Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

Mr. Popper’s Penguins, by Richard and Florence Atwater, is a Newberry Honor award-winning book.  The story is about a man named Mr. Popper.  Mr. Popper is a house painter, and he does not earn much money to support his small family.  He lives in a place called Stillwater, and he has never traveled anywhere else.  However, he loves to read books about exploration to the Arctic or Antarctic regions of the world.  He is especially fascinated by the Antarctic, because he loves to read about penguins.

One day, Mr. Popper receives a pleasant surprise.  He receives a package from Antarctica.  The package contains a real penguin.  This leads to a series of events that will change Mr. Popper’s life.

The story is quite humorous and amusing.  My favorite character is Captain Cook.  Captain Cook is the name of the penguin that first arrives at Mr. Popper’s house.  The penguin is funny in the way he inspects the Poppers’ house and gets into mischief.  Mr. Popper tries to put Captain Cook on a leash to go on a walk, but this leads to all kinds of trouble.  Another problem is trying to find a place for Captain Cook to sleep.  Mr. Popper tries to keep the penguin in an ice cooler, but eventually other penguins arrive at the Poppers’ house, so they need to figure out a way to take care of lots of penguins.  They try opening all the windows to cool down the temperature, but then a blizzard passes through and the inside of the house gets covered in snow and ice.  Finally, Mr. Popper comes up with an idea to raise money to support the penguins, by training them to become stage performers.

In a way this is a silly story, but I thought it was very enjoyable.  This might actually be one of my favorite books right now.  I think it is very well written and highly entertaining.  I would recommend this book to anyone.

-Simon H.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater is available for checkout at the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

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