Mr Walker and the dessert delight by Jess Black
Illus. by Sara Acton. Penguin Random House, 2019. ISBN:
(Ages 7-10) Highly recommended. Themes: Dogs, Hotels, Cooking. The story of Mr. Walker the Labrador Ambassador is based on a real-life dog who is part of the staff at the Park Hyatt Melbourne. There are five charming books in the series that cover different adventures and this one covers one of his favourites, food. The Hotel is having an anniversary party and a flamboyant pastry chef has been invited to assist Chef Remy, a temperamental French chef, with preparations. The story shows the way Mr. Walker and Henry, the hotel manager, interact with the many staff in daily hotel life. Even if you have never read any of the other books in the series the beginning of the book gives enough detail to be able to get to know the characters to be able understand the story.
The twenty year anniversary party is very important, and Henry is busy making sure the preparations for it are taken care of. But Mr. Walker observes the tension building between the two chefs and the imminent disaster which could occur if something is not done to fix this relationship. He takes it upon himself to bring the chefs together to bring calm to the kitchen. When Mr. Walker causes a last minute dessert disaster which threatens to ruin the dinner, the chefs and Henry's family work together to make it a resounding success. To his delight Mr. Walker is even given a taste of the result.
These stories will be popular with younger readers and can be read aloud to a class with ease. Many children love the fact that they are written from the dog's point of view. There are notes in the back of the book telling the story of the real Mr. Walker and pointing out the other books in the series.