Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets by Alex T Smith
Group: Highly Illustrated Early Chapter
Published: Hodder (2018)
Key Words: Penguin, Mountains, Detective, Slapstick
I like all the funny words, the fancy words were funny sounding like kerfuffle and guffawed and B. U. M which spells Bum!!!!! I did NOT like the naughty snakes though, I was very worried for Mr Penguin and Colin! I like the drawings they make me giggle.
Oh look it’s Mr Penguin and his spider! I like it when they fall down!
We adored Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure so much that Littlefae was really nervous for the sequel to live up to that joy, and she was so pleased to declare that this was AMAZINGLY GREAT.
Mr Penguin and his team of Adventurers; Colin, Edith Hedge & Gordon the pigeon are sidetracked returning from a mission by crashing into the side of a mountain and end up discovering a mystery has unravelled in the town of Schneedorf on the Peak. With the help of local children and the Haus of Strudel the adventurers try to discover the mystery of the missing hamsters with much frivolity, misinterpretation and slapstick along the way.
I thoroughly enjoy reading anything by Alex T Smith as his distinctive style of writing is a joy to read both for children and adults and lends itself well to those with dramatic tendencies for the rich opportunities for silly voices. What, MOI? 😉
I also adore that Smith is dedicated to reviving a rich tapestry of quintessentially eccentric British vocabulary for another generation with such delights as ‘kerfuffle’ and ‘skeddaddled’ dotting through the otherwise nicely accessible with a touch of stretching vocabulary .
We read this aloud and it is great for a range of ages even when Tinyfae was 2 as she was rapt by the story and would proclaim “Oh no!” Or “Mr Penguin!!” at appropriate moments and admonishing me if I wanted to take a break between chapters!
The illustrations are just wonderful with their black, grey, white and orange Penguin tones throughout adding a distinctive style that is at once refreshing yet familiar, and not just through the references to Indiana Jones (“It belongs in a museum!” lead to much chortling here).
Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets by Alex T Smith is published by Hodder Children’s.