Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

Mr. Popper's Penquins The following comment was posted by notablogger in response to my desire to read all the Newbery books:  “My favorite Newbery . . . is definitely, without a doubt Mr. Popper’s Penguins. I want a basement just so I can freeze it and invite penguins!” So that piked my curiosity and I couldn’t help myself and decided I needed to read this book.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater was a really cute book. Mr. Popper, a house painter, has never left his little town of Stillwater, but every night settles down and travels the world of the arctics through books. He mentions to his wife, Mrs. Popper wouldn’t it be fun to have a penguin as a pet, and lo and behold, the next morning a crate arrives from Antarctica containing none other, you guessed it, a penguin! He soon acquires another and soon he as 14 penguins who have taken over the household and the hearts of the Popper family.

Written in 1938 this book takes us back in time when parents called each other by Mr. and Mrs. and you always got dressed up in your finest to go out for a walk. Children reading this book today would probably wonder what the big deal was over a penguin since all children now could tell you what a penguin is. I was amused with Mrs. Potter’s good humor and nature and that she didn’t mind a bit when Mr. Potter exclaims, “Mamma, do you mind if I don’t come home for a year or two?”

It was fun to revisit a writing style that you don’t see anymore. It reminded me of my own childhood reading adventures. Pure fun and innocence. Overall, I enjoyed this fun little story.

13 comments


  1. What a surprise to see your post today! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. Have to admit I’m a sucker for the old stuff at times, it’s so quaint!

    on February 29th, 2008 at 1:11 am
  2. notablogger – This book certainly did take me back to another time. Thanks for the recommendation. The more I blog and the more I browse the blogosphere, my TBR list gets longer and longer. I wish I could read all of them right now!

    on February 29th, 2008 at 8:34 am
  3. I had to read this book for school and do some report. I ended up really enjoying it! After reading this book I asked Santa for a penguin for Christmas . . . he wrote me a letter and said they needed to stay at the north pole to keep his elves company. haha got to love my creative parents. Thanks for bringing back fond memories.

    Lacey-

    on February 29th, 2008 at 2:00 pm
  4. Lacey – You’re welcome! It was a fun, cute little story that makes all of us want to have a penguin. Notablogger wanted to flood the basement!

    on February 29th, 2008 at 2:41 pm
  5. I love the old-fashioned children’s literature. The good ones are timeless.

    on February 29th, 2008 at 11:12 pm
  6. Framed – I look forward to reading more of these timeless classics. This one was fun!

    on March 3rd, 2008 at 2:12 pm
  7. such a old fashioned hilarious book. I even watched a play on it.

    on April 11th, 2008 at 10:13 am
  8. I have never read this but have seen it performed – it is really cute:)

    on April 27th, 2008 at 5:15 am
  9. Maybe I’m old-fashioned myself, but I loved this book as I child (and I’m not that old now!). It had a permanent place on my bookshelf and I reread it every few months. I’m so glad you enjoyed it – I’ll have to find a copy and reread it again one of these days!

    on September 2nd, 2008 at 7:57 am
  10. HI

    on March 10th, 2009 at 5:59 pm
  11. Mr. Popper’s Penguins, really a nice book.It is my favourite too.

    on April 16th, 2009 at 10:52 pm
  12. Mr. Popper’s Penguins is one of the best books I have read for a long time. Looking forward to reading the rest in school today I have to read capters 9 and 10

    on December 15th, 2009 at 6:20 pm
  13. Can’t wait to see the play put on by Northern Stage in White River Junction, VT in May of 2010!!!! Love the Book

    on March 16th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Comment Here ↓

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Look for These Book Reviews and More in the Maw Books Archives: