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Mr. Popper's Penguins
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Mr. Popper's Penguins

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  34,727 ratings  ·  1,458 reviews
Mr. Popper, when not painting or papering his neighbors' walls, has a persistent penchant for penguins. A decorator by day, he's an intrepid Antarctic explorer by night--at least in his imagination. Mr. Popper resigns himself to quiet evenings at home with his family and his travel books, until one day a mysterious package arrives. Pretty soon the Poppers have a house full ...more
Paperback, 148 pages
Published March 15th 1978 by Dell Publishing Company (first published 1938)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Evan Schwenk
The single greatest book of my childhood. (Nerd alert warning)...This will explain how much I enjoyed this book. When I first read it, I had inherited a copy from one of my older siblings. They had written their name in the front of it, because our mother has a weird obsession with putting our names on everything that was ours (especially books and clothes). When I was sent home with one of the scholastic book buy handouts (which I was obsessed with), I told my mom that we did not own the book. ...more
Mariel
Jan 03, 2011 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: free loading pets
Recommended to Mariel by: get rich quick schemes
I made all my pets read this to try and make them understand that they need to support ME for a change. It's not a good book for getting the good life, unfortunately. It's cute enough, though. It was cute in a good way, not the "Wild hijinks ensue!" sitcomy problems way. I think birds cause an awful lot of problems. It was good that the book took that problem seriously. I also liked that Mr. Popper was obsessed and got into the spirit of his hobby. I love to know that kind of stuff about people. ...more
Emily
I remember loving this in third grade when the school librarian read it aloud to our class. Decided to try it on the seven year-old, who likes animal stories, and was curious to see if I'd still like it at this late date. Yes, but not as much. This time around, I thought it got off to a slow start, and it struck me that it would be odd today for the main (human) character in a children's book to be an adult, although the rumpled, absent-minded, polar-fanatic house-painter Mr. Popper is hardly a ...more
Shala Howell
My Four-Year-Old is just beginning to be interested in having chapter books read to her. But as she gets stressed out by conflict of any sort, it's kind of tough finding good candidates for her. This is a winner.

For those of you who haven't read the book, the basic premise is that a house painter who spends his off-hours reading about (and writing to) explorers in the South Pole receives a penguin in the mail from one of those explorers. Since his work is over for the winter, he becomes very in
...more
Kim
I couldn't keep reading because I kept thinking that the penguins could never survive in such a hot climate and Discovery Channel realism was intruding on the lighthearted nature of the story.
Mari Anne
There has apparently been a resurgance in interest in this 1938 childrens' book since I have been seeing it everywhere I go. Since I never read it growing up I thought I would give a read.

The story while cute and age appropriate for 4-8 y/o seemed inadequate in some way... even for a kid's book. The ending totally turned me off of the book altogether (the father leaves for the Arctic for a year or two with barely a good-bye.) Maybe that was the whole problem I had with the book. The father was
...more
The Library Lady
Mr Popper is a mild mannered house painter who loves to listen to radio programs about penguins. So when an Admiral sends him a REAL penguin, he is delighted to have it for a pet. Only "Captain Cook" gets lonely, and needs a mate, so the Admiral sends "Greta". Soon there are 12 penguins living in the Poppers basement. And times are tough and the Poppers don't have much money to feed those penguins. What to do?

This is a warm, funny, old fashioned family story that makes a wonderful read aloud. Su
...more
Kressel Housman
My son the nature-lover, who is not as avid a reader as his brothers, is a die-hard fan of this book. His enthusiasm began in school when his teacher read the book to his class, and before she could finish, he persuaded me to bring it home to read at bedtime. It's the charming and often funny story of an ordinary house painter who dreams of Antarctica. When he receives a penguin as a surprise gift, the adventures begin! The book was written in the 30's, but it really transcends time. A fun follo ...more
Amy
I can see why this book has become a classic - it's utterly charming and witty. I know I read it when I was a kid, but the only part I remembered was how Mr. Popper made his basement into an ice rink. I enjoyed it just as much - if not more - as an adult. Captain Cook has so much personality, and I loved that Mr. Popper devoted so much time and energy to making sure the penguins were happy. The animal activist side of me cringed a little bit at the idea of wild animals being taken out of their n ...more
Tim
Yawn. . .One of the rare Children's books where the movie is VASTLY superior to the book for entertainment value. Neither the penguins nor the Poppers have any significant personality. Made Stuart Little seem fast-paced. 5yo-Daughter liked it, thus the "OK" rating. Otherwise it would be less.
Pricky
I read this as a child and really enjoyed it so I read it to my daughter. She really loved it and maybe I have to just remind myself that this is a book for the "younger folk."

