Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Book Review: Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

Book:  Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater, illustrated by Robert Lawson, Little, Brown Young Readers, 1st published 1938, 148 pages.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
The unexpected delivery of a large crate containing an Antarctic penguin changes the life and fortunes of Mr. Popper, a house painter obsessed by dreams of the Polar regions.

My Thoughts
This is a sweet book that will probably appeal to a wide variety of younger middle school readers.  Mr. Popper is a house painter who has finished his work for the year.  Every winter, he sits at home and dreams about travelling, though he has never left his small town of Stillwater.  He especially dreams of the Arctic poles.  One day, he receives a package from the famous Admiral Drake, a penguin from the Antarctic, and the fun begins.

It is fun to see Mr. Popper's passion for his penguins shine through the book - it becomes contagious to his family around him as well.  There are also many funny, silly scenes with the penguins that are sure to make kids reading this laugh out loud.

The illustrations are also nice, black and white drawings every chapter or so, and can be a good break for kids.  They certainly add to the vividness and sometimes even the humour of the book.

This is an interesting book because it is simple and entertaining, but also has a good vocabulary.  Though it would probably appeal to early chapter book types or reluctant readers, there are words that will also challenge them.  They will also enjoy that the book doesn't talk down to them.


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  2. Thanks, I'll see you there, then!


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