LONG LIST REVIEW: Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure

Mr Penguin.jpg

Fish finger sandwiches, an igloo office and a spider side-kick called Colin- what more does a good book need? 

Having placed an advert in the local newspaper the day before, offering his services as a 'Penguin and Adventurer', Mr Penguin had expected non-stop Adventures like those written about in his favourite Adventure books. At 10.32 am, nothing had happened and the unpaid bills on his noticeboard were still unpaid. 

However, a sudden phone call from Boudicca Bones, owner of the Museum of Extraordinary Objects, changes things and Mr Penguin needs to gather all his courage, adventuring skills and a fish finger sandwich to tackle his first adventure. With Colin the spider by his side, Mr Penguin must face mystery and danger before he saves the day!

Satisfying stories for children who are becoming independent readers are essential- and 'Mr Penguin' fits the bill perfectly. Full of humour and quirkiness, a richness of language, a more developed story and lots of fabulous illustrations, 'Mr Penguin' will capture the imagination and provide a stimulating read. 

These same qualities also make 'Mr Penguin' a perfect read aloud. The 'Indiana Jones' style adventure lends itself perfectly to leaving a class begging for more and the short, very achievable chapters mean that there is always time for one more! The story is a joy to read aloud, with many opportunities for developing character voices (or not in the case of Colin, who communicates in writing!). 

The book itself is very attractive. A sturdy cover showing Mr Penguin with his hat (complete with arrow), magnifying glass, satchel and bow tie with Colin in his little bowler hat and an angry looking crocodile lurking in the undergrowth tempts the reader with the promise of fun and adventure within. Colourful orange pages (and a few black ones) are scattered throughout the book and there are pictures on nearly every page which also pick up the orange theme. Pages from 'The Cityville Times' at the beginning and end of the book add to the story - and are a great example of how this book could also be used as inspiration of plenty of reading, writing, art and science activities. 

Hopefully, there will be many sequels as Mr Penguin continues his profession as 'Penguin and Adventurer' as I'm sure this new hero will become just as popular as Alex T.Smith's other loveable creation, 'Claude'!

Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure   Alex T. Smith

Hodder      ISBN: 978-1444932065