Richard Atwater and Florence Atwater - Mr. Popper's Penguins

4 ratings (4 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
5 stars
2
4 stars
1
3 stars
1
2 stars
1 star
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

Mr. Popper's Penguins--It's Penguin-Mania!

May 21, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Amusing story, Newbery Honor book, still popular 68 years after publication

Cons:Parts sound a bit dated

The Bottom Line: An amusing, if not overly popular, Newbery Honor book


Mr. Popper was the town painter. He painted houses all during the season of nice weather. But Mr. Popper was also a dreamer. This made for some interestingly-colored houses, as he would sometimes forget the color he was supposed to be using while in the middle of the room.

The thing Mr. Popper was dreaming about was far-off countries, as he had never been outside his town of Stillwater. The places he most regretted never visiting were the two poles. He even wrote a letter to Admiral Drake, who was at that time exploring the South Pole. One night during a radio broadcast from the South Pole, Admiral Drake thanks Mr. Popper for his letter and tells him to watch for a surprise.

When the surprise arrives, Mr. Popper and his wife and children are shocked to see that it is a penguin, whom Mr. Popper names Captain Cook. Mrs. Popper is concerned about keeping it, as house-painting season is done and there will be no more money coming in until spring. But Captain Cook stays, and soon the Poppers' lives are changed in almost every way imaginable.

First, there are the changes to the house. The Poppers' refrigerator gets air holes and an interior handle, as it is to become Captain Cook's home. Then, the fresh fish start getting flown in daily. Finally, the Poppers' basement is turned into a frozen wonderland by the installation of a large freezing plant.

Then, there are the other penguins. First comes Greta, who arrives after Mr. Popper writes to an aquarium asking how to cure Captain Cook of his loneliness. Then came the baby penguins: Nelson, Columbus, Louisa, Jenny, Scott, Magellan, Adelina, Isabella, Ferdinand, and Victoria.

Eventually, all Mr. Popper's expenses start to add up, so he decides to take the penguins on the road. He teaches them different tricks and routines, and they begin to delight audiences across the nation.

Mr. Popper's Penguins was written by Richard and Florence Atwater. They didn't mean to collaborate on the book; Florence finished the book when a serious illness forced Richard to stop writing. Their effort was deemed a 1939 Newbery Honor book.

Mr. Popper's Penguins seems to be one of those books that can stand the test of time. When I look over the list of Newbery winners and honor books, I don't recognize a good number of the titles. But Mr. Popper's Penguins is one that many, many people know. Aside from a few old-fashioned things (such as listening to the radio before the advent of television), this book could have been written as taking place today. It has a sort of timeless quality to it that causes it to remain appealing even two-thirds of a century later.

That being said, Mr. Popper's Penguins is not an overly popular title in my classroom library. Most of the kids who have checked it out are ones who read it for reading class last year. Most of my students are more drawn to the flashier looks of newer books--I guess the phrase "Don't judge a book by its cover" hasn't sunk in for them yet.

I'd say the book is written at about an early fourth grade reading level. There are 139 pages with many full-page illustrations. The words are pretty well spaced out, so it might be a good choice for someone (such as a child with ADD) who has problems visually tracking on a page with lots of words. (Don't laugh! I've had kids tell me, "But Miss Jennings, I can't read that book; I can't see words when they're all small and close together like that!")

For a complement to a study of polar regions, or just for an amusing read, Mr. Popper's Penguins is a good choice.


Recommend this product? Yes

Read all comments (6)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!


Related Deals You Might Like...

Mr Popper's Penguins - Atwater, Richard|atwater, Florence

Mr Popper's Penguins - Atwater, Richard|atwater, Florence

Electronics Cameras Computers Software Housewares Sports DVDs Music Books Games Toys in titles descriptions Company Info |Checkout Info |Shipping Info...
eBay

$11.60

+$3.10 shipping
Mr. Popper's Penguins - Atwater, Richard/ Atwater, Florence/ Lawson, Robert (ilt

Mr. Popper's Penguins - Atwater, Richard/ Atwater, Florence/ Lawson, Robert (ilt

Electronics Cameras Computers Software Housewares Sports DVDs Music Books Games Toys in titles descriptions Company Info |Checkout Info |Shipping Info...
eBay

$11.96

+$3.65 shipping
Mr. Popper's Penguins - Atwater, Richard/ Atwater, Florence/ Sullivan, Nick (nrt

Mr. Popper's Penguins - Atwater, Richard/ Atwater, Florence/ Sullivan, Nick (nrt

Electronics Cameras Computers Software Housewares Sports DVDs Music Books Games Toys in titles descriptions Company Info |Checkout Info |Shipping Info...
eBay

$8.64

+$3.10 shipping
Mr. Popper's Penguins - Atwater, Richard/ Atwater, Florence/ Lawson, Robert (ilt

Mr. Popper's Penguins - Atwater, Richard/ Atwater, Florence/ Lawson, Robert (ilt

Electronics Cameras Computers Software Housewares Sports DVDs Music Books Games Toys in titles descriptions Company Info |Checkout Info |Shipping Info...
eBay

$5.99

+$3.10 shipping
Mr. Popper's Penguins By Richard Atwater Prebound Book (english) Free Shippi

Mr. Popper's Penguins By Richard Atwater Prebound Book (english) Free Shippi

Store Search search Title, ISBN and Author Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater, Florence Atwater Estimated delivery 3-12 business days Format Pre...
eBay

$17.59

FREE Shipping
Mr. Popper's Penguins By Richard Atwater Prebound Book (english) Free Shippi

Mr. Popper's Penguins By Richard Atwater Prebound Book (english) Free Shippi

Store Search search Title, ISBN and Author Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater, Florence Atwater Estimated delivery 3-12 business days Format Pre...
eBay

$17.16

FREE Shipping
Mr. Popper's Penguins By Richard Atwater Hardcover Book (english) Free Shipp

Mr. Popper's Penguins By Richard Atwater Hardcover Book (english) Free Shipp

Store Search search Title, ISBN and Author Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater, Florence Atwater Estimated delivery 3-12 business days Format Har...
eBay

$17.16

FREE Shipping
Mr. Popper's Penguins By Richard Atwater Paperback Book (english) Free Shipp

Mr. Popper's Penguins By Richard Atwater Paperback Book (english) Free Shipp

Store Search search Title, ISBN and Author Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater, Florence Atwater Estimated delivery 3-12 business days Format Pap...
eBay

$8.02

FREE Shipping
Mr. Popper's Penguins By Richard Atwater Compact Disc Book (english) Free Sh

Mr. Popper's Penguins By Richard Atwater Compact Disc Book (english) Free Sh

Store Search search Title, ISBN and Author Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater, Florence Atwater Estimated delivery 3-12 business days Format Com...
eBay

$12.83

FREE Shipping
Walkabout 1st Aid Kit Atwater Carey Made In Usa -brand

Walkabout 1st Aid Kit Atwater Carey Made In Usa -brand

BRAND NEW NEVER BEEN OPENED OR USED Walkabout 1st Aid Kit Atwater Carey LTD Made In USA This first aid kit comes in a zippered pouch form which is ide...
eBay

$14.95

+$4.25 shipping