George's Cake
Penguin Parfaits

One Cool Friend

by Toni Buzzeo
illustrated by David Small

Charming, witty, clever, hilarious, whimsical, elegant, sweet and fun are just a few of the ways One Cool Friend could be described.  You will no sooner finish reading it the first time than the requests to read it again will begin. The wonderful aspect of a children’s book this beautifully done is that adults will want to read it again just a much children.

One Cool Friend -

Full of word play and details, David Small’s illustrations not only complement the story, they expand it, adding to the humor and creativity of an already mesmerizing tale of miscommunication and mischief.

One Cool Friend -

Young Elliot is a dapper, formal and impeccably polite young fellow with sophisticated tastes, so his father’s suggestion to visit the local aquarium on Family Fun Day is met with lukewarm enthusiasm as he muses on the masses of noisy kids he will encounter at the event. His misgivings turn to joy as he discovers the penguin exhibit and cleverly pilfers one of the endearing little fellows to become his new best friend. Caring for his penguin at home without alerting his father’s notice leads to many hilarious escapades plus an unexpected twist at the end make this a most enjoyable read (many times over!).

One Cool Friend -

In this Issue


Penguin Parfaits

One of the many activities Elliot and Magellan do in their first days of friendship is snack on goldfish crackers while Elliot looks through books about penguins. For a sweet take on that perennial childhood snack, we used Cookies and Cream Goldfish for layering in a parfait inspired by the graphic black and white illustrations in One Cool Friend. 

And speaking of goldfish crackers, you might also enjoy trying Homemade Cheesy Snack Crackers. Use a small small fish cookie cutter to make Homemade Goldfish crackers!


Young Readers in the Kitchen

Once the pudding is made, kids can completely make parfaits by themselves. Set out all three ingredients and watch as their sense of accomplishment grows! 

For additional fun and sorting practice, set out a small plate of the Cookies and Cream Goldfish and have young readers place the chocolate and graham goldfish in two separate piles for two different layers in the parfait. 

Penguin Parfaits


  1. In a small, clear glass (we used a small jam jar), layer all ingredients as desired. These parfaits can be chilled for several hours before the goldfish get soggy.


Exploring Ink, Colored Pencil, and Watercolor Art with Kids

Illustrator David Small used ink, watercolor and colored pencils to create the elegant artwork in One Cool Friend. After reading this witty story of a boy and his penguin, set out those same supplies and see what your young reader creates. Whether inspiration is drawn from the book and drawings of penguins and tortoises appear or a more abstract approach is taken, the fun in this project is in exploring the three different mediums and how they interact with each other.

Exploring Ink, Colored Pencil, and Watercolor Art with Kids - One Cool Friend -

 Exploring Ink, Colored Pencil, and Watercolor Art with Kids


  • watercolor paper
  • black permanent marker
  • colored pencils
  • watercolors
  • paintbrushes
  1. This is a very open-ended project! Allow readers to create whatever inspires them on this particular day! Here are some of our creations: 
    Exploring Ink, Colored Pencil, and Watercolor Art with Kids - One Cool Friend -


One Cool Friend Book Play

Learn About Galapagos Tortises

Elliot's father had a galapagos tortoise named Captain Cook when growing up. Learn all about Captain Cook's relatives with the National Geographic Creature Feature about Galapagos tortises. It features video, photos, facts and sounds.

Where in the World are...?

Pull out an atlas or globe and help young readers find the two places featured on the last page of the book. We could be more specific, but it would ruin the surprise ending!

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