Review Blog

Oct 22 2020

Funny Kid: Belly flop by Matt Stanton

cover image

HarperCollins, 2020. ISBN: 9780733340604.
(Age: 7+) Recommended. This is the latest novel in the Funny Kid series by author-illustrator Matt Stanton. Max is the funny kid in his class, always looking for a laugh.
This book starts with a week to go until the annual school swimming carnival. Max does not want to swim in the carnival and decides to take action. As the carnival date draws nearer all that Max thought he knew is turned upside down - is he really on the same side as an 11-year-old female super-villain? Why is he avoiding his faithful sidekick, Hugo? Whoever thought craft glue was a good idea? And who IS the bad twin?
For most of the story, Max, although funny, is a reckless boy full of his own importance and wishes and without much thought for anyone else. He behaves badly towards his best friend, shows no respect for authority figures such as his teacher and swimming instructor, and encourages and celebrates poor choices by his classmates.
It is only towards the end that Max realises the value of true friendship and displays some empathy, understanding and regret regarding how the adults and kids around him have been affected during the week. He takes steps to put things right but there's still some surprises in store.
Students who have enjoy the WeirDo books or who have read others in this series will enjoy this new offering. The black and white line illustrations don't just add to the story, they are an integral part of the story and are very engaging.
This book contains an author bio as well as a sneak peek at his new graphic novel series The Odds.
Themes: Swimming, Friends, Adventure, Humour.
Kylie Grant

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