Martin Moone, a dimwitted 11-year-old Irish boy with three difficult older sisters, decides to take on an imaginary friend, or IF.
As Martin, a sad-sack lad who is bully bait for the mean Bonner brothers, learns, procuring an imaginary friend is not for the faint of heart. His first IF is a failure, an annoyingly jokey, balloon-animal–making fellow named Loopy Lou, who turns out to be needy and exceptionally hard to fire. In this effort, Martin is assisted by a lazy, bearded, customer-service representative for the Corporate League of Imaginary Friends Federation, who later succeeds to the position of imaginary friend. The other story thread concerns Martin’s efforts to combat the Bonner brothers by enlisting an older tough, who agrees to help in exchange for a feel of Martin’s sister’s boobs, which turns out to be challenging for our idiot hero to arrange. Based on an original Hulu series starring author O’Dowd, the book has an amusing tone; although it sometimes strains for the joke, it is intermittently funny—even very funny in spots. But despite its clever premise, enhanced by Giampaglia’s witty illustrations, it could use a good sharp clipping, as it’s repetitious and bloated with unnecessary exposition and explanation.
This story should keep its target audience of pre-pubescent boys giggling but is unlikely to find fans outside of this demographic. (Fiction. 8-12)