Hotdog! by Anh Do
Ill. by Dan McGuiness. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760279004
(Age: 7+) Recommended. Humour. Animals. Poo. Hotdog, a super low sausage dog has abilities quite different from those shown by his friends. Lizzie the lizard is able to blend into the background so much so that people cannot see her. She is most unlike Kevin the cat, a master of disguises, who uses a variety of costumes to trick people. Watch out for his dairy cow costume, complete with udder.
Together the three friends find a baby bird. It cannot speak and so cannot tell the trio where it lives. But the group works out where it belongs and set about returning it to its mum.
The journey the three friends take will involve early readers in this easy to read chapter book. Filled with McGuiness' funny cartoon like drawings, readers will find humour wherever they look, reveling in the depiction of the trio and their lost bird. Their skills at a range of things, changing nappies, karate and following a trail, lead the trio and the bird to their destination, and all is good.
Designed with younger readers in mind, some pages are in cartoon style, others have some words picked out in a different colour, some words have a whole page to themselves. Numbers are often used and each chapter is only a few pages long. All endearing to the early chapter book reader, and combined with Anh Do's writing, makes this one of those books which will always be borrowed and well thumbed.