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Mr. Popper’s Penguins Book Review

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Mr. Popper’s Penguins Book Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Apr 28, 2009
( Rating: 5 Star Rating)

This laugh-out-loud novel by Richard and Florence Atwater is not only an award-winning classic – it’s also about to become a hit movie!

This laugh-out-loud novel by Richard and Florence Atwater is not only an award-winning classic – it’s also about to become a hit movie!

The Story

Mr. Popper is a house painter who dreams of traveling the world – except he doesn’t have the money. Instead, he reads magazines about famous people and distant lands. One day, the Popper family tunes in to a radio broadcast by an Admiral Drake, who is exploring Antarctica, and they are surprised. The admiral has actually answered a letter from Mr. Popper! He promises Mr. Popper a surprise in the mail.

Mr. Popper’s surprise comes in a big package – it’s a penguin named "Captain Cook" who sleeps in the family’s freezer. Captain Cook is very playful, if not a little weird (he ate the Popper family's goldfish when he first arrived).


As time goes by, the Poppers find that Captain Cook is growing large and getting sick. Mr. Popper writes to a large aquarium, asking for help. The aquarium writes back, saying it has a female penguin, Greta, who is having the same symptoms as Captain Cook. Maybe they are both just lonely? Without waiting for Mr. Popper to reply, the aquarium takes charge of the situation and sends him the female penguin to keep Captain Cook company.


The pair of penguins are revitalized by each other's presence. The Poppers are not quite sure of what to do with them because they won't both fit in the freezer. Mr. Popper then simply opens the window to let in the cold winter air. Mrs. Popper is becomes upset, however, because the snow covers the entire floor! The Popper children love it! They have fun with the penguins, but opening the windows will not work in springtime. Therefore, Mr. Popper has the main things moved upstairs and a freezing plant installed in the basement for the birds. The Poppers are now in huge debt.


As time passes, Greta lays an egg. As you may know, normal penguins don't lay more than two eggs at a time, but Greta continues laying a new egg every three days until the total reaches 10. When the eggs hatch, the Popper family has 12 penguins to feed – so Mr. Popper decides to raise money by training the penguins and featuring them in a circus act at the local theater.


Soon, "Popper's Performing Penguins" are featured across the country. But in the theater in New York, the penguins cause trouble; what's worse, they've accidentally shown up at the wrong theater! The manager of the wrong theater is extremely angry and has Mr. Popper arrested, along with his 12 performing penguins.


Admiral Drake comes to the rescue, bailing Mr. Popper out of jail. This is because Admiral Drake had heard about Popper's Performing Penguins, and had wanted to see it for himself. After speaking with Admiral Drake, Mr. Popper decides that show business is no life for a penguin. Drake takes the 12 penguins with him on his expedition to the North Pole, where they will be released into the Arctic.


The Poppers are sad to see the penguins go, especially Mr. Popper himself – that is, until Admiral Drake invites Mr. Popper to accompany him on the trip. The Poppers wave goodbye as Mr. Popper and his penguins sail away toward the North Pole.


The Movie

Twentieth Century Fox has acquired the rights to turn Mr. Popper’s Penguins into a silver-screen movie. Watch for it in theatres soon!


Mr. Popper's Penguins Rating: 5

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