Review Blog

Feb 12 2016

The big Book of Mr Badger by Leigh Hobbs

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Allen & Unwin, 2016. ISBN 978 1 76011 243 1
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Humour, Series, Hotels. The four wonderful stories, Mr Badger and the big surprise, Mr Badger and the missing ape, Mr Badger and the difficult duchess and Mr Badger and the magic mirror, are presented in one volume for readers in primary school. Mr Badger, the Special Events Manager at Boubles Grand Hotel in London, is very proud of his position as the third generation of the Badger family to work here.
In the first story, he and his assistant, Miss Pims have a special day to oversee. The granddaughter of the owners of the hotel, one Sylvia Smothers-Carruthers, is an unpleasant child who has invited 206 of her friends with the instructions that they must bring a present and must not dress up. Miss Pims and Mr Badger have their work cut out as the child rips open her presents and finally has the huge cake fall on her. But Mr Badger saves the day, as he is well prepared.
The second story concerns the large stuffed animal in the large glass case in the foyer of the hotel. Mr Badger uncovers its secret when it goes missing one night, and is able to put things right without the ape or Mr Smothers-Carruthers even being aware of what he has done.
The third and fourth stories, about a difficult duchess and a magic mirror, are just as funny as the first two, exposing Mr Badger's skills at his workplace beautifully and revealing more of Sylvia's nastiness and yet another secret within the hotel. Me Badger is an engaging character, and we learn a little of his background as we read. Most telling is the foreword which shows how Leigh Hobbs first developed the idea of Mr Badger, so adding another level of interest for the reader. I love Mr Badger and the illustrations throughout the book will cement his character in every reader's mind.
Fran Knight

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