Tag Archives: Guide Dogs

The Tales of Mr Walker – Jess Black. Illustrated by Sara Acton

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Penguin Random House

ISBN 9780143793076

October 29, 2018

Imprint: Puffin

RRP $24.99

 

Some readers of this blog will have seen photos of my Pippin – a toy poodle of extraordinary personality but neurotic (apparently a poodle thing). I love him – truly I do! – but seriously if he could be more like Mr Walker I would a very happy dog owner!

 

Mr Walker is a gorgeous, placid and friendly golden Labrador who has been trained as a companion dog via the Guide Dogs. His new job involves him being the Ambassador of a very tasty Melbourne hotel, the Park Hyatt.

 

If you are a traveller for whatever reason (as I was in a dispiriting corporate job) hotels can be dismal places away from home. I’m not saying that the staff or amenities are sub-standard but there is a definite sense of discombobulating associated with staying repeatedly in such places.

 

How marvellous to be greeted by a loving and friendly canine companion!

 

Jess Black’s stories of Mr Walker are based on a reality that should be a part of every big and often impersonal hotel. Mr Walker becomes the special ambassador for the Park Hyatt and though there a few contretemps as he settles into his new role, his reception is so warm and loving by all, that he has no doubt he is in exactly the right place.

 

This book consists of four stories of Mr Walker after his arrival at his new home and I do hope there will be more as they are charming and heart-warming.

 

Beautifully illustrated the stories follow Mr Walker’s experiences as he learns to interact with both his new family and the various guests he encounters.

 

Royalties from this book go to support the Guide Dogs of Victoria which is a truly lovely bonus.

 

Young readers from around eight years up will fall in love with Mr Walker (and no doubt request their own Labrador as a result!).

 

Highly recommended for newly independent readers and also as a read-aloud for classes.