Review Blog

Mar 12 2019

Hotel Flamingo by Alex Milway

cover image

Piccadilly Press, 2019. ISBN: 9781848127753.
(Age: 6-8) Recommended. Themes: Girls, Animals, Hotels - maintenance and repairs. When Anna's inherits the Hotel Flamingo on Animal Boulevard from her great aunt Mathilde she's in for a big shock. Dirty, dusty, with peeling walls, cracked windows and a broken revolving door and only two staff members left, the hotel has fallen on hard times. Anna is a determined girl and with the help of T. Bear the doorman (bear) and Mr Lemmy the lemur who manages the front desk they start the mammoth task.
'All this hotel needs is a little bit of love, and an awful lot of cleaning,' says Anna. With a little help from Mrs Turpington the turtle's three years in back rent, (she'd been hibernating in her room all that time), they are able to hire staff. Stella the giraffe is handy at maintenance, and fixes the revolving door in no time at all. Madame Le Pig takes over as hotel chef, a little fazed by the unusual diets of the animal guests.
Anna's ideas for revamping the hotel are wonderful; Stella paints the fašade a beautiful shade of sea blue and all the staff help to make the hotel a bright and inviting place to stay. When a family of sea otters move out of the swimming pool pipes, Anna offers them free board in return for pool maintenance and life guard duties. Ms Fragranti's dancing flamingo troupe provides special entertainment for the guests on the special opening night. Even with a visit by the undercover hotel inspector, Anna and her team rise to the challenge.
Alex Milway's Hotel Flamingo is a gorgeous early chapter book, filled with delightful animal characters and fun cartoon illustrations. It celebrates teamwork, determination, creativity and accepting others - even cockroaches! Just right for a young reader beginning their novel reading journey. Read aloud to a class of Year 1- Year 3s and encourage them to write additional chapters, create and draw new characters and have fun with Milway's story. There are three more novels to come. What's next for Anna and her animal friends?
Rhyllis Bignell

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