Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater (1938)

penguin.jpgMr. Popper is a poor housepainter — and a dreamer.  While painting the many small kitchens in the town where he lives, he dreams of visiting the South and North Pole.  His wife and children encourage his interest in the Poles, until through a series of unlikely events, their family suddenly become the owners of TWELVE real-life penguins!

How will the Popper family support these strange, cold-loving creatures??

Train them to perform on the stage, of course!  What a crazy life they suddenly live!

Mr. Popper’s Penguins was written by Richard Atwater while he was a professor of Classical Greek at the University of Chicago in the early 1930s.  But before it could be published, Mr. Atwater had a debilitating stroke.  His wife, Florence, who was herself a gifted writer, tried unsuccessfully to publish the manuscript for a couple of years.  Finally she rewrote some of the story and found a publisher in 1938.  The short novel met with immediate success and won the Newbery Medal in 1939.  It’s never been out of print since!

The 2011 film, Mr. Popper’s Penguins starring Jim Carrey, does not follow the original story.

Early Grade Reading Level, 139 pages, Published in 1938.

About kidsbooksworthreading

Are you looking for Children’s and Young Adult books that have stood the test of time? I have a master of list of over 600 titles to share. I’m an English major, mother of five and homeschooler for 15 years. My purpose with this blog is to share forgotten favorites that most parents today have never heard of, but are so worth reading! I hope you’ll join with me as I share the best that Youth Literature has to offer.
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