Tag Archives: Humour

Wolfie: an Unlikely Hero – Deborah Abela/Connah Brecon

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wolfie

Penguin Random House

ISBN 9780143781509

May 1, 2017

Random House Australia Children’s

RRP $24.99

One thing I’ve learned in my years of being a teacher-librarian is that all kids, big and little, love fractured fairy tales.

Wolfie is fed up with fairy tales promoting the nonsense that wolves are the bad guys. He’s determined to put the record straight. After all, he’s really a sweet creature and he is ready to prove himself so by rescuing a princess because that’s what heroes do!

What he hasn’t quite reckoned with is that annoying the book’s narrator is not likely to provide him with a satisfactory outcome and that gives the reader a load of laughs. Wolfie tries to rescue Rapunzel – but she has a screaming fit at the very sight of him and ends up rescuing herself (as all great princesses do!). With that disaster behind him he’s swooped up by a passing dragon and oh oh, this is certainly not the heroic ending Wolfie had imagined!

Deb Abela’s text is super funny and lots of interesting fonts give it real oomph. The illustrations are likewise very humorously done and discerning readers will get a real giggle out of some of the visual jokes.

A great addition to your collection for all those units on fairy tales – traditional or otherwise.

Highly recommended for readers from around six years upwards.

Little Lunch series – Danny Katz/Mitch Vane

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Walker Books

I said earlier today that I’m not that across kids’ TV but this is one show I’ve watched with Miss K and we both think it is very funny.  She, like other kids, because she thinks the antics of the kids and their interactions a real hoot and me, because I reckon over my years of teaching I’ve had all of those kids in my class at one time or another. I think the children’s acting is superb and poor Mrs Gonsha as she swings between kind and caring and completely frazzled is just hilarious.

So just to extend the fun, Danny Katz and Mitch Vane have transformed the episodes into these great books each containing three stories and illustrations. A lot can happen in just fifteen minutes! Read and find out now!

Triple the Trouble

1487923241151

ISBN: 9781925381825
Imprint: Black Dog Books
Release Date: May 1, 2017
Australian RRP: $12.99
New Zealand RRP: $14.99

Why is Debra-Jo so stressed out about a mysterious truck in the school grounds? Is it because she has to hide something small and crawly? And who on earth would imagine that Rory of all people would be put in charge of the class during a wet break? And then there’s Tamara starting a game of kiss-chasey just so she can kiss Battie? What the…?

Triple the Laughs

1497404269666

ISBN: 9781921977398
Imprint: Black Dog Books
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Australian RRP: $12.99
New Zealand RRP: $14.99

Atticus is always so sweet and so nerdy and also really, really smart so why is throwing away his playlunch every day? It must have something to do with those weird smelly green things his YaYa is putting in his lunchbox. Battie, being batty as usual, is running around finding superhero things to do while dressed as his imaginary hero Stretcho (that is the weirdest superpower outfit I’ve ever seen and always makes me laugh!). Then Melanie, who never does anything wrong seemingly, is suddenly ‘Germblocked’ for no apparent reason.

These playlunch sized stories are perfect for kids wanting an engaging and amusing read in short bursts. The series is now up to fifteen so if you haven’t started collecting them yet, you should. They will fly off the shelves for your readers from around 8 upwards.

 

 

Supertato Run, Veggies, Run! – Sue Hendra & Paul Linnet

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Simon & Schuster

May 2017

ISBN 781471121036

RRP $14.99

Supertato just makes me laugh so much every time! With the corny veggie puns (see what I did there?) and the crazy antics of the produce section at night, these are sure-fire winners with younger readers. The big bold illustrations also help create the right atmosphere of fun!

As Supertato encourages the other vegetables to be fit – you know, healthy vegetables, right? – he comes up with the brilliant plan of a Sports Day.

Of course Evil Pea (and given that I detest peas I’m so glad he’s the wicked one) has plans to sabotage the race day and enters his friend Gloria, seemingly a watermelon but really a robotmelon!

Just as Evil Pea is convinced he’s won the day with Gloria scooping all the prizes, Supertato announces the final event – the swimming race. Crackle! Zap! And that’s the end of Gloria’s winning streak.  Naturally Supertato makes sure Evil Pea is suitably punished and returns him to the freezer in no uncertain terms.

These are always so humorous and ideal for read-alouds. Highly recommended for little readers from around 5 upwards or just to have a giggle as a bigger person!

Collins Modern Classics: The Bagthorpe Saga – Ordinary Jack – Helen Cresswell

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9780008211677

Harper Collins Australia

            ISBN: 9780008211677

           ISBN 10: 0008211671

           Imprint: HarperCollins – GB

           On Sale: 01/05/2017

           List Price: 14.99 AUD

First published in 1977 this is the introductory volume in a new modern classics series from Harper Collins. The Bagthorpes are, to say the least, one of the most eccentric families you will encounter in a book.  It’s very English and very funny with overtones of the even older Nancy Mitford books with a very middle to upper class family who are all pretty much bonkers.

