Mr Badger and the Big Surprise, by Leigh Hobbs

Mr Badger lives in Mayfair. However if you ever find yourself in this part of central London, I wouldn’t bother searching for Mr Badger’s house. People have walked past it every day for years without ever noticing it.

Mr Badger has a grand job in a grand hotel. He is the Special Events Manager at the Boubles Grand Hotel. He, with his assistant and staff, has managed weddings, engagements and many other Occasions. But today his special event is the most special on his calendar. It’s the seventh birthday of a very fussy, very indulged little girl, Sylvia Smothers-Carruthers. Her grandparents are the owners of the hotel. They adore their granddaughter, and are apparently blind to some of her less than adorable behaviours. Mr Badger has prepared for every contingency at this most grand of parties, and is on hand to ensure a drama-free event. As if that’s possible…

Mr Badger is a master of preparedness and an island of calm. Nothing fazes him. He is ready for any emergency. But behind that demeanour is a person (okay, a badger) who feels things just like anyone else. Mr Badger and the Big Surprise is a story about behaving badly and behaving well. But behind the behaviours the thoughts are much the same. We all need to be valued. Readers will enjoy the atrocious behaviour of Sylvia. Each opening includes black and white illustrations, making this a perfect introduction for newly confident readers in transition to longer texts. Fans of Leigh Hobbs will appreciate his dry humour.

Mr Badger and the Big Surprise

Mr Badger and the Big Surprise, Leigh Hobbs
Allen & Unwin 2010
ISBN: 9781742374178

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book can be purchased in good bookstores, or online from Fishpond.