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Penguins march onto book pages

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The stalwart, people-like heroes of the summer's surprise hit documentary, March of the Penguins, have just waddled into bookstores.

Getting a jump on the DVD release of the movie later this month, National Geographic has published two books -- one for children and another for adults. Both are titled after the movie and chronicle the remarkable survival, courtship and birth of emperor penguins in Antarctica.

"If you enjoyed the film, you will enjoy the book," says Lisa Thomas, editor of the adult book. "The story of the penguins has elements that everyone can relate to. I really forgot that I was looking at penguins and not people."

Adults and children alike lined up to see the movie.

Both books, illustrated with photos from the film, follow the narrative. The $30, 160-page adult version chronicles the 13 months the French team spent with the penguins, filming in a landscape where temperatures dip to 70 degrees below zero and winds reach 150 mph.

The $5.95, 32-page book aimed at kids ages 5 to 9 avoids the sad and scarier parts of the movie.

"We wanted to make sure that our book was a book you could sit and read at bedtime," says editor Nancy Feresten. The feeling is "100% warm and fuzzy."

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© Copyright 2004 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

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