p>When a book was originally published in 1938 and it is still on the shelves of libraries today and being made into a major motion picture, you get the drift that it has some pretty special qualities that are universal and transcend the charge of social culture. Welcome to such a book.
It's a frolic of a story beginning with an ordinary housepainter, Mr. Popper, who loves to sit down in the evening after a long day of painting to look at books about penguins and the South Pole. Fascinated by Antarctica and such, Mr. Popper mails a fan letter to Admiral Drake who is off on an exploratory adventure way, way, way down south.
Now when you take an action, when you wave your hand at the universe, and mail off a letter, you might be amazed at what happens in response. Mr. Popper has just such a day of surprise and joy when a large package is delivered to his door, fresh from Antarctica and bringing the gift of a penguin to the Popper doorstep. Adventure awaits.
This is a family that does not shrink from change and is open to all sorts of possibilities. Everything is welcomed with a smile and an expectation that even better things wait just around the corner. It's just plain old chipper all the way around and it's fun and it's funny.
This is especially wonderful for the younger ones who yearn for adventure but are really hoping it won't be that scary and things won't be that hard. Here is a delightful story filled with escapades and goodness.
Ages 7-10 160 pages 978-0316186469 (Won Newbery Honor book in 1939)
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
Mr. Popper was so fascinated by Antarctica that he wrote to the Drake Expedition, and the explorer sent him …a penguin! Imagine – a real penguin living with a house-painter and his family.
Of course, everyone had to make some adjustments, as Captain Cook the penguin learned to slide down the stairs instead of down snowy slopes, and Mrs. Popper coped with a penguin in the icebox. But penguins live in large flocks, so Captain Cook became unhappy and unwell. The Aquarium’s lone penguin was sad and lonely, so she soon came to live with the Poppers, too.
In the winter, Mr. Popper had no house-painting jobs, so money was scarce. But the cold weather delighted the penguin couple as they built a rocky nest in the icebox and brought forth more penguins!
How will the Poppers be able to feed all those penguins and themselves now? Perhaps a parade? Or a performance?
Enjoy the penguins’ adventures in their small town and the big city in this classic Newbery Honor Book, set in the good old days when radio, the movies, and live stage shows entertained everyone.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA