A Cute and Unbelievable Tale
4 Stars | Juvenile | Fiction | Humor
First published in 1938, Mr. Popper's Penguins brings us an adorable story about a family that finds themselves taking care of a penguin, that soon becomes quite a few more, and what they had to do to take care of them.
I had never heard of this book until recently and decided to give it a shot for my daughter, since it's for about 1st to 3rd graders. The story was easy enough to read and once we read it together, she decided to read it on her own. It would probably be considered a first chapter book for most children and my daughter usually reads several chapters at a time.
The occasional illustrations throughout the book are nicely done and show how cute the penguins are, but stick to a black and white pallette for the most part with blue thrown in on the full page illustrations.
There were a couple parts in the dialogue that weren't quite believeable. For example, when Mr. Popper and the penguin encounter another person on a walk, the person doesn't want the bird near them, asks for clarification on what type of creature it is, then continues being upset again.
Other aspects of the story are rather implausible as well, like how Mr. Popper ended up with the penguins. It is a fictional story after all but for some reason I had to keep telling myself 'it's just a fun story.' It's not like I haven't read sci-fi/fantasy books before about dragons, elves and the like, but I guess the unlikeliness of some of the situations in this book and perhaps the way it was written, made it harder for me to just dive in and appreciate it. Both of my kids, on the other hand, absolutely enjoyed this simple story, especially the antics of the penguins.
One thing I really did enjoy about the story was when the author started listing what materials the penguin used for its nest as well as Mr. Popper trying to determine if he needed a license for his new penguin. Those parts in particular made me chuckle.
On the whole I would recommend this book, even if simply to hear the laughter of children.
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