Hotel Flamingo: Fabulous Feast by Alex Milway

Anna and the team at Hotel Flamingo are back again in the latest book in the series, Fabulous Feast. This is one of my favourite series for younger readers so I always love returning to Hotel Flamingo. If you haven’t discovered this series yet here’s the gist of the series. A human girl, Anna, inherits the run-down Hotel Flamingo, and with a lot of hard work from her and her animal team, they turn it into one of the best hotels on Animal Boulevard.

In Fabulous Feast, Anna is trying to encourage more guests to come and stay at Hotel Flamingo after a long, quiet winter. Anna comes up with the idea of having a cooking contest at the hotel to find the best chef on Animal Boulevard. Anna and her team go out in search of chefs to enter the contest. Three chefs enter – Peston Crumbletart from The Fat Cat Restaurant, Toot-Toot from the Glitz Hotel and Le Pig from Hotel Flamingo. The competition is fierce but only one chef can come out on top.

Fabulous Feast is full of everything I love about the series – the chaos of a hotel, wonderful characters and animals of all sorts. As well as the busyness of preparing for the contest, Anna and her team have to deal with a crashed carrier pigeon, a couple of highland cows with a love of gourmet grass, and a coconut octopus with an urgent need for super-salty water.

Anna has a brilliant team who help the hotel to run smoothly. Lemmy the lemur manages the front desk, Stella the giraffe does the repairs and building work, T. Bear is the doorman, and Le Pig is the chef. They all go above and beyond the call of duty for the job they love and Anna can always rely on them.

One of my favourite aspects of the series is the way that Alex introduces readers to different types of animals and includes their unique characteristics. Anna and her team go out of their way to make sure the animals have what they need to make their stay comfortable. If otters come to stay the pool is specially prepared for them. If penguins come to stay ice is specially brought in. In this story the coconut octopus needs very briny water and Lemmy hunts down all the salt he can to add to the bath.

Book your stay at the 5-star Hotel Flamingo now.

Floors by Patrick Carman

Imagine if you could live in a hotel.  Not just any hotel, but one where each of the rooms had a different theme.  If you like cuddly toys, you could live in a room full of cuddly toys of every size, colour and type.  If you like Playstation, you could live in a virtual reality room where you could be a character in any game you chose.  In Patrick Carman’s new book, Floors, Leo lives in the weirdest, most wonderful hotel in the whole world, the Whippet Hotel.

Leo Fillmore and his father Clarence live and work at the Whippet Hotel as the caretakers, making sure everything is in working order.  The hotel’s eccentric owner, Merganzer D. Whippet disappeared one hundred days ago and hasn’t been seen or heard from ever since.  This leaves the mean hotel manager, Ms. Sparks in charge of the hotel, and when the hotel doesn’t work as it should, everybody hears about it.  Leo spends his days helping his father maintain the hotel and making sure Betty and the other ducks get walked.  One day, as Leo is returning the ducks to their pond on the roof, he discovers a mysterious box in the duck elevator.  This box is the first of four that will lead Leo to discover the secrets of the Whippet Hotel and the mystery of the missing Merganzer D. Whippet.

Floors is full of wonder, mystery and mahem, and made me smile the whole way through.  Patrick Carman has created this weird and wonderful hotel and filled it with one exciting room after another.  There’s a Pinball Room, which is set up like a pinball machine, with bowling balls as the pinball and couches for the flippers; the Cake Room filled with real cakes that are delivered by the chefs each morning; and the Central Park Room which contains a scale model of New York’s Central Park.  The characters are just as weird and wonderful as the hotel.  There’s Captain Rickenbacker who thinks that his arch-nemesis is out to get him, the obsessive writer, Theodore Bump, and the nasty hotel manager Ms. Sparks.  Floors is one of the most fun, imaginative stories you’ll read this year.  It’s perfect for fans of Roald Dahl and Lemony Snickett.

5 out of 5 stars.