WASHINGTON (Sept. 21, 2005)–Just in time for the holidays, the summer’s surprise hit movie “March of the Penguins” will be captured in two volumes — a lavishly illustrated book combining images from the movie with the science behind the emperor penguin’s story and a children’s book — timed to coincide with the DVD release of the film in November.
MARCH OF THE PENGUINS (National Geographic Books, ISBN 0-7922-6182-8; November 2005, $30) and a kids’ book of the same name (National Geographic Books, ISBN 0-7922–6183-6, November 2005, $5.95) tell the inspiring story of the emperor penguins’ yearly Antarctic odyssey and the long months of endurance, self-sacrifice and love as they raise a new generation of chicks.
Everything about the “March of the Penguins” movie is extraordinary — the birds themselves, their arduous trek in single file through the world’s most forbidding landscape of blue-white ice swept by blizzards and gale-force winds, their elaborate courtship, and the almost unimaginable ordeal each penguin couple endures as they safeguard a single, precious egg.
Now, in a visually dramatic adult companion volume to the movie (already the second most popular documentary in American motion picture history and the highest-grossing natural history film of all time), filmmaker Luc Jacquet traces the emperor penguins’ rigorous walk to their breeding grounds, their mating rituals, the parents’ journey back to the ocean to gather food (a round trip of up to 140 miles) and the remarkable adventure of the film crew’s 13-month making of “March of the Penguins,” an accomplishment as demanding, challenging and triumphant as that of the birds it depicts.
Highlighted by 150 vivid color photographs, most by “March of the Penguins” cinematographer Jérôme Maison, the book tells the story of love and dedication — between penguin mates and between parents and the single downy chick each must nourish and protect.
The 32-page children’s book is available in trade paperback for $5.95; a reinforced library binding is available for $22.95. Targeted to children ages 5-9, the children’s book tells the same charming story as the film, with the sad and scarier parts removed. It also is illustrated with images from the movie.
Jacquet is a prize-winning filmmaker, biologist and photographer renowned for his nature and wildlife documentaries that draw on both his scientific background and his gift for film narrative. His first visit to Antarctica sparked an enduring fascination with the remarkable, moving epic of the emperor penguin; his hit movie now shares its enchantment with us.
Maison has spent 10 years documenting the wildlife of Antarctica and Australia. He spent 13 months on the ice to capture the extraordinary images in these books.
NOTE TO REVIEWERS: Galleys of the books are available now. Review copies will be sent to the media in October. Images are available to run with your review. To download book cover images, visit http://ftp2.nationalgeographic.com/pressroom/March_of_the_Penguins, or contact Eduardo Rubiano at (202) 857-7760 or firstname.lastname@example.org.