Father, mother, grandparents, aunt and uncle, and a swag of children who are all pretty much above average – and then there’s Jack who is quite ordinary and in his own mind, inferior.

With the help of his Uncle Parker, who is easily one of the maddest in the family, Jack sets about to impress his family by becoming a prophet, seeing visions and making predictions.  As you can imagine this is quite disconcerting for the family and is not the easiest of deceptions to pull off successfully.

With a pyromaniac four year old cousin, an attractive but non-English speaking Danish au pair, a crusty old daily who is as useful as ‘a hedgehog’ according to Mr Bagthorpe and some crazy antics, this is a laugh a minute.

Suffice to say that in spite of its age, it is every bit as funny as any contemporary family story and will no doubt appeal to many readers who are looking for a simple humorous read.

Highly recommended for readers both boys and girls from around 8 years upwards.

Friday Barnes 7: Bitter Enemies – Rachel Spratt

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9780143784197

Penguin Random House

9780143784197

July 31, 2017

Random House Australia Children’s

RRP $15.99

 

Beginning of term at Highcrest Academy has never been so dreary and desolate. Melanie and Ian are both depressed and missing their quirky best friend Friday, who has been whisked off to Switzerland to be with her family and attend Europe’s most elite school.  Adding to their misery, the start of term assembly sees the announcement of the school’s anniversary celebrations and the return of four previous headmasters. Good grief! Surely one headmaster is enough for any mortal?

However, they have not reckoned on the surprise return of the school’s most dedicated nerdy sleuth who appears dramatically at the doors of the assembly hall ready to deal with anything that might just foul up the anniversary celebrations. And just as well, the students have been warned to be on their best behaviour but apparently no one told the former headmasters the same thing. You have no idea how much havoc can be created by embittered former educators – wait, perhaps you do!

As usual, Friday is on hand to solve the mysteries, explain the inexplicable and generally get everyone out of trouble although not without finding herself in a pickle at the same time.

Old and new characters make their appearances and really you have to love Mrs Cannon, the world’s laziest English teacher – I wonder what might happen if I tried that approach?

These are such fun to read and Friday’s idiosyncrasies are so goofy as to be endearing. The solid friendships are a great feature of this series, proving you don’t need to be pattern made to fit in.

There is also the pathos as we find out more about Friday’s ghastly family and oh oh, the shocker at the end – what will happen to Friday when…. Oops, never mind, you’ll find out.

These are always high in demand in my library and I know the readers are waiting on this new one impatiently.

Highly recommended for readers from around 8 years upwards.

 

The Cherry Pie Princess – Vivian French

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9781406368970

Walker Books

ISBN: 9781406368970
May 1, 2017
Australian RRP: $14.99

Vivian French has put her skills of lively and fun storytelling to work in this new book which stirs up lots of elements from favourite fairy tales. Readers will find a cranky king, a hysterical queen, seven princesses (six nasty and one not), a mean governess, dwarves, giants, fairy godmothers, a hideous hag, a talking cat and MOST importantly a librarian!

Princess Peony is the misfit in her family. She does not want the frilly dresses and expensive shoes her greedy sisters are always sniping about. She does not want to be cooped up in the palace. She certainly does not want to remain ignorant her entire life. When she and her sisters are taken to the local library, the older princesses are scathing and rude but Peony is fascinated and immediately wants to borrow her first book. However, whisked away by her governess and trying to speak up leads to trouble for the librarian Mr Longbeard as he replies to her. It’s not until four years later that Peony realises that her father has had the poor librarian locked up in the dungeons.

Rescuing Mr Longbeard – and the library – becomes Peony’s first mission but the arrival of a royal baby boy and the planned extravagant christening complicate matters. Everybody knows that you simply cannot leave the bad fairy, Hag, off the guest list but King Thoroughgood thinks he knows everything.

Peony not only rescues Mr Longbeard and another new friend from the dungeons but saves her baby brother from the wicked fairy just in time!

This is a great read for newly independent readers from around seven years up. Lots of fun with a resilient, quick witted and kind hearted girl in the hero’s role.

 

 

Exchange of Heart – Darren Groth

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9780143781578

Penguin Random House

9780143781578

July 31, 2017

Random House Australia Children’s

$19.99

If you were impressed with Groth’s 2014 novel Are You Seeing Me? you will be likewise taken with his new one and his ability to blend heartbreak and humour into one splendid story.

