When not struggling with the petulance of other kids, Mal—a cross between Charlie Brown and a mad scientist—invents a dream-entering machine so that he can help his dog, Chad, with recurring nightmares of a giant cat. When the monstrous beast escapes the dreamworld, McCranie depicts a sense of menace that will thrill and chill his readers. He also exemplifies details of the human figure to bring out the huggability of his charming characters. As with the first book, The Biggest, Bestest Time Ever! (2011), this graphic novel delivers fast-paced fun that still captures the emotional trials of childhood with empathy and respect. Grades 2-5. --Jesse Karp
About the Author
Stephen McCranie (www.malandchad.com) lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.