Tuesday, February 5, 2013
65 Books in a Year: Book #6 Mr. Popper's Penguins
Until the Jim Carrey movie, I'd never heard of Mr. Popper's Penguins. I blame the fact that when I was a kid I hated books about animals of any kind interacting with humans as that usually meant the animal was going to die.
In this book, rest assured that not a single penguin dies. I mean it has that requisite about of children's book suspense, but a grown-up will recognize where it's going early on.
I love reading books written long ago as there's always sexist or racist or sexist-racist language that has seeped through as being harmless for the time period. There's also everyday occurrences that give the reader a sense of wonderment, but you can tell that they must have been normal at the time. (You see that in Mary Poppins, even the movie,which was made in the 60s, took out some of the scenes in the book that just seemed a bit racist). Let me see if I can think of some of things in this book off the top of my head...Mrs. Popper doesn't work, nor does she have any desire to, Mr. Popper is a house painter who usually has the winters off and times are lean and he's always under foot (in that respect he reminds me a lot of Walter Mitty) while Mrs. Popper cleans--he does not help with the cleaning, the Poppers have the required two children--one boy, one girl, they order their ice from an ice man, and wear pants and gloves made out of wool even when it isn't cold outside. There are some cute little scenes in the book that didn't make it into the movie whatsoever, but that's just given you a lovely excuse, if you, like me, didn't know the book existed. Or, if you've read the book a million times and are leery of the movie ruining it for you, might I suggest watching the movie knowing full well that darned thing had to be modernized!