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The Top Secret Intergalactic Notes of Buttons McGinty, Book 3 by Rhys Darby

Buttons McGinty is back and once again he's travelling through space and time. He found his father in book 2, but this time they're on the trail of Mumsy, who is being held hostage by the evil Queen Zankerflorna.

Readers can join Buttons and his friends as they enter a universe unlike any we've seen before. This time Buttons and the gang solve mysteries with morse code and cryptic hieroglyphs.

This is the finale in the Buttons McGinty action-journalling series from comedian Rhys Darby. Like the two previous books, it's packed full of humour and action, taking readers on a wild ride.

While Darby recaps the previous adventures briefly at the start. So the third book can be read alone. However, I doubt anyone who starts at book three can resist going back to the earlier stories.

Laid out to look like a real handwritten journal, it is a fun and funny story that instantly appeals to children. Darby knows humour and he's made sure his books are jammed full of it. Every inch of the book has telltale Darby touches to it; don't forget to read the copyright page.

As well as writing the story, Darby also illustrates the book. His sketches are full of character and expression - and humour - and the book is perfectly pitched for its intended audience.

Darby has said the books are for reluctant readers, and he is absolutely right. The books practically scream to be picked up and enjoyed, and anyone who opens the covers will be drawn in by his quirky drawings and layout.

The books are a step between comic book and chapter books, making it a great stepping stone for younger children on their reading journey.

As Darby himself says in a note at the end of the book, he hopes it will also inspire readers to write a journal too, and "jot down any top-secret goings-on you encounter".

Buttons McGinty is undoubtedly both a page-turner and a pencil-sharpener.

Reviewed by: Rebekah Lyell

Scholastic, RRP $19.99


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