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Thursday 23 July 2020

Review: Funny Kid: Peeking Duck

Everyone needs a laugh – it makes you feel happy and light hearted. Like you can accomplish anything...

Then Max Walburt is the kid who can make that happen. Along with his duck, who isn’t really his pet but everyone assumes that he is and is just called Duck, no fancy names. Together they are a team and best friends.

But then things start to go wrong. His friends start to question his bravery, his duck goes missing and so does his laughter mojo.

Abby Purcell everybody’s favourite villain challenges Max when a ball is thrown high into a tree and lodges there. 

When Max makes up all these different excuses about leaving the ball in the tree, Abby convinces his friends that Max is not brave enough and is scared of heights.

The dares weekend competition is borne, whoever completes the most dares wins and is the bravest. How can you prove you are the bravest, convince your parents to go to Adventure Park and ride the Tower of Dying Deathly Doom, the scariest and highest ride at the park.

Desperate to prove he isn’t scared and with talk of the adventure park being the ultimate way to prove his bravery, Max decides to fudge a visit and get his ticket stamped to prove he is the bravest. But his parents catch him trying to leave with a packed bag and assume he is running away from home.

Mayhem and hilarity ensue – Duck continues on without him oblivious to Max being stopped by his parents. When Max insists Duck has gone missing – his parents come up with the road trip from hell. His parents think he has problems and go into overreact mode and want to be seen as the neighbourhood’s coolest parents.

So, they pack all the neighbourhood kids into the car and set out for the adventure park. Max insists on stopping to put up missing posters of Duck, his parents think he is transferring his problems onto Duck who they don’t believe is missing at all.

Sightings of Duck by various people along the way buoy Max’s spirits – Duck steals some chips, then he joins the Fat skulls, a dancing motorcycle club. Starts sporting a leather jacket and tattoo and is now considered an outlaw.

How will it all end? Can Max convince his friends of his bravery by undertaking other dares during the road trip? Will he have no other choice but to ride on the Tower of Dying Deathly Doom? Will Duck ever come back home?

Every kid can relate to this situation, the mishaps and misunderstandings, the insecurities that come with friendship and the funny predicaments life throws at us. Matt Stanton has written and illustrated another hilarious tale of growing up that allows us to make mistakes but will have you rolling in the aisles and holding your sides together.

Title: Funny Kid: Peeking Duck
Author: Matt Stanton
Illustrator: Matt Stanton
Publisher: ABC Books, $14.99  
Publication Date: 20 April 2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780733340598
For ages: 6 - 9
Type: Junior Fiction