Ashley Quotes Things – Flipping Brilliant: A Penguin’s Guide to a Happy Life by Jonathan Chester and Patrick Regan

This is a fun little feature where I share some of my favorite quotes from books I’ve loved. Hopefully, they’ll give you an idea if this is the type of book for you or not. Consider it a formal recommendation and an attempt at enticement.

Today I’m pulling some of my favorite entries from Flipping Brilliant: A Penguin’s Guide to a Happy Life by Jonathan Chester and Patrick Regan.

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Synopsis taken from Goodreads:

“‘The more you find out about penguins, the more they seem to have in common with another oddly endearing flightless biped. Namely, us.’

“Think March of the Penguins meets Life’s Little Instruction Book by way of National Geographic. Award-winning nature photographer Jonathan Chester captures the essence of the Antarctic’s most popular residents to illustrate the similarities between penguins’ lives and our own. Patrick Regan’s clever narrative offers surprising insights and humorously entertaining life lessons. The appeal of penguins is undeniable and universal. And we can learn a lot from these fat, funny birds. Lessons like: The meek sleep alone, it’s better to be smart than cute, and you can be too thin. Flipping Brilliant includes helpful environmental information about the penguin habitat and the effects of global warming, including websites that show how you can help.”



“Life is not black and white.

“There are two kinds of penguins: the white ones coming toward you and the black ones going away from you. That probably qualifies as the oldest joke in the Antarctic. It’s not true, of course. There are actually seventeen kinds of penguins, and most have at least a bit of color. It’s tempting sometimes to see the world in black and white and to take unwavering positions about right and wrong. But things are seldom that simple, and it’s life’s full spectrum–of colors, emotions, philosophies, and ideas–that make it so worth living.”


“Guano happens.

“Into every life, some, uh, fertilizer,[sic] must fall. And sometimes it seems to fall by the bucketful. What matters most is how you deal with the inevitable when it comes your way. For African penguins, guano makes an ideal nesting material. For gentoos…it’s more of a décor statement. It’s what you do with life’s little unexpected gifts that counts.”


“When a place feels right, it is right.

“Most migratory penguins return to the same rookery, or breeding and nesting ground, year after year. Some species travel hundreds of miles to get there. The rookery is noisy, crowded, ankle-deep in penguin poop, and sorely lacking in privacy, but it’s home. And as Dorothy instructed so long ago, there’s no place like it.”


“Uphills don’t last forever.

“It’s a lesson all of us learn in sixth-grade science, but few of us remember to apply to life. Energy can’t be destroyed–it only changes form. Every step uphill is a down payment on an effortless glide downhill sometime in the future. Penguins are masters at energy conservation, but they also know that life regularly requires exertion. The trick, as with most things, is balancing the two.”


“Determination makes all the difference.

“Ever feel like the wind is always at your face? At Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica, blizzard-condition winds routinely top 100 miles per hour. At ten to twelve pounds each, it’s a wonder resident Adélie penguins aren’t all blown into the sea. The truth is, sometimes keeping your feet is a matter of sheer will.”


“Some things we will never understand.

“Whether mysteries of the universe or the heart, there are forces in our lives that defy easy explanation. Continuous exploration of these forces is admirable and encouraged, but there is also wisdom in the phrase ‘It is what it is.'”


Up Tomorrow: Review of Batman: The Long Halloween


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Happy Reading!


One thought on “Ashley Quotes Things – Flipping Brilliant: A Penguin’s Guide to a Happy Life by Jonathan Chester and Patrick Regan

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