Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Review: Mr. Popper's Penguins

An old book review of mine from 2011. Old stuff makes me laugh.

Originally done on at

I didn't know what to expect when I first started it, but I knew it was a children's book because of the Scholastic publisher. In the end it was, in a word (and not in a bad way), quaint.

The story is about a painter/wallpaper guy, Mr. Popper, who works in the summer, and stays home during the winter. He has an avid interest in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, and reads everything he can on the topics. He’s even gone a bit further and sent a letter to Admiral Drake, an explorer currently down in Antarctica.

Admiral Drake in turns sends Mr. Popper a penguin, who is promptly named Capt. Cook, after the Antarctic explorer James Cook. Mr. Popper makes him a home in the icebox, and becomes a minor celebrity after taking Capt. Cook about town.

The book is fantastic without being fantasy. It’s a humorous story, told more for the sake of imagining the antics of the characters than for any type of realism. I like some of the archaic phrases (“sixes and sevens”) which place the story back in time, but not at any particular point. I was curious as to what would happen next, but was skeptical of the ending.

Either way, I recommended it to my daughter. Even though it’s got a RL of 4 or so, I think it could hold her interest long enough so that she actually reads. 

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