Frostberry Goes North
Reading Comprehension Activity

Author: RV Staff Writer J.C.

When Frostberry the penguin finds himself sad and lonely, he ends up traveling very far to find some perfect new friends. Students will read the story and respond to questions on the setting, theme, and figurative language.

Topic(s): Science Fiction / Fantasy. Skill(s): Theme, Figurative Language, Story Elements. Genre(s): Prose

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Frostberry lived by himself in Antarctica. Being a penguin, he didn’t mind the cold and snow at all, but he was lonely. Frostberry decided he should go someplace new to find himself a friend.  

The little penguin jumped into the icy waters and swam. After a long time, the water became much warmer. He arrived at a small island, green and welcoming. He waddled around, trying not to trip over the vines and plants that covered the ground. When he heard strange noises, he looked up. Way up in the leafy branches of the trees were dozens of black-and-white creatures with long tails and big eyes. They were lemurs. One of them climbed down to take a better look at the penguin. “You are new. What are you?” she asked.

“I’m Frostberry. I’m a penguin. I’m from Antarctica, but I’m lonely. Would you be my friend?”

“I don’t see why not,” replied the lemur. “I’m Ruffles. Welcome to Madagascar. Swing on up, and we’ll play hide-and-seek in the forest treetops.”

Frostberry flapped his flippers. “I am not really good at climbing. Would you like to go swimming with me?” he said, hopefully.

“I’m not very good at swimming,” answered the lemur. “This could be a problem.”

“Yes,” agreed Frostberry. “It is also very hot here. Too hot for penguins. I don’t think I can stay. I must keep looking. Goodbye,” he said, waddling away. Ruffles waved a long arm at him, then easily climbed back up through the green canopy of the trees.

Frostberry jumped back into the water. He swam around the tip of Africa, and continued across the Atlantic Ocean to South America. He stopped in Brazil for a snack and a rest. Frostberry feasted on fresh fish. He tried to sleep, but he could not. It was so noisy! The sky above him danced with all the beautiful birds flying above him, singing and calling to each other. They were all the colors of the rainbow. He had never seen anything so pretty. It was bird paradise.

A bird with a long, yellow beak flew down and sat beside him. “Hello,” she said. “I’m Toco. I’m a toucan. What kind of bird are you?”

“I’m Frostberry. I’m a penguin from Antarctica. I’m lonely. Want to be my friend?”

“In the Amazon, we are never lonely! There are so many of us!” Toco called to some of her friends. Down flew a red parrot, a blue macaw, and a pink flamingo. “This is Frostberry,” said Toco to the birds. “He needs some friends!”

“No problem, Frostberry. Welcome to the Amazon!” squawked the parrot.

“Nice to meet you, little friend,” said the tall, skinny flamingo. “Let’s fly! Who wants to do loop-de-loops? First one to get dizzy loses!”

Frostberry turned pink with embarrassment. “I don’t know how to fly.”

“What? But you’re a bird, aren’t you?” asked the blue macaw.

“Yes, but I have flippers instead of wings. Penguins don’t fly.” Frostberry mumbled. The other birds chattered to each other. They had never seen a bird who couldn’t fly before. “Oh dear. I’m not sure this is going to work,” said the penguin. “It is wonderful to see so many beautiful birds, but I can’t fly with you. And it is so noisy here, I can’t sleep very well. I think I need to keep going.” Sadly, Frostberry waved goodbye to the colorful birds, promising to come back for a visit.

The black-and-white penguin slipped into the ocean water again and headed further north. He swam a long time, until he reached the shores of England. He waddled into the big city and soon came upon a grand castle. Flags waved in the breeze, and men in red coats and tall black hats stood smartly at the gates. “Hello, sir. Can you tell me where I am?” asked Frostberry. The guard towered above him and didn’t answer. “Hmm,” said Frostberry, “Maybe you are a statue instead?” He began walking away when there was a flash of fur racing toward him. Several dogs with big ears and short legs were running along the fence and barking.
“He’s not a statue. He’s a royal guard. He’s not allowed to talk to anyone. But you can talk to us!” The dogs were cheerful, with pink tongues hanging out of the sides of their mouths.
“Hello, I’m Frostberry. I’m lonely and looking for a friend. Where am I?” Frostberry asked again.

“Don’t you know? You’re so silly! You’re in London, England. This is Buckingham Palace where the Queen lives! We live here, too. Want to come inside? We can play games all day long!” The pups were so excited that Frostberry decided to follow them into the palace.

The little penguin was amazed at everything he saw. Giant statues, beautiful paintings in golden frames, soft carpets, and glittering chandeliers made his head spin. The dogs were yapping beside him, telling him how old and important everything was in the castle. They warned him not to bump into anything. It made Frostberry nervous. It was all so fancy!

The dogs wanted to play. They chased balls and chewed bones and wrestled with each other for hours. Frostberry was tired from swimming and walking such a long time. He didn’t want to play with the energetic dogs. The palace was beautiful but the penguin knew he didn’t belong there. As politely as he could, he said goodbye to the bouncy pups and left London.

Once he got back into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Frostberry swam a long time. He swam past Ireland. He swam past Iceland. Too tired to continue, he stopped, finally exhausted. He climbed up the rocky shore and fell fast asleep. He snored and dreamed all night.

When he woke up, he found himself surrounded. Dozens of small black-and-white birds were staring at him. Frostberry couldn’t believe it. “Is this a dream? Are you penguins?” he asked.

“No, we’re not penguins. We’re puffins,” announced a nearby bird. She looked a little like Frostberry, but her beak was streaked with red and orange. “I’m Pepper. How did you get here?”

“I’ve traveled from Antarctica. I was feeling lonely by myself. I’m looking for a friend.”

“Antarctica! That’s the other end of the world!” exclaimed Pepper. “You can stay with us, if you like. There are lots of us, but we are always happy to make one more friend.”

“Is it always cold here?” Frostberry asked.

“Yes, very cold, even in summer.” Pepper nodded.

“Are there lots of fish to eat?” the penguin asked.

“Yes, all the fish in the ocean,” answered Pepper.

“Can you swim like me?” he wondered.

“Yes! Puffins can swim, and we can fly too!” said Pepper proudly.

“And it’s not too fancy? I don’t have to worry about breaking anything?”

“Look around,” laughed Pepper. “It’s rocks and ice as far as your eye can see!”

“Well, then,” smiled Frostberry. “I think I have found my new friends.”

Comprehension Questions

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