Finn and I have been reading Mr. Popper's Penguins before his nap time every day for a couple of weeks. He was very attentive to this book and eager to continue when we picked it up again each day. I asked him to dictate a review for me, and here is his just-turned-5-years-old review:
Mr. Popper was a painter who painted people's houses. He went home, and he was reading about penguins at the Antarctic. And then a penguin came in the mail. His name was Captain Cook. Captain Cook got sick and then Greta came and made Captain Cook feel better. After Greta came, the penguins got all kinds of eggs, and the eggs hatched and made them have 12 penguins. Mr. Popper made ice in his basement, and Mrs. Popper would play the piano while the penguins danced and marched and made a show. Then they went to the theater to do their show and the people liked their show. At the end, the penguins went to the Arctic and Mr. Popper went with them.
I'm not sure why, but I really never heard of this classic until the movie came out. It's definitely a cute and entertaining read, especially for reading aloud to 4-6 year olds. The sparse illustrations are perfectly spaced and well-timed and add a sweet bit of whimsy to the novel, particularly Mr. Popper's character.