Allen & Unwin, 2015
pbk., 260pp., RRP $A19.99
Once upon a time there was a boy named Hector who lived beside a volcano with his pet salamander, Minton. But despite having mangoes for breakfast and pineapples for lunch, Hector was really sad – unbearably, bone-achingly sad. Because, apart from Minto, Hector was lonely because he was the hottest boy who ever lived and Minton was the only creature who could get near him. The Hottest Boy Who Ever Lived is the reader’s first introduction to Minton and it is the first story in this compilation of eight books about this popular character. Minton is no ordinary salamander – he’s adventurous and curious and always up for something new despite the gloomy predictions of his best friend Turtle.
When they were published as separate books, it was seldom this series spent much time on the shelf and now a new generation of newly-independent readers can share in Minton’s adventures as he goes sailing, driving, flying, trucking – even underwater until he finally meets up with Hector again. Lavishly illustrated in colour by Kim Gamble, this is the perfect stepping stone series for those just venturing into the world of novels, especially those in K or Yr 1 who are already independent readers. At the end of each story there is a how-to-make segment that just begs to be part of a design-make-appraise activity as students investigate the science of movement and the development of transport and there are teaching notes available.
So pleased that these have been republished and available to a whole new group of readers either as a read-aloud or a read-alone.