The lovable Mr. Popper dreams of being an intrepid Antarctic explorer, living life among the penguins alongside his hero, Admiral Drake. So he is shocked one day when the admiral responds to his fan letter by sending him a real, live penguin! Soon, this penguin is joined by another and before long Mr. Popper has an ice-rink in the basement and a dozen delightful penguins living in his house. With barely enough money to feed his family and an increasing demand for raw fish and canned shrimp, what can the wonderfully imaginative Mr. Popper do but train his penguins and then take the show on the road!
Richard Atwater was a newspaper columnist and also taught Greek at the University of Chicago. He got the idea in 1932, after watching a documentary about Richard E.Byrd's Antarctic expedition but had had only completed the first part when he had a stroke and the book was completed by his wife Florence. They were jointly honoured with the Newbery Medal in 1939.