13. Mr. Popper's Penguins

Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
Illustrations by Robert Lawson

Pages: 139
Finished: Jan. 22, 2008
Reason for Reading: decades challenge, read-aloud to my 7yo.
First Published: 1938
Genre: children, fiction
Award: Newbery Honor Book
Rating: 3.5/5

First Sentence:

It was an afternoon in late September.

Comments: Mr. Popper, an avid reader of literature concerning the Poles, receives a gift of a penguin from Admiral Cook. What ensues is the story of how he and his family cope with a penguin, and then many more penguins. This is the fourth time, I think, that I have read this so it has lost some of its charm for me. The 7yo enjoyed it well enough. The penguin antics are funny and this is a story that appeals to a child's imagination. Robert Lawson's illustrations are fabulous, as always. A cute, enjoyable story.

I do have to say though that I always find the ending rather disconcerting. SPOILER ALERT..... Mr. Popper leaves his family, basically deserts them, for a supposed couple of years and Mrs. Popper and the children aren't bothered in the least, just waving merrily good-bye.


  1. I love most Newberry books. I bet my girl's would like this one!!

    By the way, I just tagged you for a meme!!


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