Take a tour of the famous Parker Hotel, where there’s a lot of horseplay…and camel play, and lion play, and….
Vivid digital photographs depict a bevy of animals wandering around the hotel and its grounds. Maurice, the concierge, welcomes you. He’s an expressive monkey in a red fez. “HOP over,” and get a key from Wally the desk clerk, who’s a kangaroo. The owner, Mr. Parker, is a majestic lion. A camel stands near the pool, then roams the halls, looking for her room. (She’s a guest, and her name is Callie.) There’s an ostrich playing tennis, flamingos having a party, and an elephant named Eliza charging down a path surrounded by tall hedges and studded with colorful balloons. The pastry chef is a small white pig named Pierre; he has baked the guests some delicious treats, which Maurice is happy to serve. Expressive Maurice can be spotted all over the complex, fiddling with the TV remote, snuggling in a king-size bed, playing ping-pong. He also waves goodbye to readers at the end of this tour of the Parker. The text, which arbitrarily capitalizes various words, reads like the voice-over it essentially is. An author’s note explains that the real Parker Hotel in Palm Springs inspired his work and informs readers that the animals were photographed in situ.
Children and hotels don’t seem like a natural fit, but Malin’s superb and ingenious photographs should amuse a broad range of readers. (Picture book. 4-8)