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Brilliant books to make you laugh

Here are a few of our favourite funny reads...

Brilliant picture Books to Make You Laugh

Picture Books

Gnome by Fred Blunt, Andersen Press, February 2020

This cautionary tale like no other introduces readers to a grumpy gnome whose favourite word is "No!" Expect the unexpected and plenty of side-splitting, laugh-out-loud moments. Pantomime-like elements make this appealing to children of all ages. Although Mr Gnome is extremely grumpy, he is guaranteed to put readers in a good mood, and this book is bound to be requested over and over again. Read a longer review and take a peek inside...

Gnome by Fred Blunt, Andersen Press

Wolfboy by Andy Harkness, Bloomsbury, February 2021

Wolfboy is hungry and hunting rabbits in the moonlight. In every scene, the reader can see at least one rabbit hiding in the background, but Wolfboy doesn't spot them. What will happen to the rabbits if he does find them? What will happen to Wolfboy if he doesn't catch one? Exciting, original and as engaging as a live performance, this is the perfect book for keeping your little own wolves entertained. Read a review and take a peek inside...

Wolfboy by Andy Harkness, Bloomsbury

The Button Book by Sally Nicholls and Bethan Woollvin, Andersen Press, October 2019

The Button Book can only be described as a work of genius and complete and utter picture book perfection! Exceptionally inventive and playful, and absolutely hilarious, with stunning illustrations, this is a brilliant book for a family with siblings of different ages to enjoy together. It's also ideal for young children to "read" themselves - my youngest can't actually read yet but loves to narrate this one for us. Read a review and take a peek inside...

The Button Book Andersen Press Sally Nicholls Bethan Woollvin

Here Be Dragons by Susannah Lloyd and Paddy Donnelly, Frances Lincoln, February 2021

A knight whose observation skills leave a lot to be desired, sets out in search of dragons. What he lacks in intelligence, he more than compensates for in arrogance. The pompous knight is entirely oblivious to what is actually happening as he plods through the story. Meanwhile his horse, the reader, a daring damsel and almost every other creature we meet (including mythical beasts unseen by the knight) knows exactly what's going on. This book has us in stitches on every reading. Read a review and take a peek inside...

 Here Be Dragons by Susannah Lloyd and Paddy Donnelly, Frances Lincoln, February 2021

Pirates vs. Monsters by David Crosby and Lee Cosgrove, Maverick Press, September 2020

Three pirates meet in a tavern and exchange tall tales about various monsters they have encountered. They boast of their exploits and laugh at the unfortunate fates of the beasts they bested. The pirates are having a great time, until there's a loud knock on the door of the inn. I don't want to give too much away, but by the end of the story, the reader is left in no doubt of about who has won the battle of pirates vs monsters! Read a review and take a peek inside...

Pirates vs. Monsters by David Crosby and Lee Cosgrove Maverick Press cover

There is No Dragon in This Story by Lou Carter and Deborah Allwright, Bloomsbury, August 2017

This is another of our most-treasured books and an explosion of fun from start to finish. A dragon grows tired of always being the villain and goes in search of a new adventure, where he can be the hero instead. Featuring lots of familiar fairy tale characters, this plays on our expectations of them. Extremely entertaining, it also delivers a powerful message about believing in yourself. Read a review and take a peek inside...

There is no dragon in this story by Lou Carter and Deborah Allwright, published by Bloomsbury. book cover.

That Is Not a Good Idea Mo Willems, Walker Books, April 2013

A fox and a goose meet and venture into deep dark woods together. Meanwhile, an increasing number of chicks warn: “That is not a good idea!” This is told in the style of a silent film and is so clever and amusing. There’s hardly any text and lots of repetition, making this ideal for young readers. There's plenty to engage older children, and even adults, and a wonderful twist at the end. Read a review and take a peek inside...

Cover That Is Not a Good Idea Mo Willems

Do Not Wash This Bear by Sam Hay and Nick East, Egmont, June 2016

A boy's beloved bear has gotten a bit worse for wear after all their adventures together. When Dad notices how dirty the soft toy has become, he insists on washing it despite the label advising against this. A transformed bear emerges from the washing machine, not only clean but alive! a fantastic, fun-filled adventure for those aged six and under, my kids are captivated by this story no matter how often we read it. Read a review and take a peek inside...

