Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mr. Popper's Penguins



We just finished listening to Mr. Popper's Penguins written by Richard and Florence Atwater.  My children were excited to read the book after their grandmother told them how the book had been one of her favorites as a child.  The story was originally published in 1938 and is a fun read.  Mr. Popper is a painter in the small town of Stillwater but has always wanted to travel the world - specifically to the two poles.  Mr. Popper writes a letter to Admiral Drake, an explorer of the North Pole, who in turn unexpectedly sends him a penguin.  The Poppers name the penguin Captain Cook and the adventures begin. Handles are put on the inside of refrigerators, ice skating rinks put into basements, Captain Cook finds some penguin friends, and the Popper's have to find a way to support their new penguins.

My six and four year old loved this book!  They were so engaged by the story that we had to bring the cd's in from the car and finish it in the house because there just wasn't enough driving for them to get their fill.  We rented the new movie starring Jim Carrey this weekend and thought it was a fun movie - albeit very different from the book.  When I asked my kids which they preferred - the book or the movie - they both said the book.  Hooray!

10 comments:

Ms. Yingling said...

I was disappointed that the movie (from what I've read) made Mr. Popper very wealthy. Part of the charm of the book was the Depression setting.

Beth Stilborn said...

Delighted to hear that the kids preferred the book! There's an older movie version as well, isn't there? I wonder if it stays more true to the story?

I have heard about this book so often, I love penguins, and yet I've never read the book. Sounds as though it would be a good idea to rectify that situation!

Thanks for this!

Kathy Cannon Wiechman said...

My kids enjoyed this book when they were young. I decided to skip the movie. I'd rather remember the magic of the book.
Kathy Cannon Wiechman (Swagger Writers)

MotherReader said...

This is one of those books that I keep meaning to read. Thanks for the reminder!

Blessy Mathew said...

I had never heard of this book. Sounds like a really fun read for the kids. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Playing by the book said...

I've been warned off the film in no uncertain terms by somehow who was aghast at how different it was from the book. I've not read the book (I think it isn't widely known here in the UK), but it's about time I did! My girls love penguins and also audiobooks so if I could find it here, this would be a winner. If you don't know 365 Penguins - a fantastic French book which has been translated into English - I can highly recommend it. I reviewed it here: http://www.playingbythebook.net/2010/02/25/penguin-multiplication/

scottspinks said...

At least the book was better than the film. Nice review. :)

Helena Juhasz said...

Thanks for the review of this. Gotta look it up :)

Caryl said...

My kids & I love this book! We also read it with the kids' book club I co-lead at our neighborhood library (ages 8-12). Then we met at the discount theater (enjoying real butter on our popcorn) to watch the movie together this summer. Our discussion afterwards was great -- they thought the movie was fine, but were disappointed at how far it strayed from the book. They were quite astute in their observations of the ways they changed the story. I'd love to see a movie version of this one that stays true to the time and the feel of the book.

My kids love 365 Penguins, too!

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

It's fascinating to have kids experience the book and the movie version of the same story - we tried it with "Tale of Desperaux" and also for us the book won (hands down.) I have a theory which one (book or movie) is experienced first has a lot to do with the preference...
Thanks for sharing, and thanks as well for participating in the 2012 Comment Challenge!
Keep on commenting,
Lee