Thursday 2 May 2019

Mr Walker and the Dessert Delight

Mr Walker and the Dessert Delight by Jess Black, illustrated by Sara Acton (Puffin Books) HB RRP $14.99 ISBN 9780143793083

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Mr Walker, Labrador Ambassador, works with hotel manager, Henry Reeves and other staff at the Park Royal. His job is to meet and greet new people and help whenever he can. Like all dogs, his favourite topic is food and eating his favourite pastime, so he is excited to hear that Grethe Schmidt is to share the hotel’s kitchen with Chef Remy and his staff to cook a three-course meal for the hotel’s twentieth birthday party. Remy, a temperamental Frenchman, is not at all pleased to hear this and causes a ruckus.

The book follows the adventures of Mr Walker as he observes the interaction of Grethe with hotel staff and works to stave off the trouble which invariably brews. Of course, in this cheerful and well-written book for children aged 7 to 11 years, troubles are overcome by the end of the book when the anniversary dinner is celebrated. Mr Walker is particularly happy as Henry’s daughters save an ‘utterly delicious indeed’ desert for him as a reward for all his fine work.

To help young readers, the book includes a note about the real-life Mr Walker, as well as a list of his friends who work and live at the hotel. There are already other books about Mr Walker, the dog with a nose for adventure, and they are sure to have a huge following.

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