Last night, I checked out some Kindle books from our local public library. For me, someone who always gets overdue fines on books, the fact that it’s impossible to be late returning ebooks is a very nice thing. If only they had the same selection as the actual paper library. I’m not really complaining, though, as I did find quite a few children’s books.
We already read (and returned, with the click of a button!) several picture books. Then, we began reading a longer book aloud together – Mr. Popper’s Penguins. I was vaguely aware that there had been a movie made from it (which we have not seen), so I decided it must be a decently interesting story. It was written in the 30′s, so the book definitely predates the movie.
So far, we are loving it! The kids are doing a great job listening. And I’m really enjoying both the story and the convenience of reading on my iPad. As we were reading chapters today, I suddenly remembered some very cute stuffed penguins I had pinned from The Purl Bee. And I knew that my kids would be even more thrilled with the experience of reading this long book together if they had their very own penguins to cuddle with as we read.
The tutorial uses some very cute black and white prints to create their penguins. I didn’t have anything like that, but I did have some leftover black minky from another project that I did for a friend. It was the perfect texture for a penguin’s feathers – soft and kind of shiny. I also used some white and yellow flannel. (again, I had to substitute for the yellow felt that was suggested in the tutorial.)
I haven’t sewn very many stuffed toys – one doll and a few elephants for babies is all I’ve ever done. They’re quite involved – lots of little pieces and turning out and stuffing tiny spots. And there’s some hand sewing involved, which I’m not a fan of. These penguins involved a LOT of hand sewing. But, aside from a sore finger from forcing a too small needle back and forth through the stuffed bodies, I actually quite enjoyed it.
The kids were really involved in the process, getting excited every time a little detail was done on their penguin. They both decided from the beginning that theirs needed to each be different. Jacob wanted a bow tie, and Taylor wanted a bow.
Taylor’s turned out a bit wonkier than Jacob’s – the head isn’t quite as normal looking. And the seams on the beak don’t meet up properly. But she doesn’t mind! They actually both had a favorite as I was sewing, and made sure to keep track of which one they’d claimed.
The only problem now is that they’re so super into playing with their new penguin toys that they couldn’t sit still when we tried to read some more of the story. I guess that reading just as soon as the toys were made was too much to ask. They’re pretending that the penguins are sliding on their bellies all around the house right now.
Jacob’s is named Captain Cook, after the first penguin that Mr. Popper got in the book. Taylor was worried about not knowing what to name her girl penguin. Then, she was thrilled when the little bit we did read after they were made introduced a new penguin to the story – a girl named Greta. So they are Mr. Cook and Greta.
UPDATE: I just read the plot synopsis of the Jim Carrey movie by the same name. That’s not the story of the book at all! I was thinking of renting it after the book, but I won’t be. Too bad, since we are just loving the book.