penguins

On the inside front cover, someone wrote “Vicki Lynn Holmsten” in pencil. It looks like this someone was still not quite comfortable with making that awkward letter “K.”  The copyright is 1938, but this later printing probably appeared in our house in the 1950’s. It is not presented in flashy colors. Most of the illustrations are black line drawings, with a few full-page pictures enhanced with blue color fill. I loved this book dearly. Something about disobedient penguins running amok in a small town and the Popper household always made me laugh. What I remember most clearly is the proper Mrs. Popper who had some objections to this waddle of penguins in her home nevertheless obliged her husband (and the penguins) by playing the piano for them while they danced. Because the penguins needed cold, Mrs. Popper cut out the fingers of her gloves so she could play for the performing penguins.  Mrs. Hammerlund read this book aloud to us in first grade, and my mother read it to me many times before I took it up on my own. The dust jacket is long gone–evidence it has been read and loved. In 2011, someone made a movie with Jim Carrey as Mr. Popper. No thanks. I did not want to see it. I’ll stay with my old-fashioned copy of the story in the boring colors.  Dance on, Penguins. Dance on.

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