Mr. Tinfish the penguin lives with his family in an old oil drum at the edge of the sea, which he likes to think of as his barrel-lighthouse. Unfortunately since the time of the people the climate has been subject to sudden changes and a rapid rise in sea level creates problems, not only for the barrel-lighthouse, but for all of the animals and birds who are part of the colony. Luckily Mr. Vinegar the Walrus enjoys feeling important during a good crisis, and enlists the help of Mr. Choli and Mr. Ginger, the cats.
Mr. Choli is the head detective of the colony, although his laziness usually gets the better of him as, being a cat, sleeping and eating roast fish are his main priorities. Luckily his companions, including Mrs. Cat-biscuit the goat, and his sidekick Mr. Ginger with his ever-rumbling tummy, are there to assist in his haphazard expeditions to help the colony whenever there is a problem.
The sea level is not the only environmental problem facing the colony, and an expedition party is dispatched to investigate the drying river, led by Mr. Choli, who after all has his own magnifying glass and pipe to help him appear more detective-ish. The exploits of the companions continue with secret tunnels and a sea voyage to Volcano Island. As the adventures unfold, it turns out that being the keeper of a barrel-lighthouse is quite a useful innovation for penguin.ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chris Wardle holds a bachelor’s degree in physical geography as well as a Master’s degree for water supply in developing countries from Cranfield University in the UK.
Over the last ten years Chris has travelled extensively in developing countries working on charity projects in poor communities. He has been able to draw on his numerous experiences to inspire his creative works, particularly living for long periods in communities with different cultures in Africa and Asia.
An orphaned kitten in Northern Uganda was the inspiration for Mr. Choli’s character in the Tinfish series. He now lives in the UK with Chris’s family (via a few months with a foster family in France to organize his European passport).
What an interesting book that really deals with a serious issue but does it through the use of some odd little characters and their many adventures. All of them unite to try and find out what is happening where they live. With important and relevant information about animals and the environment, author Chris Wardle presents it in a fun way and makes it easy to understand for children. He does it with respect to children's intelligence and that is one thing that makes it interesting to adults as well. It isn't a "baby book".
The book is fun to read and really good to read to younger children around kindergarten age. Older children can read it on their own but again, story reading together might spark some wonderful and thought provoking discussion with your older child about environmental issues. There aren't many pictures so that is why I believe a person reading to the younger child can bring the story alive for them in the use of their voice and tone. They will love Mr. Tinfish as he is an adorable character. I know I did as well! Kudos to Chris Wardle for this lovely and important children's story!
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FIRST CHAPTER OF THE LIGHTHOUSE OF MR. TINFISH
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