Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

Opening scene: a dramatic chase at the luxurious Golden Pagoda Hotel, where Mr Penguin, the dapper Penguin detective and his team Edith, Gordon and Colin manage to recover a rare artefact from the hands of extremely villainous baddies. But what is this strange stone, and why does Professor Brace-Girdle at Cityville University want it so badly? Still, it’s not for Mr Penguin to ponder: as a paid adventurer, he just does what his clients request.

But when Mr Penguin’s plane accidentally crash-lands near to a mysterious fortress, the game is afoot: will he and his colleagues be able to solve the mystery of the missing pets? What exactly IS happening inside the fortress, and who on earth is writing these notes about hypnotism all the way through the book?

Alex T Smith’s second book in the charming and hilarious Mr Penguin series is a plunging plane-ride of action and excitement with a very British sensibility that will delight fans of funny illustrated books.

A cross between Poirot and Indiana Jones for younger ones, it’s a great book for reading aloud with all the silly puns, retro names and hilarious catchphrases. Colin the message-writing spider is a particular joy, along with motobike-riding, bumbag-wearing Edith.

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