MES Reads

Welcome to MES Reads!
Mr. Popper's Penguins Book Cover

We hope that you and your family will enjoy reading Mr. Popper's Penguins together. Please follow the calendar and read or listen to a chapter each night. Use the discussion questions below as a guide to explore what you have read.

See if you can guess who the Celebrity Reader is for each chapter!


Click HERE for the

D2Reads Calendar


NOTE: When you click on a link for a chapter, your device may prompt you to DOWNLOAD the audio file in order to listen to it.

Mr. Popper's Penguins Discussion Questions

Adapted from

Chapter I (1): Stillwater
Mr. Popper was often forgetful. Explain why. Describe something you have forgotten. What happened?
Why does Mr. Popper wish he were a scientist rather than a painter? What would you like to be when you grow up and why?

Chapter II (2): The Voice in the Air
Mr. Popper would like a penguin as a pet. Why? What would you like as a pet and why?

Mr. Popper wrote to Admiral Drake, a famous explorer. Why is Mr. Popper so excited to write to him? If you could write to someone famous, who would you choose and why?

Chapter III (3): Out of the Antarctic
Why did Mr. Popper have trouble sleeping? Have you ever been so excited about something that you could not fall asleep easily? Explain such a time.
The penguin is curious. What did he do that tells you that he is curious? What are you curious about? What can you do to learn more about what interests you?

Chapter IV (4): Captain Cook
Why did Mr. Popper name the penguin Captain Cook? What name would you have chosen for the penguin and why?

Why does Mrs. Popper think the penguin will be a good example for her family? Another word for “good example” is role model. Who do you consider to be a good role model and why?

Chapter V (5): Troubles with a Penguin
What was the serviceman’s reaction when he came to the house and why? Pretend you are the serviceman. What would you say to Mr. Popper?

Why do you think the police are at Mr. Popper’s house? When should you call the police and why? 

Chapter VI (6): More Troubles
Mr. Popper wants to get a license for his pet. How do the people at City Hall react on the phone? How would you react if someone asked you for a penguin license? Why?

Chapter VII (7): Captain Cook Builds a Nest
What did Captain Cook use to build his rookery in the house? If you had to build a rookery for yourself, what would you like in your rookery?


Chapter VIII (8): Penguin's Promenade
Mr. Popper took Captain Cook for a walk. How did people react to the sight of a penguin on the street? How would you react and why?

Does the reporter believe that Mr. Popper got the penguin from Admiral Drake? How do you know? Would you believe him? Why or why not?

Chapter IX (9): In the Barber Shop
Why does Captain Cook climb the stairs? What types of activities do you like to do and why?
Why did Mr. Popper call a taxi? What do you do that makes you very tired?

Chapter X (10): Shadows
Why are the Poppers proud and happy? Describe a time when you were very proud about something you did.

People felt badly that Captain Cook was sick. What did people do to show their sympathy? What would you do to cheer up a sick friend?

Chapter XI (11): Greta
Mr. and Mrs. Popper cannot tell the penguins apart. What does Mr. Popper do to tell them apart? What would you do to tell them apart?

Chapter XII (12): More Mouths to Feed
How does Mr. Popper solve the problem of keeping all the penguin eggs warm? Describe a problem you solved and how you did it.
Mr. Popper does not want spring to come. Why? Which season do you look forward to and why?

Chapter XIII (13): Money Worries
Mrs. Popper is worried that they will not have enough money to get them through the winter while Mr. Popper is out of work.  What are some ways you can earn money?
What will Mr. Popper train the penguins to do? If you owned a dog or cat, what could you train it to do?

Chapter XIV (14): Mr. Greenbaum
Why does Mr. Popper have to open the windows on the bus? When you go for a car ride, what do you like to do and why?
Mr. Greenbaum wants to change the name of the penguin’s show to “Popper’s Pink-toed Penguins.” Why doesn’t Mr. Popper like that title? What would you name the penguin’s show and why?

Chapter XV (15): Popper's Performing Penguins
Why does Mr. Popper want to get the ladders off the stage? How does your teacher get everyone in your class to listen? Which way do you like the best and why?
Why did Janie and Bill cry? Describe a time when you were sad and why.

Chapter XVI (16): On the Road
What do the Poppers do before they leave their house for a long time? If you went away on a vacation, what would you and your family have to do before you left home?
What does Mr. Popper have to fit into the taxis? What do you take with you on vacation and why?

Chapter XVII (17): Fame
Why do Poppers’ penguins feel guilty? Describe a time when you felt badly about doing something you should not have.
Why don’t hotels have rules about penguins? What types of rules do you think hotels should have?
What do the penguins like to eat? What do they not like to eat? What is your favorite meal and why?

Chapter XVIII (18): April Winds
What was Mr. Popper busy doing at night? Mr. Popper is very tired. What do you do that makes you tired?
Why does the theater manager want to have Mr. Popper arrested? Pretend you are Mr. Popper. What will you tell the police?

Chapter XIX (19): Admiral Drake
Who freed Mr. Popper and the penguins from jail? Why? When you have a problem, who do you call upon for help and why?
Describe the two choices Mr. Popper must think about. If you were Mr. Popper, what would you do with the penguins and why?

Chapter XX (20): Farewell, Mr. Popper
Describe how Mr. Popper felt when he was saying good-bye to his penguins. Describe how you would feel if your best friend was moving far going away.
Describe how Mrs. Popper feels knowing that her husband will not be back for a long time. Were you surprised by her reaction? Why?



About the authors... Richard and Florence Atwater

"Richard (Tupper) Atwater." Major Authors and Illustrators for Children and Young Adults, Gale, 2002. Gale In Context: Biography, Accessed 2 Aug. 2019.

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