From 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, ILα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Mal is a child prodigy who routinely invents physics-defying inventions like mind-reading hats, molecule reorganizers, and weather-control machines, all of which usually send him and his erstwhile canine companion, Chad, on whirlwind adventures. This adventure clocks in with a cracking pace that still has room for a deeper sense of Mal’s childhood yearning and tribulations, some smart gender-role-defying characterizations, and an emotionally satisfying end. McCranie, always adept at the soft-edged visual charm that makes his characters so engaging, this time ratchets things up with several dramatic splash pages and some truly striking visual ideas. Grades 2-5. --Jesse Karp