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When Pookie Met Tushka by Jorge Tello Aliaga (Book Review)

Over 1 million downloads and 5 Years in the Top Ten – Pookie and Tushka are back!

* Features gorgeous watercolor illustrations and educational facts about penguins and polar bears.*

The famous penguin who played piano and his best polar bear friend are back. Literally, millions of children have grown up following Pookie and Tushka but not many know how their story began.

Finally, this story is told in “When Pookie Met Tushka – A Cool Tale of Polar Friendship”: Pookie, a penguin with big dreams, journeys to the magical Icelands, where an unexpected friendship with Tushka, a young polar bear, helps them conquer challenges and uncover the essence of true friendship.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


In the wild, polar bears and penguins live in two different locations. Penguins live in the Antarctic (to the south), while polar bears call the Arctic (to the north) home. Their paths only cross in the fictional world, like in When Pookie Met Tushka. Pookie, a small penguin, wanted to become a great musician and bring joy to the world through his music. Where he lived, though, nobody seemed to understand his dream. Therefore, he decided to travel to Iceland, hoping to discover like-minded, creative animals. Pookie had the love and support of his family, which many people don’t have. He was one lucky penguin!

When Pookie arrived at his destination, things didn’t go as planned. An avalanche tossed him around; he lost his belongings in the mound of snow and felt defeated. That’s when his luck would change. I loved how the main character’s dialogue was in a particular color, so readers could always infer who was speaking. Pookie’s was in bright blue, and Tushka’s was in orange. Even Pookie’s mom had their own assigned dialogue color! Too bad Pookie’s father didn’t. It was bolded bright blue. Still, the others were a brilliant design idea!

Pookie left hoping to share his musical talents but found a friend in the new, strange land instead. He educated the young polar bear pup on what a penguin was and made the bear’s tears vanish over the disappearing stars. The bear helped the flightless bird with a poor sniffer find his belongings. Their kindness and helpfulness to one another created an instant bond, and a friendship blossomed between two unlikely pairings.

The book teaches children that friendship comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. It promotes being kind and helpful to others, which is always a valuable lesson for young kids. After the story, there is also an avalanche of cool penguin and polar facts. I’m sure everyone will learn a thing or two in this section; I sure did!

I hope Pookie’s musical dream eventually comes true! I bet others will too!

I recommend the book to children 2-8.

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤1/2

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Meet the Author

Jorge (or Jorge Antonio Tello Aliaga for short) is a writer and illustrator born and raised in Lima, Perú. He has created books, toys, and apps that have received several awards including a “Children’s Book of the Year” award. His experience includes having worked for Apple, Adobe, Cisco and Oracle.

Reedsy Author Link




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