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More than 60 years have not dated this wonderfully absurd tale--itstill makes kids (and parents) laugh out loud. Poor Mr. Popper isn't exactly unhappy; he just wishes he had seen something of the world before meeting Mrs. Popper and settling down. Most of all, he wishes he had seen the Poles, and spends his spare time between house-painting jobs reading all about polar explorations. Admiral Drake, in response to Mr. Popper's fan letter, sends him a penguin; life at 432 Proudfoot Avenue is never the same again. From one penguin living in the icebox, the Popper family grows to include 12 penguins, all of whom must be fed. Thus is born "Popper's Performing Penguins, First Time on Any Stage, Direct from the South Pole." Their adventures while on tour are hilarious, with numerous slapstick moments as the penguins disrupt other acts and invade hotels. Classic chapter-a-night fun. (Ages 5 to 10) --Richard Farr
Before his death in 1948, Richard Atwater was a newspaper columnist and a professor of Greek. He is best known for writing Mr. Popper's Penguins with his wife, Florence, who finished the novel when he fell ill. Together, they were honored with the 1939 Newbery Honor Award for Mr. Popper.