Mr Badger and the Magic Mirror, by Leigh Hobbs

Whenever Mr Badger came home tired after a hard day’s work at the Boubles Grand Hotel, Mrs Badger understood why – for every day brought with it new adventures. Mrs Badger looked forward to hearing all about them at dinnertime.
No matter how exhausted Mr Badger might be, he always made sure he read a bedtime story to his darling daughter Berenice, and baby Badger, too.

Mr Badger’s work day started as it usually did. He breakfasted with his family then set off for Boubles Grand Hotel, wondering what the day would bring. For it always brought surprises, but none that were beyond Mr Badger’s capacity to handle. Today was particularly surprising. Sir Cecil, owner of the hotel, has organised for a mirror from his private quarters to be installed at the top of the stairs. Mr Badger goes to check that everything is fine and discovers the mirror is like no mirror he’s ever seen. It’s magic! He also discovers just why Sir Cecil treasures the mirror. Meanwhile, Lady Celia has arrived at the hotel for morning tea with granddaughter Sylvia. Sylvia also notices the mirror, while Lady Celia is far more interested to discover whether the Australians have eaten all the scones.

This is a delightful series for newly independent readers, and will also be enjoyed by younger readers. The stories are as much about what ISN’T said as about what is. Mr Badger is the epitome of patience and forbearance, when there is much to tax him. In this installment, the reader discovers an escape free from the challenges of demanding owners and their even more demanding granddaughter. There is no attempt to address challenging behaviours. It is enough to present those behaviours and to let the reader decide which characters deserve their support. The humour is wry and the illustrations droll. Recommended for newly independent readers and fans of Old Tom, Mr Chicken and his friends.

Mr Badger and the Forgotten Room

Mr Badger and the Forgotten Room, Leigh Hobbs
Allen&Unwin 2011
ISBN: 9781742374208

Available from good bookstores, or online from Fishpond.