young birds.
Unharmed, the egg spilled out onto the ship’s deck.
“The old ship!” Kowalski exclaimed. “No one’s ever returned from there alive.”
“Relax, Kowalski, there’s a bird down there now,” Skipper told him. “Look, he’s fine.”
A tiny bird hopped across the ship when suddenly a huge leopard seal emerged from the water. It opened its tooth-filled mouth and swallowed the bird whole!
The penguins shrunk back in horror.
“Leopard seals!” Skipper growled. “Nature’s snakes!”
“Aren’t snakes nature’s snakes?” Kowalski asked.
“How should I know?” Skipper asked. “I live on the flippin’ frozen tundra!”
They watched as the huge seal climbed onto the ship’s deck, followed by two other seals. They wriggled their way toward the helpless egg.
“They’re going for the egg!” Skipper cried. “Gimme a way down there, ASAP!”
Kowalski thoughtfully stroked his chin with his flipper. “All one would have to do is collect thirty feet of kelp . . . ,” he mused out loud.
The penguins didn’t notice, but the film crew was right behind them. The director narrated in a whisper.
“Tiny and helpless, the baby penguins are frozen with fear. They know if they fall from this cliff, they will surely die.” He nodded to his cameraman. “Gunter, give them a shove.”
“. . . harnessing the jellyfish we’ve trained to obey simple voice commands—” Kowalski was saying, when a microphone pole reached out and bumped into the penguins. The three of them tumbled down the cliffside.
“Now that’s more like it!” Skipper cheered.
Penguins of Madagascar Movie Novelization
The Penguins of Madagascar hits theaters on November 26, 2014, just in time for the holidays!
When Private gets kidnapped, it’s up to the other penguins to save him from the dastardly Dr. Octavius Brine. But can Skipper, Kowalski, and Rico get to him before Dr. Octavius Brine uses his “Medusa Serum” and steals the cuteness from all the penguins in the world?
Discover all the secrets of the most entertaining and mysterious birds in the global espionage game as the penguins join forces with the chic spy organization, the North Wind, led by Agent Classified, to stop the dexterous villain Dr. Octavius Brine from taking over the world!
© 2014 DreamWorks Animation, L.L.C
- Simon Spotlight |
- 144 pages |
- ISBN 9781481437288 |
- October 2014 |
- Grades 3 - 7