Elementary Book Recommendation: Mr. Popper’s Penguins
What’s the Story?
Mr. Popper is a house painter in the 1930s in Stillwater, USA, and only works spring through fall. Wintertime is when he drowns himself in National Geographic and radio shows about world explorers. During one such show, he learns of Admiral Drake and his Antarctic adventures. He writes to him
who surprisingly responds to Mr. Popper’s letter with a live penguin. The adventures start with one and soon enough, the penguin family grows to nine. Mr. Popper, his wife, and their two kids take the penguins on the road as an act to earn money. The act eventually gets old and there’s a run-in with the law only to be bailed out by Admiral Drake. Mr. Popper is then faced with a moral dilemma that questions the penguins’ future.
What Parent’s Need to Know:
Parents need to know that this 1939 Newbery honor winner has captivated generations of readers. There’s a little Mr. Popper in every reader, particularly those ages 5 to 8, full of questions about the world. In the end when facing a moral dilemma, Mr. Popper becomes a true hero. Vivid imagery, clever word plays, and funny characters that border on the absurd have made this book a popular choice in for kids in classrooms and at home.