Belly Flop!: Book 3

( 2 )

Overview

A time machine? Mal can build one with his eyes closed and one arm tied behind his back. His secret crush's birthday party? Gulp.

A shrinking machine. Invisibility spray. If Mal can think it, he can build it. But there's one thing he can't seem to do: Get Megan to notice him. He gets his chance when he's invited to her birthday party. But destroying her cake and presents wasn't quite what Mal had in mind.

Good thing the school's talent show is ...

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Belly Flop!: Book 3

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Overview

A time machine? Mal can build one with his eyes closed and one arm tied behind his back. His secret crush's birthday party? Gulp.

A shrinking machine. Invisibility spray. If Mal can think it, he can build it. But there's one thing he can't seem to do: Get Megan to notice him. He gets his chance when he's invited to her birthday party. But destroying her cake and presents wasn't quite what Mal had in mind.

Good thing the school's talent show is coming up! Megan will really be impressed when she sees Mal levitate for real and . . . uh-oh—cause a major blizzard?? Yikes! Who will go rescue Mal's talking dog best friend, Chad?

Kids graduating from picture books or anxiously awaiting the next Ook and Gluk book will devour Stephen McCranie's laugh-out-loud series.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
**STARRED REVIEW**  “Scenes are drawn with much skill . . . and they are heartbreaking. This emotional honesty alone is reason to buy this book.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Kirkus Reviews

"Once again, Mal is trying his hardest to impress Megan, and hilarity ensues. Invited to her birthday party by her dad, he does his best to stand out, but only gets teased. So, when the school talent show is announced, he uses that opportunity to try once again. Unfortunately, they get trapped in a freak snowstorm created by Mal’s weather machine. Interestingly creative, yet simple to follow, the plot twists make this a great read for new and seasoned graphic-novel fans. The situations are funny and the adventures are fast paced. Mal may be a genius, but he is still a kid with insecurities and problems. Chad is the best friend that everyone wants; a dog that loves him unconditionally. Simple, clean, black-and-white drawings have action and expression. Kids will love this one."—School Library Journal

School Library Journal
Gr 3–7—Once again, Mal is trying his hardest to impress Megan, and hilarity ensues. Invited to her birthday party by her dad, he does his best to stand out, but only gets teased. So, when the school talent show is announced, he uses that opportunity to try once again. Unfortunately, they get trapped in a freak snowstorm created by Mal's weather machine. Realizing that Chad may be in danger from the storm, Mal sneaks out to save his best friend. Megan, overhearing the situation, decides to follow and help. But when giant hail comes crashing down, the danger increases. Interestingly creative, yet simple to follow, the plot twists make this a great read for new and seasoned graphic-novel fans. The situations are funny and the adventures are fast paced. Mal may be a genius, but he is still a kid with insecurities and problems. Chad is the best friend that everyone wants; a dog that loves him unconditionally. Simple, clean, black-and-white drawings have action and expression. Kids will love this one.—Mariela Siegert, Westfield Middle School, Bloomingdale, IL
Kirkus Reviews
It's hard not to like a main character who brings a lab coat and briefcase to elementary school. In one panel of this third outing for Mal and his talking dog, Chad, a boy is wearing a hat shaped like a giraffe. This is never explained, except that he's auditioning for the talent show. The real reason for the hat, of course, is that McCranie likes to draw giraffes. It's the same reason there's a giant bust of Albert Einstein on the lawn of Mal's school. Mal is a boy inventor, which gives the artist a chance to draw a clock with a robot hand popping out of it. "Why not invent an alarm clock that wakes you up gently…?" Mal asks rhetorically. The hand, he notes, "tenderly pats you on the head until you wake up." Kid inventors are not popular at Einstein Elementary. Mal's crush, Megan, won't even invite him to her birthday party. Sometimes Mal will glance at her across the room, and she doesn't look back. These scenes are drawn with as much skill as the giraffes and robots, and they are heartbreaking. In another panel, Mal sees Megan and skips into the air with joy. He's a foot off the ground, and the tiny picture shows exactly how it feels to be in elementary school and in love. This emotional honesty alone is a reason to buy this book; the giraffe and Einstein are the icing on McCranie's cake. (Graphic fiction. 8-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399256585
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 12/6/2012
  • Series: Mal and Chad Series , #3
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 244,901
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 8.82 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen McCranie lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and first created Mal and Chad for his college newspaper.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    While the cover of this book is brightly colored, I was a bit di

    While the cover of this book is brightly colored, I was a bit disappointed when I opened the cover and it was black and white. And I mean black and white, minus the traditional comic shading. Being a thick book I was expecting more depth but in fact the entire book is about a failing genius names Mal who appears to be a failure at life and is at the constant bullying of everyone and everything he comes in contact with. While this can be humorous if subtle or just sporadically, this entire book portrays Mal as someone who really needs to talk to an adult about all of these bully's. I often wonder if authors who write for tweens and teens even have kids and if they are acutely aware of the issues they face. While I don't usually put this much emphasis on the bully topic, I bring it up because my nine year old daughter reviewed this book for a publishing company and this was the first thing she noted.By the end of the book she too was asking why nobody was dealing with the bullying issues that Max seems faced with on every single page. While I wouldn't recommended this specific title to anyone, I do hope that future Mal and Chad books can focus elsewhere and not make him out to be such a depressed and outcast little boy.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2013

    Mal and Chad is awesome! :)

    Mal and Chad is awesome! :)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

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