Mr Walker and the perfect mess by Jess Black
Illus. by Sara Acton. Random House. Australia. ISBN: 9780143793113.
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Themes: Family, Independent Reader. Mr Walker and his hotel family scramble to deliver an important function under the marquee whilst continuing regular services to guests. To make matters worse the staff need to organise a surprise farewell gift for their beloved groundskeeper, Josephine. Everything was more or less going to plan until the heat wave caused a power failure, followed by a thunder storm. During the blackout, Henry and the others make good use of Mr Walker's problem solving skills.
Our hero, introduced to us in The Tales of Mr Walker, is a real-life labrador who is the ambassador for Guide Dogs Australia at the Park Hyatt hotel in Melbourne. Out of all Jess Black's characters, none are more charming than Mr Walker, for whom one master or one nuclear family is not enough.
Every adventure is made special by both Sara Acton's stylized rendering of Mr Walker and the hard cover, which is as solid and safe in our arms as a half grown puppy. Mr Walker is young at heart but exemplifies persistence and grace, instinctively bringing out the best in Jess Black's human characters and readers.
Mr Walker demonstrates his expansiveness and service by being a valuable member of Henry Reeves' staff and the stalwart of the Hotel. Mr Walker and the Perfect Mess, is another life lesson from Mr Walker that will embrace younger readers, most of whom love stories about dogs. Let's be honest, we each want to be the person, Mr Walker believes us to be. Activities for the series are available.
Destined to be in demand, titles in the series include: Mr Walker and the Dessert Delight, Mr Walker Gets the Inside Scoop and Mr Walker Braves the Night.