Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mr Badger and the Missing Ape

Mr Badger and the Missing Ape

Leigh Hobbs
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 8
Allen and Unwin, 2013   ISBN: 978-1742374185

Mr Badger is the Special Events Manager at the Boubles Hotel and one would think that such a job would create more than enough work for an excellent badger to deal with, but Mr. Badger takes on many additional responsibilities. One of these is to “keep an eye on Algernon.” Algernon is a large stuffed ape who stands in the lobby of the hotel and who is beloved by many of the hotel visitors and guests, especially the children.

   There is one child who does not treat Algernon with the respect he is due. This is child is none other than Sylvia Smothers-Curruthers, the granddaughter of the people who own the hotel. Sylvia has, on occasion, opened Algernon’s case so that she can kick him.

   One day Mr Badger arrives at the hotel as usual and he immediately notices that something is very wrong. Algernon is not in his case. In fact, there is no sign of him anywhere. Mr Badger and his excellent assistant, Miss Pims, set about doing everything they can to find Algernon. They know how upset Algernon’s young fans will be when they find out he is missing. Mr. Badger and Miss Pims decide that the best thing to do is to cover the empty case with a curtain. They affix a note to the curtain which says: “Algernon is away but will be back shortly.” The hope is that the children will not worry about Algernon quite so much, and Mr Badger and Miss Pims will buy themselves some time to find the missing ape. The problem is that poor Mr Badger and Miss Pims have no idea where Algernon might be. How could someone move him, and where could one hide such an enormous animal?

   In this second Mr Badger title the incomparable animal who works so hard to please others finds himself in the middle of a very puzzling mystery. Young readers will enjoy following Mr Badger as he searches the Boubles Hotel, and they will be astonished when they find out Algernon’s extraordinary secret.