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Funny Kid Belly Flop (Funny Kid #8)

Written and illustrated by Matt Stanton
Reviewed by Sarah Custance

Matt Stanton is an Australian author with over 28 books to his name and the writer of the popular picture book ‘This is a Ball’ which he co-wrote with his wife Beck Stanton, and the acclaimed ‘Funny Kid’ series which debuted as the #1 Australian kids’ book.

‘Belly Flop’ is the eighth and newest book in the ‘Funny Kid’ series. In this book we join 11 year old Max as he takes on one of the schools most dangerous, humiliating, unjust, and downright stupid events of the year, the school swimming carnival. As Max’s protests and reasonings fall on deaf ears he decides to take extreme action, cancel the carnival!

To achieve his goal he teams up with arch enemy Abby who also wishes the tyranny to come to an end and together they must face indescribable challenges such as a duck dressed as a shark, a pool monster made of glitter, some mischievous twin swapping, a swim instructor that never seems to wear a shirt, contagious diseases, maths tests, and seeing their teacher kissing someone, yuck!

I really enjoying this book, it was unexpected, but I was hooked from the first page. It lives up to its name by actually being a very funny book that is fast paced, easy to read, and nicely complemented by the illustrations every page or so.

The next time I am faced with a reluctant reader this will be one of the first books that I put into their hands. It is packed with giggles and actually some serious topics too, for example the accidental bullying and exclusion of a close friend, the consequences of lying, and being able to admit when you are wrong.

This series would be great for graduates of the ‘Dog Man’ series by Dav Pilkey, the ‘Bad Guys’ books by Aaron Blabey, and ‘Real Pigeons’ by Andrew McDonald.
HarperCollins 2020

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