by Alex T. Smith
208 pages; ages 8-12
Mr. Penguin is a dapper gent, what with his hat and bow tie and satchel. He has just started a new business: Professional Adventurer. But it wasn’t going according to plan and he’s down to his last fish finger sandwich.
“It was supposed to have been nonstop Adventures—people ringing up with mysteries for him to solve, missing diamonds to find, jungles to run through under a shower of poison-tipped darts….” Instead, his phone stayed silent. And if he didn’t get an Adventuring job soon, there would be no more crabsticks!
Fortunately, the phone rings! Mr. Penguin’s services are required to find a Lost Treasure somewhere in the Museum of Extraordinary Objects. Accompanied by his sidekick, a karate-kicking spider named Colin, Mr. Penguin heads off on a crazy Indiana Jones-style quest.
What I like about this book:
The wacky characters, from Edith the pigeon lady to Mrs. Bones and her brother Montague.
The clues, including a carved saber-toothed ostrich tusk.
An X that literally marks the spot!
I like how Alex Smith uses color to help tell the story. Most pages include illustrations in black, white, and orange – great penguin colors. But as the adventurers descend into the darkness of the basement, the pages are gray with white text.
I like that there are lessons to learn. If a large knobby tree trunk floats by at exactly the same time you need to cross a river, you might want to check for teeth!
And I like that there is always a way to save the day, though it will invariably require a personal sacrifice. So carry extra candy bars – or fish finger sandwiches, as the case may be.
Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy provided by the publisher.