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FUNNY BOOKS

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We adore funny books – they are the ultimate in engaging children to read, especially new or reluctant readers.  Funny makes us feel good, funny can keep us engaged and builds reading stamina and resilience.  There is no reason not to!

 


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Toto the Ninga Cat and the Great Snake Escape by Dermot O’Leary 5+

This book is perfect to engage reluctant readers, for children who have just started to read on their own or  as a read aloud while your child enjoys the illustrations.  Both parents and children will love this fully tale and may even learn something about friendship and including others, especially those who are different.  The book will also introduce some great vocabulary in a funny and engaging way.  The Year 2 children in my school can’t put in down and in Year 5 they are reading it in a day!

Synopsis: Toto is almost totally blind but has learned to trust her senses from a ninja cat-master who taught her back in Italy where they were born.  Take Toto, her brother Silver, one king cobra, a couple of hungry tigers and you have a funny, exciting animal adventure. 


There’s a Werewolf  by in my tent by Pamela Burtchart 7+

My daughter read this book in a week and is now onto the next and begging for more for Christmas.  It is an easy, funny and relaxed read for more confident readers and perfect for supporting children move on from reading picture books.  Very funny and also with some important lessons about not making assumptions.

Synopsis:  Izzy and her friends are SO EXCITED about their school trip. They’re going camping and there’ll be marshmallows and no washing and everything. But then WEIRD things start happening! There are howling sounds at night, and some sausages have gone missing, and it’s nearly a full moon…But it’s when they see their new teacher’s hairy legs that they KNOW! There’s a werewolf on the school trip and they’re all DOOMED!


The Ice Monster by David Williams 7+

While we offer a huge range of classic and brand new engaging texts for all ages at our school, David Walliams is our long time and current king at school in engaging reluctant readers. Many parents express concern that there are other books out there that they would like their children to read that are perhaps ‘better written’ or ‘will help them lean more’ and of that there is no doubt but as country of screen addicts and of falling literacy engagement, we owe David Walliams a lot. Children who have always felt they disliked reading, or are not good at it have been captivated and their attitudes transformed by his witty and engaging tales. He writes for all children and in his stories are elements that all children, from all corners of the country can relate to. Yes they may only read his books for a while, and yes that can be frustrating but they will move on, better, more confident and engaged readers because of it I can assure you. The added bonus is that his stories introduce a really wide range of new vocabulary and lessons about childhood, friendship, family and what it means to be a decent person.

Synopsis:  This is the story of a ten-year-old orphan and a 10,000-year-old mammoth… When Elsie, an orphan on the streets of Victorian London, hears about the mysterious Ice Monster – a woolly mammoth found at the North Pole – she’s determined to discover more…  A chance encounter brings Elsie face to face with the creature, and sparks the adventure of a lifetime – from London to the heart of the Arctic!


Iguana Boy Saves the World With a Triple Cheese Pizza by James Bishop 7+

A crazy, funny world of superheros and pizzas.  Perfect to read to your child or for beginning readers.

Synopsis:  Dylan has wanted a superpower for as long as he can remember, especially since his brother and sister have got really cool ones. But when his wish finally comes true, Dylan is MIGHTILY disappointed. For Dylan has become … Iguana Boy. He can talk to Iguanas … RUBBISH! And when supervillain Celina Shufflebottom kidnaps all the superheroes in London, Dylan must work out how to use his new team of chatty iguanas to save the day. He’s going to have to think outside the box, (the pizza box), if he’s going to become the hero he’s always dreamed of.  If he’s going to make Iguana Boy cool.


The Legend of Kevin: A Roly-Poly Flying Pony Adventure by Phillip Reeve 7+

Very funny and engaging for children of all ages, this magical adventure also carries a message about friendship and helping others.

Synopsis: Max is a young boy living in an ordinary tower block. He longs for adventure in his life – then one day – DOOF! – a flying pony called Kevin crashes into his flat, blown in by a magical storm! The storm causes a huge flood and soon Max’s town submerged by water. Luckily for the town, Max has a flying pony to come to the rescue, and luckily for Kevin, he has a new best friend and a constant supply of his favourite thing – biscuits. Together Max and Kevin will embark on many wild adventures together . . .


Wigglesbottom Primary: The Magic Hamster by Pamela Butchart 7+

This story is perfect for new readers and will leave them clamouring for more.  The texts is easily decodable and introduces new words in a hilarious and engaging way. The classroom setting is one that children can easily relate to. A fantastic book to start them on their independent reading journey.

Synopsis: Stories of primary school mayhem as 2F set out to solve the real mysteries of life. Does the classroom hamster have magical powers? When Lauren swallows a fly, will she ACTUALLY turn into one? And who, or what, is ROBOT BOY?


Head Kid by David Baddiel 8+

One of the best books I have found lately to engage reluctant readers, this book has not been on the shelf at our school since it arrived and we have quite a few copies!  Everyone in KS2 is after it and for good reason.  This story is funny, exciting and magical with some endearing moments and some important lessons to be learned.

