Thursday, September 11, 2008

Funniest Kids' Books

The short lists for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize for children's literature has been announced by Booktrust (even the name of the prize is sort of funny, if you picture it being announced in a British accent, don't you think?

There are two lists, according the reader age. Since my own personal readers are in the older age category (7-14), I'll start with those books.

Mr. Gum and the Dancing Bear, by Andy Stanton, ill. David Tazzyman. This is the 5th book of the Mr. Gum series, to be released October 6 in the U.K., so we have plenty of time to catch up on the first 4 while we wait. 256 pages.
Paddington Here and Now, by Michael Bond, ill. RW Alley. A new Paddington novel--who knew? 176 pages.
Aliens Don't Eat Dog Food, by Dinah Capparucci. 3 boys, 2 dogs, and a whole lot of trouble. How could they have known that trying to save the world and being accidental reality TV stars would end in DISASTER? 240 pages.
Cosmic, by Frank Cottrell Boyce. This one is up for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize as well, you can read an excerpt by following that link. 256 pages.
Urgum and the Goo Goo Bah, by Kjartan Poskitt, ill. Philip Reeve. The third Urgum book, 332 pages.
Stop in the Name of Pants, by Louise Rennison. The Georgia Nicolson series is quite popular among older girls. I read the first one and felt like it was trying too hard to be funny while never actually making me laugh, but I'm not a teen girl.

The list for kids aged 6 and under:
Stick Man by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler
Elephant Wellyphant by Nick Sharratt
The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers
The Witch's Children Go to School by Ursula Jones, illustrated by Russell Ayto
There's an Ouch in My Pouch! by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Garry Parsons
Manfred the Baddie by John Fardell

So, what would be on the list of funniest books from the U.S. or Canada? What's the funniest book you read as a kid, or to your kids?


  1. Some classics there :). I'm always on the hunt for great children's books and have recently discovered Bayard and their series of StoryBoxBooks, AdventureBoxBooks and DiscoveryBoxBooks. There's lots going on too:
    This Month Storybox has guest illustrator Helen Oxenbury fetured.
    There's a Readathon happening in the Ireland region -
    There's a Ghost Drawing competition in AdventureBoxBooks assiciated with the Polka Theatre (

  2. Matthew isn't quite 2 yet, and our whole family still finds books by Sandra Boynton hilarious.

    I love some of the more complex children's books (Zen Shorts? Awesome!), but Matthew really loves animals and sounds and first words right now.

  3. Rachel, we loved the Boynton books! Have you gotten any of her CDs yet? Some of the best kids' music ever. See here, if you haven't: Boynton Music

  4. I just noticed Boynton cd/book that haven't read -- Blue Moo.