Tag Archives: Humour

Pirate Pug: The Dog who Rocked the Boat – Laura James/Eglantine Ceulemans

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Bloompiratepugsbury Australia

February 2019

ISBN 9781408895948

Imprint: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Series: The Adventures of Pug

RRP $12.99

This is the fourth in this hugely funny series for newly independent readers and just as hilarious as the earlier ones. Pug and his owner, Lady Miranda, seem to encounter all kinds of mischief and mishaps whenever and wherever they venture out. So a holiday at the seaside would be no different of course. Pug is none too fond of the water and quite frankly is absolutely terrified of the thought of getting on a boat but when the Lady Mayor’s chain is whisked away by a piratical parrot it seems there is no choice but to become a sea-going pug.

Local bully boys seem determined to beat Lady Miranda and her friends at rescuing the stolen treasure and even dare to scupper their ship but they don’t reckon on Pug’s resilience and his ability to turn the worse situation into an advantage.

Loads of laughs with some very entertaining illustrations abound and this is perfect fodder for readers from around six years upwards. I have a couple of the previous books tucked into my ‘relief teacher’ bag of supplies and they never fail to engage as a read-aloud for kids as old as ten.  However, I know a little girl who is an enthusiastic reader who might really like this particular one so it’s off to her it goes!

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Bad Nana #1: Older but Not Wiser – Sophy Henn

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nana

Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780008268053

ISBN 10: 0008268053

Imprint: HarperCollins – GB

June 2018

RRP $17.99

Newly independent readers who love a giggle are bound to fall in love with Bad Nana and her granddaughter, Jeanie. Of course Bad Nana isn’t really bad – but she is cheeky and unconventional, most definitely mischievous, and certainly the type of granny that any kid would want to claim.

Jeanie and her baby brother spend a lot of time with Bad Nana as both their parents work full time and that suits Jeanie just fine. Of course there are times when Bad Nana can be a little embarrassing and she’s very good at getting Jeanie involved in her madcap antics. You know, like the time she accompanies Jeanie’s class to the local museum which is the most boring excursion ever and made worse by the grumpy curator. The angry man is almost beside himself with criticising the children and even humiliating them but Bad Nana doesn’t stand for such nonsense and when she slips herself into Henry VIII’s seat at the mock medieval feast, replacing the mannequin, she ensures her aim with a chicken drumstick and more is spot on.

Bad Nana’s no-nonsense attitude and her rather unique appearance are very endearing. Young readers will really feel attracted to her and the stories are wildly funny without being nasty or mean (well, except for the rather horrid class show off, Lydia). Bad Nana’s exquisite timing in giving bullies their come-uppance will definitely appeal to youngsters who will giggle all the way.

Apart from the hilarious story line the eye-popping fluoro colour scheme of lime, hot pink and black of the illustrations will really give a shot of excitement.

Highly recommended for readers from around seven years upwards.

Fish Kid and the Lizard Ninja – Kylie Howarth

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fishkid

 

 

Walker Books

ISBN: 9781760650810
Imprint: Walker Books Australia: February 1, 2019
Australian RRP: $14.99
New Zealand RRP: $16.99

If you have readers who love a good fun story with a bit of interesting information plus a smattering of a conservation message this will be a huge hit.  The first in a new series Kylie Howarth has set up readers for a hilarious romp following the adventures of Fish Kid.

Bodhi is not at all interested in the ocean or the creatures that inhabit it -especially the scary ones. But he has little chance to escape either with a father who is a marine biologist and a mother who is an underwater photographer. He is particularly unhappy at being trapped in a boat in the Galapagos Islands with a very annoying skipper’s daughter who keeps pranking him

When Emely persuades Bodhi to drink a special smoothie she’s made – mentioning the mango but omitting the sea cucumber and jelly fish ingredients – Bodhi has a terrible allergic reaction which ends up with them both overboard and stranded on a lonely island. But there has also been a more long term effect. Bodhi can now swim like a super fish and stay submerged for simply ages! With no sign of being rescued, the pair engineers their own escape accompanied by a rather large and ugly, though seemingly intelligent, marine iguana. Their mission is a success and along the way they manage to alert the authorities to a sea cucumber poaching racket.

Throughout the text are scattered fact pages about the various sea creatures which Bodhi and his parents encounter which offers readers a fantastic opportunity to increase their knowledge of these. Also on offer is the underlying repeated message about preserving our marine habitats.

All in all this a great package for readers from around eight years upwards.

Activity pack: Fish_Kid_Activity_Kit_FINAL_WEB.01

Sampler: Fish_Kid_Sampler

Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables On the Lookout: #3 – Tim Harris

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9780143793144

February 5, 2019

Puffin

RRP: $14.99

 

Even those who have not been privileged enough to sip Himalayan tea with Mr Bambuckle are completely taken with the adventures of his class 12B. The continual struggle to defeat the pressures put upon them by short-sighted school admin individuals and to foster each child blossoming into their full potential is real.

When 12B goes to camp they are eagerly anticipating a real adventure, particularly when it appears that their campsite is ‘off the radar’ so to speak. Even though there are the usual hiccups with students not completely in sync with each other, it’s shaping up well. That is until, Miss Frost turns up. The snarky new deputy seems intent to find fault with every little thing.

Still, 12B with Mr Bambuckle’s backing and natural flair seem determined to prove Miss Frost’s dire prognostications wrong and equally committed to supporting their much loved teacher.

 

But when Vex goes missing it seems that all is doomed to become a swan song for Mr Bambuckle. It’s up to 12B to save the day and their teacher.

 

Tim Harris’ recounts of the adventures of Mr B and 12B are not only highly amusing but have much to offer young readers about loyalty, friendship, empathy and honesty.

 

If your kidlets have not yet caught onto the Bambuckle  phenomenon make sure you buy this and the first two in the series and watch them roll in the aisles laughing.

 

Highly recommended for readers from around eight years upwards.

 

Treasure of the Golden Skull: Maudlin Towers #2 – Chris Priestley

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Bloomsbury

December 2018

ISBN: 9781408873106
Imprint: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

RRP : $14.99 AU $16.99 NZ

Readers return to the wacky world of Maudlin Towers with Mildew and Sponge as they attempt to save their mouldering school from closure, due to its pecuniary troubles. Ever since the funds for the renovations disappeared in time (see the first book) there seems to be no solution to the threat of closure.   That is until Mildew and Sponge realise the possibility of the legendary Captain Greenbeard, fearsome pirate (and as it turns out, Mildew’s ancestor) having buried his treasure nearby.

It is rather unfortunate however that it’s not just the bumbling pair hunting treasure. Due to Kenningworth’s big mouth and newspaper coverage the school is taken over by pirates from Greenbeard’s crew who are also after the treasure.

As usual despite their ineptitude Mildew and Sponge manage by dint of accident rather than brilliance to save the day. These are hilarious stories which are sort of a mash up of Molesworth and comic horror which many readers will find a really enjoyable read.

Recommended for able readers (given the word play throughout etc) from around ten years upwards.

Bear in the Woods: Peski Kids #2 – R. A. Spratt

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Penguin

9780143788836

January 8, 2019

Puffin

 

$!6.99

R. A. Spratt has been entertaining readers hugely for some time now with Nanny Piggins and Friday Barnes and now with her new series The Peski Kids which is every bit as funny and quirky as her others. In this second instalment the Peskis are doing their very best to keep a low profile in their new town – the strange and parochial Currawong – but low profile + Peskis doesn’t seem to mesh.

Out in the bush doing punitive ‘cleaning up’ April is washed away in an overflowing creek but manages to crawl to the bank where she is confronted with a large black bear. Of course no one believes her story and are all convinced she is delusional. Likewise nobody believes that Finn didn’t intend to break the weird Cat Lady’s foot. And then there’s the additional mystery of neighbour Loretta buying Mr Peski new underwear. Joe at least is mostly staying under the radar – well except for that incident of rejecting Officer Odinsson’s overpowering young sister. Then there’s the town Daffodil Festival, Constable Pike and odd Dr Vaas, the loopy Mayor and the ever-present threat of the Kolektiv to deal with so really the Peski kids are up against it at all turns.

In all it makes for a thoroughly hilarious romp in which the kids begin to sort out the intricacies of Currawong and it’s rather unique population.

Spratt takes her readers on a non-stop ride with every story she writes and this series will be no exception. It’s just starting to build momentum in my library after the general despair over the demise of the Friday Barnes series but it’s definitely catching on!

Highly recommended for readers from around eight years upwards.

 

Ho! Ho! Ho! There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Christmas Cake – Hazel Edwards/Deborah Niland

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Hippo

 

Penguin Australia

9780143790679

October 1, 2018

Picture Puffin

RRP $19.99

For almost forty years the Hippopotamus has entertained children with its antics and now there’s a super new Christmas book to kick off another generation of young fans.

The family of the house in question are busy preparing for Christmas with many activities with which young readers will readily identify – decorating, baking, dancing and general frivolity. All the while the Hippopotamus continues its own preparations – with a few mishaps such as sitting on its Xmas tree inadvertently!

Watch little eyes light up as they explore the details of each illustration and enjoy the chortles of the Hippo’s Christmas. And they will just love the Hippo’s sparkly appearance on the front cover!

Hazel Edwards and Deborah Niland have given Australian children (and adults) an iconic character who has provided all with some memorable adventures over the years. Let’s hope they continue to do so for many more to come!

Highly recommended for little readers from around 2 years upwards!

How to Raise Your Grown Ups (Hubert Horatio #1) – Lauren Child

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Harper Collins

October 2018

ISBN: 9780008264086

ISBN 10: 0008264082

Imprint: HarperCollins – GB

RRP:  $19.99

 

Sometimes I surprise myself. When I started reading this two nights ago I got halfway through and thought how enjoyable it is and that it reminds me so much of the marvellous Ronald Searle and his Nigel Molesworth books (albeit with far less anarchy), which I absolutely adored as a kid. Then lo and behold I finish the book last night and find two pages where Lauren Child thanks the friend who introduced her to the aforementioned and how they inspired the style of the book!

Hubert Horatio is one of the most highly intelligent children you will ever come across. He is also extremely gifted in many skills (let’s ignore such as tree-climbing and ikebana) but he is not in the least precocious. He is well-mannered, thoughtful, caring and above all, responsible which is extremely fortunate because his fabulously wealthy parents are complete twits who wouldn’t know responsible behaviour if they fell over it.

This first in the series comprehensively introduces us not only to HH but his extended family (on both sides) and also his secret place –the almost vacant lot next door where he is building a magnificent tree-house and having currant bun fights with his nemesis. But disaster is about to befall – the long-standing ‘For Sale’ sign on the collapsed house and yard has been replaced with a bold ‘Sold’. What will happen to Horatio’s special place now? Especially as he not yet save the wherewithal to buy the place himself – drama could be in store!

This is great fun and beautifully presented with, of course Lauren Child’s distinctive illustrations – busy woman!

Highly recommended for readers from around seven years upwards.

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid #13 : The Meltdown – Jeff Kinney

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9780143309352

Penguin Random House

9780143309352

October 30, 2018

Puffin

RRP: $14.99

 

There is not much more embarrassing than being an adult of a certain age in public and snort laughing as you read the newest Wimpy Kid book, attracting strange looks from wary observers.  But it does seem to happen to me every time and this is no exception.

 

Fans of the hapless Greg Heffley have been waiting for the newest book to arrive and won’t be disappointed in the manic mayhem of a neighbourhood in full-blown snowed-in battle mode.

 

“Snow days” are a rather foreign concept for Australian kids but many could probably related to other weather events impeding their attendance at school. And like most kids (and teachers) an unexpected holiday is to be relished.  The severity of the winter weather has already been quite a trial for Greg with lost gloves, melted boots, unploughed sidewalks and bossy Safety Patrol girls combining to make the daily slog to school a complete nightmare. So when the weather becomes even worse and the cold snap enforces a school close-down, Greg is pretty jubilant until that is both his mother and the other neighbourhood kids all seem to conspire to make the unexpected luxury of ‘free time’ into an endless round of chores and full on snow warfare.  Greg and Rowley attempt to best their rivals in a series of side-splitting moments that certainly all the WK fans will relish.

Will the pair eventually triumph over their opposition? Will the snow ever thaw? Will Greg ever be able to escape the endless round of household tasks? So many questions to be answered! And the fans will undoubtedly enjoy discovering the results.

As always a high recommendation for kids with a sense of the absurd looking for a light read.

Check out some Meltdown activities here.

 

The Funny Life of Pets – James Campbell and Rob Jones

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9781408889947

Bloomsbury Australia

September 2018

ISBN 9781408889947

Imprint: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

RRP: $12.99

 

This book answers all the big questions, like: do sausage dogs eat sausages? Why has my cat done a poo-poo behind my wardrobe? And, how can I persuade my parents to get me a pet?

If you have some reluctant readers in your pack this would be a perfect book with which to tempt them! For a start, there’s no need to start at the beginning and keep on until the end. This is the sort of book that can be picked up and dipped into at random, choosing the choicest most chortle-provoking snippets.

It could be said that there are numerous facts strewn about throughout the text but they are far outweighed by the total hilarity of some of the passages. For example:

Hamsters

Generally speaking, the only thing a hamster will attack is a sunflower seed, but if you are unlucky enough to get a BAD-TEMPERED hamster, you’ll find that dressing up as a bird of prey and swooping around the utility room should make it run back into its little house. Hamsters can growl though. Search for ‘angry hamster’ online.

As well as James’ very humorous writing the comic illustrations by Rob Jones break up the text with the result that this is a great book for those who are daunted by scads of print – the ‘chunks’ are very well dispersed among the plethora of cartoon-style line drawings.

Anything to do with animals, especially in humorous situations or the focus on the freaky aspects always seems to go down a treat with kids – just look at the popularity of some TV shows on this subject! – so to my mind there is no doubt that this would be a real tempter for those kids that just roll their eyes at the thought of reading a whole book.

Recommended for kids from around eight years upwards though capable younger readers would also enjoy it.