Friday, May 31, 2019

Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure

Mr. Penguin and the Lost Treasure
by Alex T. Smith
208 pages; ages 8-12
Peachtree, 2019

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.

Beyond the Book: Have some fun with these Mr. Penguin activity sheets!

Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other  bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy provided by the publisher.


  1. This sounds like such a fun book! One that my son would have loved when he was reading middle grade. Mysteries were one of his favorites. Don't laugh, but the illustration of the penguin reminded me of Daniel Handler.

    1. hmmmm - I was thinking Penguin was more the Indiana Jones type.

  2. This sounds really cute. I will try to check it out. Thanks for the heads up

  3. I also enjoyed Mr. Penguin. It was the perfect story for those young readers new to the MG world of books. Thanks for sharing and for the link to the activity sheets.

  4. I'm already in love and I haven't cracked a page. I have a pair of nephews that this sounds perfect for...and will provide me a great excuse to indulge, myself! Thanks for the recommend, and happy MMGM!

  5. This sounds like such a fun read, Sue! I love the Indiana Jones movies, so this book sounds appealing to me. Thanks for sharing this one for MMGM.

  6. This sounds fun and I don't even like most animal stories.