Synopsis: From the million-copy bestselling author of THE PARENT AGENCY and BIRTHDAY BOY comes a wildly entertaining wish-fulfilment adventure that asks the question: what would happen if the strictest head teacher swapped bodies with the naughtiest kid in school?  Bracket Wood is about to be visited by the school inspectors. But there’s one big problem: Ryan Ward. The maestro of practical jokes, Ryan has played so many tricks that in the end the Head Teacher just walks out. And then the new Head Teacher, Mr Carter, arrives. A man so strict even the teachers are scared of him. So imagine his surprise – and Ryan’s – when they swap bodies. Now Ryan is Head Teacher – and his mortal enemy is one of his pupils. It’s every naughty kid’s dream! But soon Bracket Wood School is in a total mess – and only its worst ever pupil can fix it…


Web Wabbit by Lisa Evans 9+

A hilarious and slightly bizarre tale with adventure, peril and also some charming and heartwarming moments.  What more could a child ask for? Children from 8 upwards will enjoy this story and older children will enjoy reading it on their own.  Themes include appreciating  your family being resilient in the face of adversity. Wed Wabbit has been nominated for the CLIP Carnegie Medal 2018

Synopsis: You’re called Fidge and you’re nearly eleven.  You’ve been hurled into a strange world. You have three companions: two are unbelievably weird and the third is your awful cousin Graham.  You have to solve a series of nearly impossible clues. You need to deal with a cruel dictator and three thousand Wimbley Woos (yes, you read that sentence correctly). And the whole situation – the whole, entire thing – is your fault.


Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyle 9+

This Carnegie Meddle winner is not only funny and engaging, it is also thought provoking with important lessons about generosity, love and caring for one another.  If you enjoy this book there are also many more by the same author to choose from.

Synopsis:  Two brothers, Damian and Anthony, are unwittingly caught up in a train robbery during Britain’s countdown to joining the Euro. Suddenly finding themselves with a vast amount of cash, the boys have just one glorious, appalling dilemma – how to spend it in the few days before it becomes worthless. Torn between the vices of buying a million pizzas and the virtues of ending world poverty, the boys soon discover that being rich is a mug’s game. For not only is the clock ticking – the bungling bank robbers are closing in too.  Pizzas or World Peace – what would you choose?


Who Let The Gods out by Maz Evans 10+

A hilarious book with fantastic characters and a hint of sadness.  The children at my school are begging for the next in the series!

Synopsis: Elliot has so far succeeded in keeping his mum’s illness a secret but now the money is running out and things are getting desperate.  When a young Zodiac goddess, Virgo, lands in his back garden, Elliot thinks he might see a way to resolve some of his difficulties but, instead, the pair manage to accidentally release Thanatos – the immortal death-daemon – from centuries of imprisonment.  With a wicked megalomaniac on the loose, Elliot and Virgo are out of their depth so must call on the help of Zeus and other long-retired gods to recapture the fugitive. But can they get to Thanatos before he gets to take over the world?


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Repetitive book choices

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PEPPA PIG, PEPPA PIG, why do our children love you so? My youngest is currently obsessed with Peppa to the point that, despite having hundreds of lovely picture books to choose from, she has chosen to read the same Peppa Pig book every day for the last week! At first I found it frustrating, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought that there was actually a lot of value in letting her.

Firstly, she spends most of the story time pointing to the pictures of different animals and asking “What’s that?”, in this way she is learning and consolidating. Very young children really do need plenty of repetition to learn.
Secondly, she is loving it! She is begging for story time and enjoying the time with me. In this way we are building a foundation of loving books, reading and time with mummy. She is also choosing herself. I do think it is important for children to have ownership over what they read. Adults can recommend, advise and steer them but, to properly build a love of story, I believe children need to own their journey.
Thirdly, there are actually some really lovely messages in the story about including younger children, eating healthy and the fun of a bedtime story!

So it looks like I might be stuck with Peppa for a little while longer. I know she will move onto the other beautiful books on offer in a day or so but for now, I might just need a gin and tonic at story time!

Some popular and award winning authors

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David Walliams – Engaging the nation

While we offer a huge range of classic and brand new engaging texts for all ages at our school, David Walliams is our long time and current king at school in engaging reluctant readers.  Many parents express concern that there are other books out there that they would like their children to read that are perhaps ‘better written’ or ‘will help them lean more’ and of that there is no doubt but as country of screen addicts and of falling literacy engagement, we owe David Walliams a lot. Children who have always felt they disliked reading, or are not good at it have been captivated and their attitudes transformed by his witty and engaging tales. He writes for all children and in his stories are elements that all children, from all corners of the country can relate to.  Yes they may only read his books for a while, and yes that can be frustrating but they will move on, better, more confident and engaged readers because of it I can assure you.  The added bonus is that his stories introduce a really wide range of new vocabulary and lessons about childhood, friendship, family and what it means to be a decent person.”


