Mr. Popper's Penguins

by Richard and Florence Atwater
139 pages, General Fiction
Reviewed by Jeanne

An adorable story of a family who keeps penguins as pets and trains them as circus performers.


Mr. Popper is a rather absent-minded house painter. In fact, he is so absent-minded that he once painted three sides of a kitchen green and the fourth yellow. He daydreams of going to Antarctica with the great explorer Admiral Drake, and writes letters to him and to other explorers. And one day, Admiral Drake sends him a package. A penguin, no less. And that's just the first of Mr. Popper's Penguins.


There's really not many instances of ethical problems in this little children's book. It's just a straight-out comedy of a man who wants to be an explorer and the antics of his pet penguins.

Spiritual Content

One mention of the Ladies' Aid and Missionary Society.


Captain Cook, the first of the penguins, pecks a few people, and there is a possibility that all of Mr. Popper's penguins will be eaten by some performing seals. Mrs. Popper says once that she's afraid that they will have to eat the penguins because of the lack of finances.

Drug and Alcohol Content


Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content



This is an adorable story, perfect for young children and a great read-aloud. The penguin's antics are hilarious and the black-and-white pictures on almost every page are cute and well done, so that the story isn't far from the heights of Paddington Bear and other such children's classics.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 4.5
Written for Age: 8-10

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