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.
We invite you to get a copy of the book and begin reading it with your family.
Then, use the great ideas below to plan your menu, make table decoration crafts, talk about the book and complete a family service project. We have everything you need!
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Just to review a bit… Family Dinner Book Club is a monthly book club for your family. On the 15th of each month, we share the title of the book that is being featured. Then, on the 1st of each month we provide all the details for your special club dinner. Sarah from Daisy at Home shares a special menu to compliment the book. And, I will share conversation starters and a service project for your family. Sarah and I will take turns showcasing table decoration crafts to make with the kids.
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
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.
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?
Family Service Project
Mr. Popper was all about adventure. Take an adventure in your town to a place that could benefit from a monetary gift or a gift of time and service. Perhaps you could visit an animal shelter and bring some dog food or cat toys to donate.
We are all about simple for table decorations!
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 table cloth.
5. You could also create an ice sculpture as a centerpiece. Freeze a 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 on the table.
Head over to Daisy at Home to get your Mr. Popper’s Penguin Dinner Menu!
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 our special Family Dinner Book Club Facebook page.
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