Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mr. Penguin and the Lost Treasure

Mr. Penguin and the Lost Treasure

Alex T. Smith
Fiction  Series
For ages 8 to 10
Peachtree Publishing Company, 2019   ISBN: 978-1682631201

Being a big fan of adventure stories, Mr. Penguin has decided to set up a business as a Professional Adventurer. He has placed an advertisement in the Cityville Times in which he says, “All adventures considered! No mystery too big or too small.” His new office is open for the first time but, alas, no one has called to ask about his services. If he does not get a client soon Mr. Penguin is going to be in dire financial straits. How will he be able to afford the fish fingers and crabsticks that he dines on?

Then, at last, the phone rings. Boudicca Bones, who is the owner of the Museum of Extraordinary Objects, desperately needs his assistance. The museum is rather old and it is in need to renovation. In fact, just the day before a toilet fell through a floor and landed on a very valuable stuffed walrus. Unfortunately renovating the museum is going be costly. Miss Bones then explains that her many times great-grandfather buried a treasure in the museum and Miss Bones and her brother would like Mr. Penguin to find it. For a handsome fee of course.

Mr. Penguin is thrilled to bits. This is just the kind of case he has dreamed off. Falling toilets, a lost treasure…. What more could an Adventurer want? In short order he summons his friend and associate, Colin the spider, and they head off for the museum.

When they get there they find that the museum is closed. Mr. Penguin’s friend Edith Hedge explains that the place has been closed for a day now and apparently it will stay closed “until further notice.” Clearly something is very amiss.

When they are admitted to the museum by Miss Bones it is easy to see why the museum is closed. It is in a shambles. The place definitely needs a lot of work, which is going to be very expensive. Miss Bones and her very large and intimidating brother need to find the treasure so that they can restore the museum to its former glory.

Miss Bones shows Mr. Penguin the clues that she and her brother have already found. They have managed to solve a word puzzle that reveals a written clue: “X marks the spot.” The problem is that they have no idea where the X mentioned in the clue is located.

After searching high and low, Mr. Penguin decides that the X they are seeking must be on the floor somewhere, and sure enough he finds an X in the entrance hall of the museum. With a little help from Colin, who is very skilled when it comes to delivery kung fu kicks, the X is given a good thump and lo and behold a hidden entrance to a basement is revealed.

Mr. Penguin, Colin, Miss Bones, and her brother, then begin an adventure unlike any other. They find a map and an underground jungle, one that is complete with a river full of alligators. To make things even more complicated some dastardly criminals are trying to get to the treasure before they can. Mr. Penguin starts to think that perhaps this case is a little too adventurous for him. It is all very well reading about an adventure in a book, but experiencing it first hand is another matter altogether.

Young readers are going to love this exciting and deliciously funny story. It is amusing to see how Mr. Penguin’s attitude towards adventuring changes as his situation gets more and more perilous.