Review Blog

Sep 03 2019

Mr Walker braves the night by Jess Black

cover image

Illus: Sara Acton. Penguin Random House, 2019. ISBN: 9780143793106.
(Age: 6-8) Themes: Halloween, Dogs - Fiction, Hotels. Mr Walker is a resident canine Labrador ambassador and greeter in the Park Hyatt Melbourne. His affable and accommodating personality makes him an excellent 'employee' and he is loved by all, but especially by his family; the hotel staff are also extended family. In this charming story, Mr Walker gets caught up in the excitement leading up to Halloween and a visit by the Aunt and cousin of Sophie and Amanda. There are walks, a few scary stories, some excitement and amazing activities planned by the incredible staff of the Park Hyatt. The entire story is focused on the perspective of Mr Walker and his insights into the Halloween night experience.
This is a lovely tale, as gentle as a Labrador! The Halloween events and discussions of events such as 'Trick or Treat' or the appearance of ghosts are also very gently handled, and even the telling of a 'scary' story really only impacts the responses of Mr Walker and the visiting cousin to some unusual noises. The theme does allow the possibility of some tension in the telling of the story, and so is a good preparation for mystery stories. There will be no sleepless nights for readers! Author Jess Black is also the author of many books enjoyed by young readers including the series: RSPCA Animal Tales, Kaboom Kids and Keeper of the crystals. Recommended for readers who are newly independent readers of chapter books.
Carolyn Hull

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