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Showing 1-10 of 245 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 543 reviews
I read this book out loud to my family, which includes hubby, a teen boy, and a tween girl. We each giggled at least once, including my very serious husband. I knew it had the stamp of approval when we finished chapter 19 of 20 and there was a collective groan when I read the title of the 20th and last chapter, but put the book down for the next night. We read one chapter each evening, or about 15-20 minutes if there were no chapter delineations, as in some other books. That chapter 20 title indicated that the end was coming for Mr. Popper's Penguins.

Last night we read the last chapter. Sigh. I wasn't ready for it to be over. If you read the Kindle copy of the book, be sure to read the end-of-book matter. There are pictures of the Atwater family, and an explanation of how this book came to be. I'm SO glad Mrs. Atwater made some realistic changes to the book before it was published after Mr. Atwater's death. What she did turned it into the award-winning classic that it is, a must-read for all ages.

This book was an assigned read-aloud for our homeschool curriculum, but we set it aside in a big stack of books to be read later, since it was just for enjoyment and not really related to other readings and assignments in the curriculum at the time. I'm so glad we waited, because now it would be remembered forever. It was very different from the Jim Carrey movie (also fabulous), so read this and enjoy a completely different story. Pretty much the only things relating the book and movie were the character names and the plethora of penguins!

Enjoy some time with your family and read aloud!
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on October 27, 2011
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 involved in the comfort and care of said penguin (and the eleven other penguins that quickly follow). In the end, he transforms his basement into an ice rink (an idea my daughter wholeheartedly supports, by the way), and spends more than his wife ever thought possible on fish and canned shrimp.

I won't tell you how an out-of-work house painter manages to pay for all that (wouldn't want to spoil the ending), but I will say that the process is highly entertaining for all involved. I found myself looking forward to each night's installment of Mr. Popper nearly as much as The Four-Year-Old.

Although I personally found the ending to be highly improbable, The Four-Year-Old saw nothing at all the matter with it--except for that little bit of unpleasantness with the policemen and firemen--and has spent many a happy evening reenacting the finale in the bathtub.

And now, if you will excuse me, I need to go read Mr. Popper's Penguins to The Four-Year-Old again. I promised her I would as soon as I finished writing the review.

(Excerpted from review posted on my blog: Caterpickles-Scientific & Linguistic Engagement with a 4-Year-Old Mind)
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VINE VOICEon December 15, 2012
This is a short, fun, and completely fantastical tale for children. While the book shows its age, unsurprising given that the book was written more than seventy years ago, this book is best enjoyed if read by an adult to a child.

Ignore the modern movie adaptation of the book, and you will find the story is very simple. There are none of the emotional, unresolved issues that run through every member of the family in the movie. Mr. Popper was a forgetful house painter who must have painted every house in Stillwater, sometimes many times over. When he was not working, which was the winter months, he had all the time to sit in his chair and read about the Antarctic. He even wrote to Admiral Drake, a famous explorer, and to his surprise, one day he found a rather large package arrive by express mail, with a live penguin inside. From there begins the delightful adventure and episodes of slapstick humour when Mr. Popper tries to convince a service man to drill holes in a refrigerator and put a handle inside one, or when he calls City Hall to try and find out if a license is needed to keep a penguin. In the early decades of the twentieth century, it is not that surprising that people would not have heard of penguins. The cute birds are after all found only in Antarctica.

The book is a happy tale, though you do wonder sometimes just how much the penguins would have liked being outside their native home of Antarctica. But then again, you have to remind yourself that this is a seventy five year old book. Mr. Popper is a fairly uni-dimensional man, a quiet man, a good husband and a good father, and most of all, a good penguin keeper. There are no villains in this book, at least none that are downright evil or mean.

The book, in my opinion, given how pervasive digital animation movies have become, may not appeal to older children. That is the reason I said at the beginning of my review that this book may be best enjoyed if read by an adult to young children.

If you buy the e-book version, you also get a short biography of the author, Richard Atwater, and his wife and collaborator, Florence Atwater, along with nine photographs.
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on June 18, 2017
Sweet story. It has been great to share it with my summer school students as we work on comprehsion.
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on July 5, 2015
A giggle-worthy read-aloud for the whole family, both my 8 year old and my 11 year old really enjoyed this book. As a bonus, it only took us a few nights to read, so it's not a book that will take weeks to finish, although they certainly have their place in family reading hour. We read it because it is recommended by the authors of "Deconstructing Penguins" as a good choice for introducing young children to literary analysis. And it was, using the model suggested by the Goldstones, we had a nice 10-15 minute discussion of the hidden layers of this book that my boys and I both enjoyed.
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on May 2, 2017
I don't think we've made it past chapter 3 yet. Boys (5,7) weren't that interested.
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VINE VOICEon October 22, 2014
I read this to myself as a child and remember it fondly. Read it to my son who loved it and now have read it at least five times to my 6 year old granddaughter who also loves it. The last couple of times I was a little bored but she, not at all. It is an odd story with great child appeal.
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on November 2, 2013
I read this book when I was a little girl, and it was one of my absolute favorites. I wanted to share it with my grandchildren of the appropriate age, so I finally purchased it. I reread it to be certain it was right for them, and I relived the experience of reading it for the first time--I'm 68 years young and still remember the story, but it was a thrill to re-read it, and I shall definitely be reading it to the younger grandchildren. It's a real winner, timeless, and holds the attention of anyone who reads it. I actually have adults who are waiting to borrow it to read because they missed out on it when they were children. It has enormous appeal, is clearly written and delightfully illustrated. A fantasy come true for Mr. Popper.
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on January 18, 2015
This is a wonderful book for my ESL tutee. He is in kindergarten and likes to learn more about animals. He is not quite up to manatee level because it is in the last two years that he has spoken English. However, he is interested in my "homework" for him and eagerly answers questions about the books .

This is a fun book for parents, family members, or friends and tutors to read to small fry. The reader and the readee will enjoy the first time, and the tutee can read the book alone to familiarize himself/herself with the new words to be learned.
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on April 22, 2017
Mr. Popper's penguins was very much enjoyed by our 4 and 6 year old children. They really found it amusing and funny. It was a good short read.
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