Book Review: Josie the Boxing Penguin
By Antonio Santiago, Doghouse Boxing (June 29, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
Josie the Boxing Penguin
Over the past few months, I have received many boxing books, dealing with everything, from fighter’s biographies, to medical issues, to teen-oriented stories. One of them is a special book called Josie the Boxing Penguin (ISBN 9781462603831, 2011, Publish America,, all rights reserved) by Sixto Lopez.

It is, as you may have guessed, a children’s book dealing with boxing. Well, more accurately, with a children’s character who is a boxer. Now it is hard for me to come with a review seen from the eyes of a child because I am not a child, even if I act like one in many ways and even if my heart is that of one. And although I tried for my two best children book critics to take a look at it, they, my niece Nina, 7 and nephew John, 2, preferred to play ultra cool IPOD games and with toy cars and action figures, to checking out this book. So I will have to give you my review from an adult’s point of view. Well, at least from the point of view of an adult who is still a kid at heart.

You know, when I was a kid, without pointing at anyone in particular, I always rooted for whom I considered to be the “good guy” in boxing, against someone else I perceived, maybe not to be the bad guy necessarily, but someone less good at least. Now, in real life, we know sometimes that things aren’t that simple. I just believe that God helps one person over the other because He knows what is best. Now, I do not know, say, Bernard Hopkins in person, but I was not too happy when he threw my country’s flag around before his fight with “Tito” Trinidad. My nation’s….because whatever some people might tell you, Puerto Rico is a country apart from the United States. A territory of the United States, yes, but nevertheless….

In Josie the Boxing Penguin, Josie, a female penguin, is the main character. She fights the perceived bad guy, a killer whale. Now, you know that ordinarily, a killer whale fighting a penguin would be like when Mike Tyson faced Peter McNeeley. Ok, ok, maybe I am exaggerating. Maybe the whale versus the penguin would be an evener fight than that. But this is a children’s story. Josie is confident, valiant, armed with a winning attitude as well as a murderous jab, cross and hook. Plus she can fly like a butterfly, just like Muhammad Ali!!

There is a pint of a feminist message towards the end of the story, as Josie is declared to be a girl and basically, the end line tells us that girls can achieve. Josie actually being a neutral name, the description of Josie as a girl could have been avoided, thus making Josie a character that’s likeable to both boys and girls. This matter becomes stranger when you realize that the story’s writer is (or at least the ghost writer’s name used is) a male, Sixto Lopez.

That point withstanding, the book is a short, entertaining and colorful book that a boxing loving child like I was…heck any child for that matter, would enjoy! Josie is shown on the cover with pink boxing gloves on (ala Floyd Mayweather Junior), with darkish purple very prominent in the background. She is drawn inside a ring. Visually, it will be attractive to your children. Josie is amiable, if actually unsmiling, but when she fights, she has the comic book version of Sonny Liston’s scowl!

The book’s overall message to children is that no matter what the odds, we can overcome anything. A message that many of us grown-ups can use sometimes too.

Josie the Boxing Penguin does not score a knockout. However, she does win every round in route to a wide unanimous decision and into reader’s hearts.

Please send all Questions and comments to Antonio at

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