Sunday, March 4, 2012

Children's Chapter Book Review: Mr. Popper's Penguins

Mr. Popper's Penguins

Mr. Popper's Penguins
Written by: Richard and Florence Atwater
Illustrated by:  Robert Lawson
Published by: Little Brown and Company, 1988 (first published 1938)
139 pages

The unexpected delivery of a large crate containing an Antarctic penguin changes the life and fortunes of Mr. Popper, a house painter obsessed by dreams of the Polar regions.

* I wanted to start reading more advanced chapter books to my daughter, since she's already a voracious reader and can read early chapter books in a day.  I had never read Mr. Popper's Penguins, although I know it was on (and may still be) many elementary school curriculums. Since they recently released a movie based on this book, starring Jim Carrey, I thought that it might be fun to read the book and then see the movie (since I'm a huge fan of reading the book before seeing the movie anyway....the books are almost always so much better!).  Well, even from chapter one you can tell this book is dated.  And if the words don't clue you in, the illustrations definitely will.  This book had a difficult time of holding my interest, so forget it, my daughter lost interest by the first couple of chapters in.  While I offered to stop reading it to her she didn't want me to stop.  Although, she'd be involved in doing something else (playing with a doll, looking at the American Girl catalogue, etc.) while I was reading aloud.  This was a Newberry Honor Book in 1939 and I'm glad that I was finally able to read it. My daughter may need to revisit this one when she gets a little older, since it didn't hold her interest at the moment.  I finished the book but can't say that I'll be reading it again....once was definitely enough for me.  I am interested in seeing the movie though and how well they adapted it from the book.

Family Rating: Thumbs down. 

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