January 21, 2016

Bonus Content for “Penguins in the Basement”


Penguins in the Basement

by DJ Miller

spoiler-alertA spoiler occurs when plot elements of a story are revealed too soon.  If you read this website before you read the book, you might know too much too soon.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!  


Hi, my name is Ella and my family works for a government agency called Penguin Providers.  Okay, okay, it’s a fictional agency made up by the author, DJ Miller.  The truth is, that I’m real.  Okay, okay, maybe just in her head.  Whatever. LOL  Some of the stuff in the story IS true.  She didn’t make it up.  She found the information by doing research on the Internet.

My brother, Liam, who tried unsuccessfully to keep important information from me, but I still love, mentioned the Cold War and how the United States had research stations near the South Pole.  He also said that the government set up a net to track submarines.  This is all true.  Well, they didn’t use penguins (that we know of) but they did have other ways to track submarines. They actually used SONAR but in case you didn’t know or maybe you already suspected…SONAR actually refers to a method of tracking sounds NOT ultraviolet light…but LIDAR doesn’t sound as cool, does it?   Maybe they could have used penguins though?  Penguins do have an ability to see ultraviolet light.  It is also true that they are very intelligent and can be trained to perform tasks.  Penguins do have an oil on them, it keeps their feathers from getting wet.

Aunt Libby could speak Russian. If you click on the words, you can hear, “No, thank you” being spoken in Russian.  If you want to learn even more Russian, you can visit the Russian Phrasebook on Wikitravel.

Anyway, I’ve put some more links below for you to click on and learn more….if you want to.  Maybe you plan to be a spy someday?  What do I know?  😉 If you find out that any of the links don’t work, be a good spy and tell me about it so I can fix it, okay?  Thanks!

Penguins, submarines and spies: New ‘Nature’ Special (Wisconsin Public Television)

Penguin Senses (Seaworld)

Tough Little Birds by Katie LaBarbera

Can penguins be trained?  This one does his own shopping!

Submarine detection: Patent filed in 1959 about detecting submarines from their trails of ultraviolet light.  I don’t begin to understand all of this but when I read it, it really helped kick my imagination into gear. (Google Patents) 

Sonar (Kids.Net.Au)

More Undersea Surveillance from the US Navy!

World War II (History.net)

Cold War (coldwar.me) 

Morse Code (Crypto Museum: A virtual museum from the Netherlands)

Morse Code Translator (Engineer at University of Southampton)


Hey, can you decode the secret message below?





 Maybe you would like to know the answer to another secret?  Yes?  Follow the arrows!




















What’s Next in the Secret Animal Agent Series? Or should I say WHO? Hover your mouse over this text to reveal the answer!