An intimate portrait of an emperor penguin colony in Antarctica with 16 pages of color photographs and 24 black-and-white images, by a Bafta award-winning BBC director of photography who observed these extraordinary birds for a year.
... [an] enthralling memoir ... this year of close calls, extreme cold, loneliness and insomnia is interspersed with amazing sights and sounds, incredible splendor and rarely seen penguin behavior, such as a female emperor laying an egg, the long incubation period handled by the males and the egg hatching. A touching story of courage, survival and persistence, My Penguin Year is a must-read for nature lovers and those who enjoy a stirring memoir.
... delightful and picturesque ... It’s hard to recreate the visual splendor of a nature documentary on the page, but McCrae does an admirable job of it ... vivid depictions exist throughout the book ... as engaging as McCrae’s text is, it’s hard not to be enchanted by pictures of baby penguins poking beneath their parents’ feathers, or moved by heartbreaking shots of chicks who perish in blizzard conditions ... McCrae ably outlines the sacrifices one must make for science ... wonderful, eye-opening.
It’s an odd thing to write in a book review, but My Penguin Year is better seen than read. The good news is you can do just that...[in] the BBC series Dynasties ... The best parts of the book are the passages when McCrae is out on the ice and just can’t believe his luck ... The segments of the book that don’t quite work are the more personal parts ... He often attempts to juxtapose his thoughts about what he’s witnessing among the penguins against what he’s missing at home, and it feels unnecessary ... Writing about it bogs down the book a bit. The overall effect is perhaps a good one though—you just want McCrae to fire up his Skidoo and get back out on the ice to tell you what’s happening at the penguin colony.