Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure by Alex T Smith

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Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure by Alex T Smith

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Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Anne Thompson
Reviewed by Anne Thompson
Summary: Humour, adventure and fabulous illustrations combine in this exciting quest for new super sleuth, Mr Penguin in the first of this new series. This charming book will probably engage even the most reluctant of readers.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 208 Date: September 2017
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1444932065

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Mr Penguin is a brand new Professional Adventurer. He has a dashing hat, a large magnifying glass and an important looking office in his igloo to prove it. All he needs now is an adventure to go on. Just as he is beginning to despair of ever being asked to solve a mystery Boudicca Bones from the museum phones and asks for help. Can he and his trusty sidekick, Colin (the spider with expertise in martial arts!) find her missing treasure? Will the adventure become too dangerous for them? And will Mr Penguin ever have time to eat his fish finger sandwich packed lunch?

I have long been a fan of Alex T. Smith's books having seen both his picture books and his gorgeous Claude series work their magic in the school library so this first book in his new series for emerging readers was impossible to resist. Thankfully I was not disappointed. This is fabulous and a lot of fun. As the book opens with Mr Penguin in his office and the words, It was 10.32 on a Monday morning… this felt a little like Raymond Chandler for children. As the story progresses it develops into a thrilling adventure reminiscent of Indiana Jones and there are some fabulous cliff-hanger moments that will keep young readers gripped. There are some wonderful characters and I warmed to Edith Hedge, a middle aged lady who wears a pigeon on her head as a hat but is not as daft as you may first think. As you would expect from this author there is loads of humour in both the text and the excellent illustrations and this lovely balance of warmth, wit and mild peril is perfect for children of about seven upwards.

The overall look of the book is very appealing too. It's a chunky hardback with lots of illustrations in penguin themed colours of black, grey, white and orange that contribute a great deal to the story. The endpapers depicting the front page of newspapers are very clever and are well worth spending time over, particularly as they may offer the reader some important clues. This is a well written story with an exciting plot and a mystery for readers to solve and I also liked the rich vocabulary used. This would make a lovely gift for a wide range of readers. Parents would enjoy reading this aloud, it should be manageable for newly confident readers and the overall look would be very appealing for older readers who may be a little reluctant to tackle a long read. A quick glance at the opening pages and chapter titles such as A Thoroughly Wedged Bottom, Dangling above Certain Death and How Not to be Eaten by an Alligator should entice most children. There is a second book in the series promised which is excellent news.

Thank you to the publishers, Hodder Children's Books for providing this review copy. We also have a review of Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex T Smith.

There is a growing range of highly illustrated adventure stories available for this age group and you may also like to look at Mango and Bambang: Tapir All At Sea by Polly Faber and Clara Vulliamy or the award-winning Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell

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Buy Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure by Alex T Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure by Alex T Smith at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure by Alex T Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure by Alex T Smith at


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