It is time to kick off Family Dinner Book Club for the new year! This month we are featuring Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Atwater.
Grab a copy of the book and begin reading it with your family.
Then, use the great ideas below to plan your dinner. We have everything you need!
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What is Family Dinner Book Club?
Just to review a bit… Family Dinner Book Club is a monthly book club for your family. Each month, we share the title of the book that is being featured and provide all the details for your special club dinner. Conversation starters, menu ideas, and more are available to you.
We invite you to share a picture from your dinner with us anytime during the month on our Family Dinner Book Club Facebook page.
Now, on to preparing for book club this month!
Family Dinner Book Club: Mr. Popper’s Penguins Book
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
This story is about a house painter named Mr. Popper. He is given a penguin as a gift from a polar explorer. His house begins to fill with penguins and he has to figure out what to do! Penguin upkeep is expensive and Mr. Popper decides to create a penguin show and take his brood on the road. Will the lifestyle fit the penguins and Mr. Popper? You just have to read to find out.
Enjoy even more books about penguins. I’ve go a whole list for you.—> Penguin Books for Kids
Conversation Starters for Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Here are six conversation starters to get your dinner book club rolling. Just click on this link (Mr. Popper’s Penguins Conversation Starters) for a one-page PDF file that you can print and then cut apart. Use the cards on your chosen dinner night. You, of course, don’t have to use all of them or you may even have some other discussion points that developed while you were reading. These are just meant to be a guide. Happy talking!
- Mr. Popper dreams of adventure. What type of adventure interests you?
- Mr. Popper had to make a lot of adjustments in his house to accommodate the penguins. If you have a pet, what changes did you have to make in your house for him or her? If you were to get a pet, what are some of the things you would have to think about changing?
- There are lots of events in the story. What was your favorite part? Why?
- Look at our maps (see table decoration crafts) and find some of the places that Mr. Popper dreamed of visiting. Look for India where he wanted to hunt for tigers, the Himalayas where he wanted to climb, the South Seas and the Poles.
- How did people show sympathy to Captain Cook when he was ill? How do you show compassion to people or animals who aren’t feeling well?
- Based on your favorite reading materials, what would you name 10 penguins if they came to live with you?
Table Decorations for Your Book Club
We are all about simple table decorations! Of course, these are completely optional.
1. Using cardboard tubes, construction paper, scissors, and glue make a few (or 12) penguin friends for the table.
2. Print out a world map and make enough copies for each person in the family. These will serve as your placemats and help to answer one of the conversation starters.
3. Create place cards/napkin rings using blank envelopes. Each person can write their name on an envelope and an adventure destination of their choosing. Cut a slit in the top of the envelope and slide in your silverware.
4. Cover the table with white paper. Use black crayons, markers, and or colored pencils to draw a design on your tablecloth.
5. You could also create an ice sculpture as a centerpiece. Freeze water in a variety of containers. Stack the ice pieces in an interesting arrangement and refreeze. Pull out the sculpture right before dinner and place it on the table.
Menu for Family Dinner Book Club for Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Mr. Popper is a house painter and doesn’t make a lot of money so they have a lot of beans for dinner. Try Chef Sarah Elizabeth’s White Bean Soup. It’s warm and cozy making it perfect for a chilly night.
Let’s also keep the white snowy theme going. A pot of soup needs some nice warm white bread. Start this loaf the night before and get ready for some easy fresh baked bread. The recipe is from Scratch Pantry.
A few sides like apple slices and tall glasses of milk will round out the meal.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins is also a movie. Cuddle up together to watch and compare to the book with a batch of White Chocolate Popcorn from I Heart Naptime for dessert.
We hope you are inspired to create a fun and meaningful Family Dinner Book Club with your own family. Remember that we want to see pictures of your dinner. Please share them on our special Family Dinner Book Club Facebook page.
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