Octopus Shocktopus by Peter Bently and Steven Lenton, Nosy Crow, July 2020

With a delightfully daft and absolutely unique premise, Octopus Shocktopus is a picture book like no other! This is all about what happens when an octopus inexplicably appears on the roof of a family's home. We see how they adjust, how the neighbours react and how the whole community is impacted. Octopus Shocktopus is a story with a concept so original, it makes you marvel at the mind that created it. The text rhymes all the way through and is a joy to read aloud. Read a longer review and take a peek inside...

Octopus Shocktopus by Peter Bently and Steven Lenton, Nosy Crow

The Oi! series by Kes Gray and Jim Field, Hodder Children's Books

I haven't had a chance to blog about them yet, but the Oi! series by Kes Gray and Jim Field are wonderful too. I feel as though everyone already knows about this collection of hilarious phonic-themed antics, but if you're not familiar with them, do take a look. We have Oi Cat! and Oi Duck-Billed-Platypus! and love them. Oi Dog! is on the way and we hope to collect the rest (I think there are six so far). My eldest insisted we get some after her teacher read a few at school. They're incredibly clever with fabulous illustrations too - reviews coming soon!

The Oi! series by Kes Gray and Jim Field, Hodder Children's Books

For emerging readers...

Cat Has a Plan by Laura Gehl and Fred Blunt, Simon & Schuster, July 2020 (Age 5+)

This is a First Reader that kids will actually want to read. Cat is sad because Dog has a dinosaur toy that Cat really wants. So, Cat comes up with a plan to swipe the dinosaur. Although this story uses basic language and hardly any words, it conjures a captivating saga with a pantomime quality. It's the only First Reader we've found so far that isn't incredibly dull, although I have since ordered more from this series and hopefully they are just as lively.

Cat Has a Plan by Laura Gehl and Fred Blunt, Simon & Schuster

For independent readers...

Space Detectives by Mark Powers and Dapo Adeola, Bloomsbury, February 2021 (Age 7+)

Connor and Ethan are two ten-year-old boys who are spending their summer working at Ethan's uncle's ice cream stall. This is no ordinary ice cream shop; it's on Starville - an orbiting city in outer space! Space Detectives is an out-of-this-world adventure, with plenty of plot twists, laugh-out-loud and heart-stopping moments. Lively artwork by award-winning illustrator Dapo Adeola adds even more comedy. Read a longer review...

Space Detectives Mark Powers Dapo Adeola

Pizazz by Sophy Henn, Simon & Schuster, August 2020 (age 7+)

The first in an exciting new series, this introduces Pizazz who is nine-and-a-quarter and almost nine-and-a-half (we all know how important those fractions are). Pizazz is also superhero, which is a constant source of embarrassment. This is an extremely funny account of Pizazz's attempts to fit in at a new school. It's told through a mixture of text and fabulous comic-book style illustrations, which add even more humour. Read a longer review...

Pizazz by Sophy Henn, Simon and Schuster

The House at the Edge of Magic by Amy Sparkes, Walker Books, February 2020 (8+)

When Nine accidentally discovers a mysterious, enchanted house, she agrees to help its occupants in exchange for what she hopes will be her ticket to freedom. This is extremely exciting and action-packed, but there is also so much comedy from the various characters and their predicaments. I laughed out loud several times when reading this while also on the edge of my seat and can't recommend it highly enough. Read a longer review...

Finally, some non-fiction, because facts can be funny too!

Interview with a Tiger by Andy Seed & Nick East, Welbeck Publishing, September 2020 (7+)

Interesting and incredible facts about ten wild animals are presented in the form of humorous interviews. There's also lots of advice about how to protect endangered species and take care the environment. The interviewees and their sarcastic remarks are hilarious - I love the giant anteater's surfer-dude slang and the wise-cracking sloth.This is enormously entertaining, fantastic for emerging and reluctant readers, an excellent classroom resource and a super addition to any bookshelf. Read a longer review and take a peek inside...

This post was shared as part of #8brilliantbooks on Instagram, created by Esther of @mrsbrownsbookbox and Laura of @loveableliterature. Take a look at their brilliant #Bookstagram pages for more reading inspiration. Use the hashtag and tag Esther and Laura in your posts if you'd like to get involved and share #8brilliantbooks yourself. A new theme is announced every Monday.

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