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Showing 1-10 of 236 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 534 reviews
on August 24, 2016
Although I (an adult) enjoyed the book, some aspects of it may be unfamiliar, and therefore less interesting, for today's middle school readers. First, the main character is an adult, so he is harder for young people to identify with. Second, the book does not explain some of the terms and customs of the times that make the story more interesting. That is understandable since the events were contemporary when the book was written, but it isn't as timeless as some classics are. Still, the book is amusing and this classic is worth reading.
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on January 30, 2013
Perfect gift for a young friend of mine. Quit telling me to add more words, if you want my feedback.
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on December 29, 2016
fun chapter book for my 2nd grader. There are a few dated references (sitting in the tv room smoking a pipe) butt don't let that deter you from reading this book with your children!
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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 July 13, 2016
(Spoiler Alert) I generally find Newbery books to be disappointing, and in that regard, this book did not disappoint. The plot wasn't satisfying because there wasn't enough intrigue. It was overly long and drawn out, but it was a cute and inoffensive book (unless "inoffensive" offends you as it does some people). I was kind of bothered by the idea that the main character had a dream from before he met his wife and had children and in the end he wasn't able to reconcile his dream to include his family so he takes off for a couple of years without them on his own adventure. I also found it obnoxious that Mr. Popper would miss his penguins more than he would miss his wife and children.
The book was okay, not particularly exciting, funny, intriguing, or good. But it definitely wasn't as bad as anything Steinbeck writes.
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on January 25, 2017
I read this because my 4th grade grandson recommended it. It is definitely a product of it's times! Cute story, but definitely not classic material, in my humble opinion. A nice first chapter book for a young one.
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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 December 2, 1999
This was one of my first books - my mother read it to me when I was about four, and I immediately got hooked on penguins for life (check out my nickname...) I now have several hundred (none alive, unfortunately) in my house, and it all started with Mr. Popper. I recall being as amused by his haplessness as I was by the plot itself, but I also enjoyed his gentleness and willingness to let absurd things happen in his life. He personified "go with the floe" (pun intended) and I wished I could have lived in his house.
This book has it all - plot, character, wit - and I've made sure that all the children - of all ages - of my aquaintance have a copy. Yours should too!
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on February 3, 2013
I have loved this book since I first read it almost 25 years ago when I was 8. I still love it today. I especially appreciated the brief bio and pictures included in the back (in the kindle edition ) of the Atwaters. It is amazing to me that a book written in 1938 is still widely read and loved today!
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on December 2, 2013
Read this with my 8 year old boy and we took turns reading the chapters aloud. I had never read the book, but we had seen the (kinda awful) movie and I was so happy that the book wasn't really like the movie. The story was funny and entertaining. My son liked the silly penguins and it sparked a bit of interest into the South Pole. He ended up doing his very first book report on this book. I would definitely recommend this for kids who are good readers!
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