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Mr. Penguin And The Lost Treasure by Alex T. Smith was sent to me Amazon Vine in exchange for my review.

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Readers of the blog will know that I am a huge fan of Alex T. Smith and his Claude series, about Claude the stylish dog and his best friend Sir Bobblysocks. I was delighted when I was offered the chance to read this brand new adventure, which looks to be the start of a new series.

Mr. Penguin has come to Cityville to make a new start, after a fairly disastrous attempt to be a more traditional penguin. He dreams of adventure, fuelled by his love for the stories he reads, and decides to set up his very own detective agency, aided and abetted by his best friend, Colin the spider.

Things are looking bleak for Mr. Penguin when the story begins. He is down to his last fishmonger sandwich, and despite having put an ad in the local paper, business is non existent. That is, until he is contacted by the owner of the local museum asking him to search for hidden treasure that could save the museum from being closed down.

Mr. Penguin and Colin are on the case, and what ensues is a wonderful take on an Indiana Jones style adventure, but with a lot more penguin action. Colin is my favourite character. His terse nature and his ability to kung fu chop his way through most problems are absolute genius. I am also quite a fan of Gordon, the somewhat taciturn pigeon.

The story is fast paced and very funny. It has all the charm and humour that makes the Claude stories such a delight to read. The illustrations by Alex T. Smith are gorgeous, including the beautiful end plates and the production quality overall is high, making this a truly beautiful thing to own.

Longer than the Claude books, this is a more developed chapter book for the more confident solo reader, or a story you can share over several nights of story time. Perfect for children aged four and up, and me.