Movie time! by Anh Do
Illus. by Dan McGuiness. Hot Dog 6. Scholastic, 2019, ISBN:
(Age: 6-8) Themes: Films, Play, Movie making, Friends. Hot Dog and his best friends, Kev the cat and Lizzie the lizard, return for another fun adventure in Movie time! They love playing cops and robbers especially when Kev's loot bag is filled with muffins. After the game, they grab an icecream and notice some special posters, 'Actors Wanted - a Hero Ninja, a Brave Ballerina and a Volcano Monster' with try-outs soon and free food as an incentive. The new movie called 'The Volcano Monster' sounds thrilling, Hotdog thinks he's perfect for the ninja (with a little practice), Kev wishes to star as the ballerina (lots of practice needed) and Lizzie wants to be the volcano monster (she's afraid of heights, though).
With only a week until the auditions, the friends need to practise their skills and train really hard, if they want to stand out from the others keen to be in the movie. What great friends they are, encouraging, guiding, helping and creating challenges to hone their skills. Hot Dog's ninja chopping skills create a perfectly sliced fruit platter, although leaping over a wobbly line of tree trunks with spiky porcupine obstacles proves a little tricky. Kev looks gorgeous in his tutu, but his spins and leaps need finesse. Hot Dog's especially helpful adding a layer of rubber to Lizzie's shoes at each training session to help her overcome her fear.
At the auditions, the friends try their best and are given special roles, which come in very handy when the real volcano erupts!
Books in Anh Do's Hot Dog series are jam-packed with humour, slap-stick comedy, cheesy jokes and loads of fun. He focuses on friendship, teamwork and caring for others, while creative and imaginative play is encouraged. Some of the animals' actions need to come with a word of caution, especially the volcano rescue and dealing with the lava and flying rocks.
Dan McGuiness continues to capture the humour, fun and crazy actions of the characters. The brussel sprout icecream, Lizzie's unusual practice volcano and the spiky porcupines add excitement. Red is the predominant colour, making the illustrations stand out, bold key words, and differing text styles and sizes make this another easy to read story for readers from six and great for hi-lo readers as well.