Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure
Alex T. Smith
Hodder Children’s Books
The creator of the wonderful Claude books does it again with this the first of another adventure series. It stars Mr Penguin of Cityville (think Indiana Jones crossed with Sherlock Holmes or even Wallace and Gromit) who has just set himself up as a professional adventurer. He has all the gear: a dashing hat, large magnifying glass, a somewhat battered satchel and a smart-looking office complete with revolving chair. Like others of his ilk, he also has a sidekick, Colin the kung-fu-kicking spider.
Mr P. sits in his office, with a decidedly reduced bank balance and a distinct lack of clients, despairing that he’ll ever be asked to solve a mystery.
Happily he gets a call from a frantic-sounding Boudicca Boones, owner of the Museum of Extraordinary Objects. She wants to hire him to find some lost treasure buried long ago by a relative.
An adventure at last; but can this oddly matched pair manage to follow a map and solve clues let alone locate the whereabouts of that missing treasure?
Their search, which ends up involving more than just Mr P. and Colin, sends them down into the depths to a subterranean jungle under the museum itself.
What a cracking, fast moving adventure it turns out to be with a host of cliff-hangers,
surprises and delicious characters, not to mention brushes with the criminal fraternity, the odd alligator and more, that will keep readers on the edge of their seats as well as chortling at the wonderful dialogue.
As one would expect of Alex Smith, the entire tale is imbued with the absurd, both verbal and visual; and be sure not to miss those press excerpts before and after the beginning and end of the book.
Readers will be thrilled to learn, as I was, that this is the first of a new wacky adventure series. Bring on the next one …