Australian Council on Children and the Media

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

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What age is this for?

Age
0-5
5-6
7-8
8-13
13+

Classification

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What’s it about?

Tom Popper is a very good real estate agent in New York but he’s not so good at getting on with his kids Janie and Billy. Tom didn’t really know his own Dad who spent his life sailing around the world rather than spending time with him. Tom is really surprised, and a little bit cross, when 6 rare penguins turn up at his house as a gift from his father who’s just died. Tom wants to take them to the zoo but when he sees how much fun Janie and Billy get from the penguins, he decides to keep them.

The penguins cause a lot of chaos in the home but they also bring a lot of joy. They teach Tom how to love again and this helps to bring him closer to Janie and Billy. It also brings  his ex-wife Amanda round more often. Tom starts to see that his family is more important than his job.

What to look out for

There’s some comic violence done for laughs such as:

  • Tom Popper ties the zookeeper’s hands and then makes him hit himself in the face lots of times.

Some younger kids might be upset that Tom is very cross with the penguins when they first come and is mean to them but he doesn’t hurt them.

Moral of the Story

The message of the story is that family is more important than your job.

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