Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Mr. Popper’s Penguins
by Richard and Florence Atwater
illustrated by Robert Lawson

“Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” by Richard and Florence Atwater, and illustrated by Robert Lawson, is a total delight of a classic. It’s silly and funny and just the kind of classic story children these days need to read. Mr. Popper isn’t unhappy with his life. In fact, he’s quite satisfied with his work as a house painter and wall paper hanger. He’s quite comfortable with his dear wife, Mrs. Popper, and pleased with his two children. However, he is a little disappointed that he didn’t get to travel and especially travel to the South and the North Poles. He loves all things Arctic and Antarctic. He even writes a fan letter to Admiral Drake, a well-known explorer.

When Admiral Drake not only answers his letter, but sends him an actual penguin, the story takes off. It’s a fantasy, but it provides much food for discussion. What do penguins eat? What are they like? Where do they live? And so forth. Mr. Popper tries to create the perfect home for his penguin, Captain Cook, but sadly the bird starts to fall ill. The only thing to save him is another penguin! Now the Poppers have two. That’s twice as many mouths to feed and twice as much work. Then there are baby penguins, too. Mr. Popper doesn’t make enough money to handle his suddenly huge penguin brood. He comes upon a wonderful idea to make the penguins “self-supporting.”

This is a great book for reading aloud a chapter a day. Teachers and parents can find much to discuss with their students about penguins and their habitat, taking care of pets, and living one’s dream. It’s a very satisfying, far-fetched “yarn” that certainly has a well-deserved reputation as a great classic children’s book. Highly recommended for children ages six to ten.

This book was obtained at the library.

Reviewed by
Penelope Anne Cole
Award Winning Author of Magical Matthew and Magical Mea 
and Mágico Mateo (Spanish)
New: Magical Mea Goes to School
For Halloween: Ten Little Tricksters
Web:  http://www.penelopeannecole.com/ 

Mr. Popper's Penguins, Richard and Florence Atwater, Robert Lawson, Admiral Drake, Captain Cook, Greta, performing, Antarctica, The North Pole, The South Pole, Middle Grade, children's books

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