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How Lucky Got His Shoe

  • Written by Karen B. Winnick
  • Illustrated by Karen B. Winnick
  • Publisher: Santa Barbara Zoo, 2017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984167814; Hardcover
  • Ages and Grades: 5-12; Preschool -7

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When a Humboldt penguin was born at the Santa Barbara Zoo, zookeepers saw that the baby was having difficulty walking. They worried his foot was not growing properly. Teva, a local shoe company, was asked to make him a shoe. If a big elephant with a foot problem could wear one, so could a small penguin. This is the true story, told with affection and illustrated with oil paintings, of how Lucky got his shoe, his name and his ability to walk and swim like all the other penguins.

**For sales info on How Lucky Got His Shoe and Gemina: The Crooked Neck Giraffe, click here.

  • We know penguins are black and white, but it’s fun to use your imagine to pair other colors together. Print out the Lucky coloring page.
  • Count and color all of Lucky’s shoes!

From the Santa Barbara Zoo. 

Did you notice that one of the Zoo’s penguins wears a shoe?

This penguin is named Lucky. He wears this shoe to help him with a medical condition in one of his feet.

Lucky hatched here at the Zoo. As soon as he began to walk, the keepers noticed that he limped. The Zoo’s veterinarian discovered a problem with the growth of some of his foot bones. Because surgery was too risky, and most likely wouldn’t work well, the vet and keeper staff decided to make him a special shoe.

But where do you get a shoe for a penguin? The Zoo found a community partner in Teva, a local adventure footwear company that makes shoes and sandals especially for people who are active in, on, and around the water.

Teva’s design team volunteered hundreds of hours to design and make a special shoe for Lucky, and the company has committed to providing shoes for Lucky’s lifetime. The shoe is changed daily so it can be washed.

Thanks to his new shoe, Lucky can now walk, jump, and swim like the other penguins, and is well on his way to living up to his name.