Saturday 24 August 2019

Mr Walker Braves the Night

Mr Walker Braves the Night by Jess Black illustrated by Sara Acton (PenguinRandom House Australia) HB RRP $14.99 ISBN 9780143793106

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Following on from The Tales of Mr Walker, comes this new story about a dog with a nose for adventure. The stories about Mr Walker are inspired by the real-life Mr Walker, a Labrador Guide Dog Ambassador who now calls Park Hyatt Melbourne home.

The publisher has spared no expense with the design and format of these splendid hard-back books which are liberally illustrated with black and white pen and ink drawings. As this story starts, Mr Walker is being taken on a walk by Josephine the groundskeeper and Henry Reeves, the hotel manager. The two adults are discussing plans for Halloween at the hotel. Mr Walker can’t wait for the special night. However, strange noises start up in the hotel, and the dog’s toy wombat disappears. Is there a spooky guest staying at the hotel? It’s up to Mr Walker to investigate. This he does with intelligence and enthusiasm.

Mr Walker and the Perfect Mess by Jess Black illustrated by Sara Acton (PenguinRandom House Australia) HB RRP $14.99 ISBN 9780143793113

In this book in the series, one of the hotel’s most treasured staff members is leaving, and while Mr Walker is sad to see Josephine go, he is determined to make her last week a memorable one.

With short chapters, cheerful stories and simple language, these adventure books are perfect for beginner readers to read with an adult, or for newly independent readers to tackle alone. To help readers new to the book series, there is a list in the back of the book of Mr Walker’s friends, including hotel staff and their children such as Sophie and Amada Reeves, and their cousin Lawrence.

Royalties from sales of this and other Mr Walker books go to Guide Dogs Victoria.

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