As an adult, when I read this, I just thought it was just Silly...silly, as in...this story doesn't make any sense at all and is just full of nonsense. Don't get me wrong, I love children's stories that have bits of fantasy to them: Ralph S. Mouse, Indian in the Cupboard, etc...It's just that, I found this to borderline th
...more
Barb Middleton
I am a doofus. I don't know what happens to my brain, but it just checks out of reality. Climbs a mountain; hides in the clouds. Take for instance this morning. I'm at church. I have to go to the bathroom really bad so I run out, use the stall, only to emerge and see men at the sink. Ahhh! What a doofus! I went in the men's bathroom. And I confess, this isn't the first time this has happened.

Mr. Popper is an absentminded doofus too. When his penguins yank him down three flights of stairs, I'm th
...more
Cruth
Authors: Richard and Florence Atwater
Illustrator: Robert Lawson
First Published: 1938
Includes: Stills from the 2011 movie starring Jim Carey.
Awards: Newberry Honor, 1939, Young Reader's Choice Award, 1940.

"Richard Atwater and his wife, Florence Atwater, never intended to collaborate on a book. 'Mr Popper's Penguins' was begun by Mr. Atwater, a newspaper columnist and a onetime classics instructor at the University of Chicago. But when a serious illness forced him to stop writing, Mrs. atwater com
...more
Brian Hodges
Not my favorite chapter book so far. I think it kind of shows its age as far as other kids books are concerned. It wasn't so much a story as a series of mildly ridiculous events spurred on the arrival of a live penguin, sent to the titular Mr. Popper from Admiral Drake at the South Pole. Before you know it there are a dozen or so penguins and they're taking their zany act on the road until Admiral Drake returns to take the penguins off the the North Pole in order to start a breed of penguins in ...more
Quân Khuê
Hẳn nhiều bạn nhỏ không mấy xa lạ với việc nuôi một con chó, con mèo, con chuột bạch hay thậm chí một con vẹt. Nhưng còn nuôi một con chim cánh cụt thì sao? Ai cũng biết, chim cánh cụt chỉ sống ở Nam Cực, một vùng đất quanh năm băng giá. Vậy nên, chuyện gì sẽ xảy ra nếu trong nhà bạn có không chỉ một con chim cánh cụt mà thậm chí cả một bầy cánh cụt? Bạn có biết làm thế nào để giữ lạnh cho chúng, cho chúng ăn những thức ăn gì, và nếu dẫn chúng đi dạo, thì bạn có cần phải buộc cổ chúng như khi dắ ...more
Scott
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brenda
Mr. Popper is a poor house painter who dreams of far away places and an avid reader about all things relating to the Arctic and Antarctic. Mr. Popper goes so far as to send a letter to his favorite explorer and in return has a real penguin sent to him. Unbeknownst to him is the task of carrying for and attending to his new pets needs. I really enjoyed the old fashioned family feel of the story. I can see where younger children would find humor in the dilemma's that the Popper's are faced with. E ...more
Laura
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicola Mansfield
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 ...more
Lars Guthrie
At least the third reread of this, after it was adopted by one of my kids' second grade book club. There's a reason why this is so often assigned: the writing is clever and witty, and children like it. I love it, and almost wish it were not assigned so children would not think of it not as required reading but a fun and funny book. It's amazing that a work first published in 1938 can seem so fresh and lively. Mr. Popper is an underachieving house painter whose faraway dreams lead to his taking a ...more
Dolly
Jan 14, 2012 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We discovered this book from seeing advertisements for the movie, starring Jim Carrey. It was also mentioned as a good book for school-age children at the Children's Books group here on Goodreads. We read it aloud and our girls thought it was hilarious, often asking for "just one more chapter." The story was very silly, but entertaining and we really enjoyed reading it together.

We have the movie in our queue at Netflix, but I'm afraid we'll be disappointed. Still, I'm glad we read this book!
Amy
I read this to my oldest son who is 7 1/2. We just finished Because of Winn-Dixie, and this held no candle to that one. It was pretty cute with some good moments, but I hatred the end (Mr. Popper leaves his wife and young kids to go to the Arctic with his penguins), and it was kind of boring. Considering the book was written in 1938, however, it was cute. But this just furthers my belief that reading the classic children's books just for the sake of reading them is silly. We are having much more ...more
Kirei
We watched the movie with Jim Carey and the book is NOTHING like the movie. At all!