Munro Maddux has taken a desperate step in his grief and guilt over his little sister’s death. Evie was just 13 and had Down’s syndrome, and when she suddenly died of her supposedly low-risk heart defect Munro’s feelings of big brother inadequacies have completely undone him. Unable to rid himself of an inner voice his therapist has named the ‘Coyote’ and with his grades at school failing as well as his social interaction, he makes a huge decision to go on a student exchange to Brisbane.  It’s a long way from Canada to Queensland and Munro’s parents are not coping so well with his departure although they are trying to assuage their own grief with building a foundation in Evie’s honour.

Placed with a very understanding family, Munro with his Aussie ‘brother’ Rowan slowly begins to find his way in the social morass of Sussex High – not without some hiccups – but with an added bonus of a sympathetic Caro. But it is when he is placed at Fair Go for his community volunteering that his healing really begins. As the Life Partner for a disparate group of young people who reside in this assisted living facility for reasons Munro forms bonds that are destined to become unbreakable. Will it be enough to silence the Coyote forever?

Groth brings his wealth of experience as a special needs teacher and the parent of an autistic child to this novel breathing life into his characters at Fair Go with an astute awareness of their strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

There is a real tenderness in this novel which the reader feels palpably as we begin to unravel Munro’s real issue with his sister’s death and his growing attachment to his new life after Evie.

There is some swearing which might rule this out for some collections or restrict it to Senior but it is a beautifully written book full of emotion and empathy.

I highly recommend it for readers 15 upwards. Put in your pre-order now!

 

 

Laugh-out-loud Awesome Jokes for Kids – Rob Elliott

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ISBN: 9780062497963

ISBN 10: 0062497960

Imprint: HarperCollins

 14/02/2017

List Price: 3.99 AUD

 

Just a quickie as there’s not a great deal to say about a joke book except – well it’s full of jokes which your kids will love and will, no doubt, drive you completely bonkers!

Rob Elliott’s other collection have been best-sellers and judging by the way joke books suffer the most on our library shelves from their punishing  borrowing schedule, the appetite for them never diminishes with either boys or girls.

Riddles, puns, and knock knocks abound in this collection which will entertain your youngsters especially in these school holidays when parents can become slightly stressed.

What do pandas use to fight?

Their bear hands.

How does a farmer greet his cows?

With a milk shake.

 

You get the picture – now get the book! Your junior comedians will thank you – and you can always pack them off to the grandparent’s to practice their stand up routines!

 

The World’s Worst Children #2 – David Walliams/illustrated by Tony Ross

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Harper-Collins Australia

June 2017

ISBN: 9780008259679

ISBN 10: 0008259674

Imprint: HarperCollins – GB

RRP  $22.99 AUD

One thing is an absolute given in our library. David Walliams’ books are rarely re-shelved. They are snatched up from the returns trolley with the speed of a striking mongoose or tussled over in the actual returns line up.

Walliams has a legion of followers and has fast become the contemporary Roald Dahl with his knack of preposterous stories and outrageous characters.

This follow up to the first World’s Worst Children brings his readers ten more particularly horrid kids and will produce as much laughter as the previous.

Imagine having a baby so huge and so hungry that it will eat anything and everything – and by everything, I mean the cat, his parents, helicopters – yes, ANYTHING! Or perhaps you’d rather meet Gruesome Griselda who prefers to stand out from the other girls at her exclusive school, the well-groomed polite ones, by being exceedingly grubby and rude. Then there’s Cruel Clarissa who seems to be just perfect particularly with her passion for all things pink but is really a very calculating kitty tormentor.

These are but a few of the beastly children to whom readers will flock.

With super colourful illustrations jam-packed throughout and some of the most creative use of font/type I have ever seen, there is no doubt that this one is also destined never to be shelved. If I only I could be bribed. I could make a fortune for holding out for the highest bidder as the first borrower – sigh.

Highly recommended for subversive boys and girls from around 7 years old upwards.

The Adventures of Miss Petitfour –    Anne Michaels. With illustrations by Emma Block

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Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781408868058

Imprint: Bloomsbury Childrens

May 2017-05-20

RRP $14.99

The second delicious instalment of Miss Petitfour’s adventures has arrived and is every bit as delightful as the first. Who could possibly resist this unique individual and her ‘furry rope’ of cats?

With first an introduction to Miss P and her numerous feline companions, this contains five more slightly silly but very much ‘fun’ stories revolving around everyday life for the elegant but eccentric Miss Petitfour. Whether it’s causing unintentional chaos at the village jumble sale or investigating a mysterious ‘OOM’ noise, Miss P and her band of assistants can fix every problem – even if they accidentally cause it.

One of the absolute delights of these books is Anne Michael’s introduction of sophisticated vocabulary with an explanation of each word. Talking directly to the reader takes the child right into the world that has been created and enables them to feel every bit as exhilarated as the cats having their daily airing.

The first book has been hugely popular in our library so I know this one will also be.

Highly recommended for capable readers from around eight years upwards.