Review Blog

Jun 19 2019

Mr Walker gets the inside scoop by Jess Black

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Illus. by Sara Acton. Mr Walker book 2. Penguin, 2019, ISBN: 9780143793090.
(Age: 7-9) Recommended. Themes: Dogs, Hotels, Therapy Pets. What do you do with a wonderful dog who's been trained by Guide Dogs Victoria, whose larger-than-life personality makes him too lively to assist vision-impaired people? Mr Walker now lives with his official foster carer at Park Hyatt Melbourne Hotel. Author Jess Black has written an engaging series of junior novels based on Mr Walker and his engaging interactions and encounters with both staff and guests.
Hotel manager Henry Reeves and his family are the official carers of Mr Walker, Labrador Ambassador. With the family off on a holiday cruise, the friendly dog is left in the capable hands of the staff, Omid Abedini, porter Thomas Glover and Elvis Head of Housekeeping. Cue the drama, Jamie Gibson, hotel reviewer whose critiques are often scathing is planning a visit, as well as a new hospitality student from the country is arriving for a week's work experience.
The hotel staff go all out, cleaning, and tidying, making their beloved hotel sparkle for Jamie Gibson. Poor Mr Walker is very confused, not understanding Omid's figures of speech, 'Let's get all our ducks in a row. What ducks?' Hoping to help he takes the hospitality student under his wing and show her just what happens behind the scenes. His attempts to help are comical and cause troubles for the staff and Jess Black creatively handles the mix-up between the student who is treated to a five-star stay and the reviewer's time at the hotel.
With a beautiful hard cover and Sarah Acton's charming water-colour illustration of Mr Walker fetching a paper, and black sketches of Mr Walker's antics throughout this junior novel it is just right for readers aged seven to nine.
Jess Black has created a loveable character who's valued by his hotel family, and Mr Walker Gets the Inside Scoop is another appealing addition to this fun to read series.
Rhyllis Bignell 

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