A Santa Barbara Bird Just Waddled Into His First Book

Monty, the beloved Santa Barbara Zoo penguin, is the tuxedo-rocking star of "Monty's Marvelous Adventures."

Santa Barbara Zoo

WEARING A TUXEDO... to a big book release party? You just might go ahead and get a little dressy, if you're set to headline a major literary release. But what if you already happened to be rocking a tuxedo around the clock in 24/7 fashion? Good news: You won't even need to swing by the formal wear store for a fitting. And while we don't know that Monty, the Santa Barbara Zoo's superstar penguin, will be strutting into a splashy soiree any time soon, given the animal park's temporary closure, he can rock his own feathery tuxedo while celebrating his brand new book. For the...

BRAVE LITTLE BIRD... is the new star of "Monty's Marvelous Adventures," a children's book detailing some of his around-the-zoo travels during the destination's pandemic closure. This is no flight of fancy, for Monty, a Humboldt penguin, really did waddle by a host of animal habitats in 2020, with Ellie Cullip, his devoted keeper, at his side. The hand-raised penguin's perambulations caught the fancy of fans near and far on social media, and the adoring eye of Dori Edwards, the Marketing Coordinator for Santa Barbara Zoo. Ms. Edwards turned Monty's in-zoo tootles, which involved distant but delightful meetings with animals such as Michael the Masai giraffe and HoneyBun the rabbit into a page-by-page story illustrated by Ryan Carr. And the sweet tail, er, tale that resulted? It will officially debut on Feb. 1, 2021, so break out the tuxedoes.

THE AUTHOR... shared her excitement ahead of the book's public debut. "I feel so lucky and grateful to watch the positive impact Monty made on so many," shared Dori Edwards. "He offers daily reminders of the beauty in sharing this planet, and I wanted his story to be told. I wanted people to be able to have something from 2020 that reminded them there's always a hope to hold on to, even when it feels like there's not. Monty and Ellie taught us about acceptance, curiosity, open hearts, and intentionally and consciously loving beyond and because of differences."

NEED MORE MONTY? You can order the book, which is priced at $15.95, through the Santa Barbara Zoo site.

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