Anyway it was a good book with lots of good facts about penguins. (Although some was obviously in the world of make believe. I doubt penguins would be so well-behaved.). One thing I thought was extremely unlikely was how they acquired the second penguin. I can't imagine a zookeeper giving a penguin to a family.

The ending was a little weird. I doubt in real life Mrs. Popper would be happy with the situation, let al
...more
Kareem
One day, the Popper family tunes in to a radio broadcast by an Admiral exploring polar regions. Mr. Popper had previously sent the Admiral fan mail, and the Admiral promises Mr. Popper a surprise. The surprise turns out to be a penguin, which comes in a large box. Mr. Popper names the penguin "Captain Cook" after the famous James Cook. Mr. Popper cleans out the icebox so that the penguin can sleep inside. As time goes by, the Poppers find that Captain Cook is growing large, but his health is fai ...more
Shauna
We just finished this children's classic as a family read-aloud. My 8-year-old absolutely loved it and burst out laughing at least once per chapter. My 10-year-old thought the book was a bit silly, and the plot was a bit simple for her, but she still listened casually and enjoyed it.

The penguins' antics don't always reflect realistic penguin behavior, but are certainly entertaining to the early- to mid-elementary-school-aged crowd. Mr. Popper is a house painter, husband, and father; Mrs. Popper
...more
Benji Martin
I decided a while back that I was going to read all of the Newberys, and that I would also choose one honor book to read each decade. For the 30's I chose Mr. Popper's Penguins. It's a well-known book, that I hadn't read, and it's not very long. It was a very entertaining read, and I enjoyed it very much.

One thing blew my mind, though. NO ONE, in the novel except for Mr. Popper and a few others knew what a penguin was. Every time Mr. Popper took the penguins out in public, everyone was like, "Wh
...more
Heather
Spencer and I read this together. It started out as a cute story, but by the end I was ready for it to be over. And then the ending was so frustrating! Spencer and I both looked at each other and said, "Why would they end it that way?!" It gave us an opportunity to have a discussion about how we would have ended it, but it was still disappointing. The other thing that really stood out while reading it was the cultural shifts of how a husband and wife divide roles and interact with one another. T ...more
Sarah Kinert
Mr.Popper's Penguins was such a great book. It was so funny and it kept me entertained the whole entire time. I kept the book in my hands because it was so interesting and I honestly just loved it.
This book has a funny plot line. What mainly happens is that Mr.Popper is very interested in Admirable Drake and his expiditions. Then Admirable Drake sent a penquin to him. Mr.Popper kept in the freezer until he got sick. Another penguin arrived to keep Captin Cook company. The two penguins had a to
...more
Ethan Staskewicz
Mr.Popper's penguins was just about an old painter, who was just bored with his life. It was the same old continuous day in and day out life style, until one day a package had arrived at his door. This was no ordinary package, for inside of this package was a little black and white penguin. After this penguin came many more, until the point of where Mr. Popper had a group full of talented penguins. That's right, all of these little penguins were very talented. Mr.Popper had taken these little g ...more
Melinda
A quaint story about how the gradual acquisition of twelve penguins can definitely influence a family of four, and ultimately, the experiences are positive. I do think that I would have enjoyed this book more thoroughly if I had read it, or had it read to me, in elementary school, for that younger audience was definitely the he intended target. For any who have seen the movie with Jim Carrey, do not expect the book to be at all the same, outside of there being a main character by the name of Mr. ...more
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hillaroius 4 34 May 24, 2013 05:30AM  
Classic Readers: Mr. Popper's Penguins 5 20 Sep 01, 2012 07:24PM  
Book Review 2 21 Jan 04, 2012 07:06PM  
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Richard Tupper Atwater (1892-1948) was a Chicago journalist. He wrote for a number of newspapers including the Chicago Evening Post, the Chicago Daily News, the Chicago Tribune, and the Herald-Examiner. He contributed to the literary and arts magazine The Chicagoan. He also taught Greek at the University of Chicago. In 1932, after watching a documentary about Richard E. Byrd's Antarctic expedition ...more
More about Richard Atwater...
Secret History of Procopius Mr. Popper's penguins: Scholastic literature guide A Guide for Using Mr. Popper's Penguins in the Classroom (Literature Units) The Secret History Mr. Popper's Penguins - Teacher Guide

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