“Our new copies of the Best Story shortlisted books for the Blue Peter Book Awards arrived at school today. Needless to say they have already left our office!”

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The house with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson 9+

My house has chicken legs. Two or three times a year, without warning, it stands up in the middle of the night and walks away from where we’ve been living. It might walk a hundred miles or it might walk a thousand, but where it lands is always the same.

Marinka dreams of a normal life, she dreams of standing still, but her house has chicken legs and a will of its own and moves on without warning.

For governing Marinka’s world is the powerful and feared Baba Yaga. To some she is a witch, to others the Goddess of Death who guides spirits between this world and the next and she is also Marinka’s grandmother.

Marinka longs to change her destiny and sets out to break free from her grandmother’s footsteps, but her house has other ideas…

The Boy At the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf 9+

There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it.

He’s nine years old (just like me), but he’s very strange. He never talks and never smiles and doesn’t like sweets – not even lemon sherbets, which are my favourite!

But then I learned the truth: Ahmet really isn’t very strange at all. He’s a refugee who’s run away from a War. A real one. With bombs and fires and bullies that hurt people. And the more I find out about him, the more I want to help.

That’s where my best friends Josie, Michael and Tom come in. Because you see, together we’ve come up with a plan.

The Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher 10+

The Clockwork Crow is a mysterious gothic Christmas tale set in a frost-bound Victorian country mansion. When orphaned Seren Rees is given a mysterious package by a strange and frightened man on her way to her new home, she reluctantly takes it with her. But what is in the parcel? Who are the Family who must not be spoken of, and can the Crow help Seren find Tom, before the owner of the parcel finds her?


“This evening, when we read together, my middle 👧🏼 loved this wonderful Amelia Earhart story from the wonderful Little People, Big Dreams range. She told me that she loved ‘true stories’ because they helped her learn about the world. She is begging me for some more ‘true stories’ now!”

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Part of the bestselling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, Amelia Earhart tells the inspiring story of the great American aviator. 6+



“A beautiful text that can help children to understand the reality of war and why we remember.”

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An Eagle in the Snow by Michael Morpurgo 10+

1940. Barney and his mother, their home destroyed by bombing, are travelling to the country when their train is forced to shelter in a tunnel from attacking German planes. There, in the darkness, a stranger on the train begins to tell them a story. A story about Billy Byron, the most decorated soldier of WW1, who once had the chance to end the war before it even began, and how he tried to fix his mistake. But sometimes the right thing is hard to see and even harder to live with…


“The Christmas reading has already started in our house…”

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The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig 8+

When Amelia wants a wish to come true she knows just the man to ask – Father Christmas.  But the magic she wants to believe in is starting to fade, and Father Christmas has more than impossible wishes to worry about. Upset elves, reindeer dropping out of the sky, angry trolls and the chance that Christmas might be cancelled.

But Amelia isn’t just any ordinary girl. And – as Father Christmas is going to find out – if Christmas is going to be saved, he might not be able to do it alone . . .


“2 books read in a week by 8 year old O. Asking for another now…”

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Otterline Goes to School by Chris Riddle 7+

Meet Ottoline and her hairy, helpful friend Mr Munroe. Ottoline is off to the Alice B. Smith School for the Differently Gifted, but she is rather worried that she doesn’t have a special gift. Mr Munroe is more worried about the ghost who is said to haunt the school halls at night. Does Ottoline discover her hidden talent and can they expose the spook?

There’s a Werewolf in my tent by Pamela Butchart 7+

Izzy and her friends are SO EXCITED about their school trip. They’re going camping and there’ll be marshmallows and no washing and everything. But then WEIRD things start happening! There are howling sounds at night, and some sausages have gone missing, and it’s nearly a full moon…But it’s when they see their new teacher’s hairy legs that they KNOW! There’s a werewolf on the school trip and they’re all DOOMED!

Reading builds resilience and an understanding of the world

Why reading is important tip of the day: This week my eldest has gone off on her first ever residential trip with her school for 4 nights. I was worried that she might worry or be nervous but she was so happy and excited. When I asked her what she was looking forward to, she told me that she couldn’t wait to sleep in a dorm and eat breakfast with her friends, just like in Malory Towers!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I think what we often forget is that reading doesn’t just help children do better in exams, it also helps them experience the world. Through reading a wide range of books, children can build an understanding of and a resilience towards range of experiences. Even old favourites, such as Malory Towers can be just as relevant today in the experiences of being away, friendships and conflict resolution they give.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

It is so important to ensure you give your children a wide range of texts to read or listen to, it helps them to experience, enjoy and understand the world. Building a library at home is important (my daughter has read and re read favourites like Malory Towers) but also make use of the wonderful local libraries, swap with friends to help widen the range of books they can experience. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Have a look at our books children love pages for a great range of books your children will love.