Atwater, R. & Atwater, F. (1992). Mr. Popper's penguins. New York, NY: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Reading/Interest Level: Ages 8+
Similar Titles: Pippi Longstocking
Awards: Won Young Reader's Choice Award (1941)
Plot: Set in the 1930s, Mr. Popper, husband and father of two, lives his life as a painter… but he has a passion for explorers. When he hears of the Antarctic adventures of one Admiral Drake, he writes him a letter never expecting to receive a response… in the form of a live penguin! Mr. Popper names his new penguin Captain Cook. Things seem great until Captain Cook starts getting sick from loneliness …the only solution? A female penguin named Greta… who soon lays 10 eggs! With money tight, there is only one thing to do – take the penguins on the road in a penguin performance like no other! What sorts of adventures can happen when you take penguins on the road?
Personal Thoughts: This is a great book for kids and I am not surprised it has endured this long. I think the book is an easy read and will pull in reluctant readers… who wouldn't want to get a penguin in a box? Penguins are cool – my stepdad actually had a few real penguins he raised/kept for a while… the thing I find funny is that the penguins lived in the icebox of the Popper's fridge… I was told that putting them in freezers was something zoos/keepers believed at some point until they all realized penguins were dying… I also know that Penguins do not live north of the Equator… at least not in the wild.
Also - a movie version of this book will be released in August 2011 starring Jim Carrey and Angela Lansbury