Melville House, the Dumbo-based indie book publisher, kept confusing us when they started posting all over the internet about “adopting a penguin” and “penguin lost.” Just because when we think of books and penguins, we have been conditioned by extensive branding and aggressive tote bag marketing to think of one Penguin only . But this promo has nothing to do with that penguin, but rather is about the books Death and the Penguin and Penguin Lost by the Russian crime novelist Andrey Kurkov and penguins, real ones, as in the kind that live in Antarctica.
Melville House has promised to adopt a penguin for every independent bookstore that sells 25 copies of Death and the Penguin and/or Penguin Lost. For those who prefer to adopt a penguin personally and who also really love Russian crime fiction, Melville House has promised a free e-book copy of Death and the Penguin with proof of adoption. Penguin conservationists have their choice of adopting from World Wildlife Foundation, World Animal Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife, National Wildlife Federation or International Penguin Conservation Work Group. Who knew that there were so many penguin adoption agencies? And in addition to the promise of a bleak post-Soviet novel, you can get a little penguin stuffed animal! See how that severed torso has little penguin feet waddling away? Isn’t that cute?