Illustrations – Dan McGuinness
Best friends Hotdog the dog, Kev the cat and Lizzie the lizard are enjoying their ice creams when Hotdog finds something exciting – posters advertising acting auditions for a new movie called The Volcano Monster! Hotdog wants to be the ninja, Kev wants to be the ballerina and Lizzie wants to be the volcano monster.
It’s only a week until the auditions so the friends need to start training if they’re going to be as heroic, brave and terrifying as the movie makers need them to be. The trio help each other perfect the talents they will need to show during their auditions. The only problem is that Lizzy is scared of heights and a volcano monster isn’t.
I always enjoy the humour in Anh’s books, even though it’s usually of the dad joke variety and super cheesy. This series always majors on friendship, with teamwork, being a good sport and looking out for others at the forefront, so there’s always a great message beneath all of the fun.
Once things quite literally heat up in this story it did wander into ‘don’t try this at home, kids!’ territory so it may be a good idea to follow up with your child after you finish reading to make sure they know that the ways the main characters deal with danger here isn’t something your child should attempt to replicate.
Dan McGuiness illustrates this series and once again he’s captured both the heart of the characters and the humour of the author. Be on the lookout for some cute porcupines, Kev in a tutu and a cucumber on an amusement park ride. The kitchen sink is even thrown in for good measure.
Each book in this series has splashes of a specific colour (usually in two or three shades) that make the illustrations pop; key words are also coloured to match. The colour for this book is red, which seemed appropriate given the volcano monster movie is central to the story.
While not my favourite book in this series it’s nonetheless a really entertaining read and I’ll be looking out for the next adventure featuring Hotdog, Kev and Lizzie.
Once Upon a Blurb
Hotdog, Lizzie and Kev want to be movie stars! But first they’ll have to try out with all the other actors to find the perfect roles.
Do Hotdog and his friends have what it takes to get the parts?