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From two-time National Book Award finalist Eliot Schrefer comes an original penguin-tastic adventure inspired by the beloved classic Mr. Popper's Penguins.
It's been years and years since the Popper family lived in Stillwater, but the town is still riding high on its former penguin residents. Across the river, in Hillport, residents try to re-create the magic with penguin carnival rides and penguin petting zoos, pretending they're the Popper originals. As the years have gone by, fewer and fewer people have come, and the small attractions shuttered.
Nina and Joe Popper have just moved to Hillport with their mother. There's a lot to do: unpacking, scrubbing the floors, investigating the basement -- wait, what's this? Two penguin eggs are tucked snugly near the furnace!
It's up to Nina and Joe to find their newly hatched penguin chicks a home. Setting off on the adventure of a lifetime, they endure perilous storms, a long journey to the Arctic, and of course, penguins. Lots and lots of Popper penguins!
Inspired by the 1938 classic Mr. Popper's Penguins, Schrefer imagines a Popper descendant accidentally taking up her ancestor's mantle. Mrs. Popper, a recently separated parent facing economic hardship, moves her children, fifth-grader Joel and third-grader Nina, to a foreclosed-upon former penguin petting zoo in a town neighboring the original Mr. Popper's Stillwater. Upon arrival, the children discover two abandoned penguin eggs, which soon hatch. The family decides to take the chicks to the Arctic, where Mr. Popper settled his famous brood, instead of their native Antarctica. Embarking upon their mission in a boat manned by Yuca, an Inuit doctoral student who transports them in his family's fishing craft, they run aground in the Arctic and endure a blizzard in an abandoned caretaker's hut. Stretching the bounds of realism, the old-fashioned story avoids complicated emotions (the children don't give one thought to their absent father) while offering pleasing imagery (the penguins "pitched over like a set of bowling pins") and solid information about penguins in equal measure. Bringing a contemporary conscience to its predecessor, the wholesome book champions respect for animals and environmental issues within the structure of a satisfying family adventure. Ages 8 12. Author's agent: Richard Pine, InkWell Management. \n