Some books are just meant to be shared and read aloud. This is one of those books. The text just rolls off the tongue and *feels* right. I only know this because I've read so many books that just don't work as a read aloud - books that, while fun and engaging read alone, feel like a chore every time you pick them up to read aloud. And perhaps that's why this odd, old fashioned little book has such enduring appeal.
The story here is absurd, but completely delightful from start to finish. One can't help but instantly love scruffy, absent minded Mr. Popper even before we know how deeply he will come to love and care for his little penguin charges.
And, wow, these illustrations by Robert Lawson (of The Story of Ferdinand fame). I even found his little penguin chapter header illustrations to be utterly enchanting. They just so perfectly capture everything about penguins that makes them so charming to us humans.
This definitely ranks as one of my favorite kid read alouds - up there with James and the Giant Peach, Betsy-Tacy, Wizard of Oz, and Tales of My Father's Dragon.