Mr. Popper's Penguins
is a children's book
written by Richard and Florence Atwater
, originally published in 1938
. It tells the story of a poor house painter named Mr. Popper and his family, who live in the small town of Stillwater in the 1930s. The Poppers unexpectedly come into possession of a penguin, then get a penguin from the zoo who mates with the first penguin to have 10 baby penguins. Before long, something must be done before they eat the Poppers out of house and home. This book is often included in the reading curriculum in grades 2, 3, or 4 of American elementary schools.
Mr. Popper is a poor house painter who dreams of traveling to many far places around the world. He is an avid reader, and usually reads magazines about famous people and distant lands. One day, the Popper family tunes in to a radio broadcast by an Admiral Drake, who is exploring Antarctica. The admiral answers a letter from Mr. Popper on-air and promises him a surprise in the mail.
The surprise turns out to be a penguin, which comes in a large box. Mr. Popper names the penguin "Captain Cook" after the famous James Cook
. Mr. Popper cleans out the icebox
so that the penguin can sleep inside. As time goes by, the Poppers find that Captain Cook is growing large, but his health is failing. Mr. Popper writes to the curator of a large aquarium, asking for help. The curator replies that the aquarium has a female penguin, Greta, who unfortunately is also experiencing the same symptoms, and... Read More