Funny Kid Catastrophe
ABC Books, 2022
240pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99
Absolutely, definitely, does not under any circumstances does Max want a cat. So why did Mum and Dad just bring one home? And it’s about to ruin his life.
With the prospect of being First Kid of Redhill because his mum has decided to run for mayor, and thus retiring as Funny Kid, 11 year-old Max is contemplating all the power, attention and kudos he will have in that position when his parents return with something for him. But it’s not a security detail, a limousine, the keys to the city or even a five dollar note with hi face on it – it’s a cat from the local animal shelter. But Max is not a cat-person – he thinks such people should seek medical help – so how is he going to cope with this gift and still maintain his dignity, integrity and position as First Kid?
As Christmas and New Year fade into the distance, this is the ideal read for young independent readers- those who have met Max already in his previous 10 adventures and those who are about to get to know one of the most successful characters in Matt Stanton’s amazing collection. Stanton is very much in tune with what kids in those middle years like to read about, particularly characters that they can relate to and secretly wish to be. The place that the edgy humour of Jennings, Gleitzman and Milne played in their parents’ childhood is now being filled by him with great success, demonstrating that good stories with lots of humour and over-the-top situations are always winners, particularly if they have a slightly serious side that anchors them in reality and adds depth to the story. In this one Max learns about being open-minded – perhaps he converts to being a “cat-person” after all- as well as the power and pitfalls of social media.
Apart from being an entertaining read in itself, it sets the reader up to explore not only the others in the series, thus taking care of their holiday reading, but also exploring some of Stanton’s other works including his new series, Bored.