Archive

Archive for the ‘Humorous Stories’ Category

Bloom by Nicola Skinner.

April 1, 2019 Comments off

bloomBloom by Nicola Skinner. Pub. HarperCollins, 2019.

This is the most bizarre children’s book for primary and intermediate children that I have read for a long time.

It is set in an old town called Little Sterilis that has now been concreted over throughout the centuries by a ruthless family called the Valentinis. It once was a settlement around  a lovely cottage called Little Cherrybliss now resided by the hero and narrator of this novel Sorrel Coriander Fallowfield. Yes it is a garden herbal name and that is the point of the story.

Sorrel is the perfect student, doesn’t cause trouble and goes to Grittysnit School run by a crazy headmaster with a control freak mentality Mr Grittysnit. The two are going to clash.

The novel rolics along at a rate of knots as Sorrel is one of those gushy, enthusiastic girls who has a good heart and amplifies everything.

When Sorrel’s cottage suddenly erupts and discards a packet of Surprising Seeds, the whole world of Little Sterilis changes and so does Sorrel. Bizarrely Sorrel her friend Neena and her mother scatter the seeds on their heads and they begin to grow. This starts a sequence of events that are over the top but have a conservation and environmental message¬† underneath.

History comes back to haunt the present.Read it and see what happens

Dave Pigeon (Royal Coo) by Swapna Haddon, illus. Sheena Dempsey.

March 26, 2019 Comments off

royal cooDave Pigeon (Royal Coo) by Swapna Haddon, illus. Sheena Dempsey. Pub. Faber&Faber, 2019.

This title and its three prequels are a great laugh and easy to read for reluctant primary and intermediate school readers. They are fun, are not stupid and have a fair degree social satire.

Dave pigeon is a bit of a lad, has some dumb ideas, gets into a lot of trouble but is kept in line by his best friend Skipper who pens these books.

This time there is a new Royal baby and the Peoples Palace is full of celebratory goodies which pigeons love. Dave and Skipper are off to the Palace to get their share when they discover that the Royal pigeon is a dead ringer for Dave.

Royal pigeon wants a day or so to fly among the commoners and Dave can have a new role in the Palace, so they swap. But there are enemies around and the penalty for being caught could land Dave and Skipper in jail.

See how they get on and see how the Royal pigeon gets on amongst the commoners.

Excellent illustrations once again from Sheena Dempsey. She manages to make even Dave look like Royalty.

The Valentines Bk1. Happy Girl Lucky by Holly Smale.

March 7, 2019 Comments off

happy girlThe Valentines Bk1. Happy Girl Lucky by Holly Smale. Pub. HarperCollins, 2019.

If you were a big fan of the Geek Girl series or you are follower of the Kardashians and their celebrity lifestyles then this first part of a new series will captivate you.

I guess it is for teens and pre-teen girls in particular, who love clothes parties and enthuse over hot boys.

Hope is 15 yrs, the youngest of four Valentines who live in a mansion in London. I guess the later books in this series will focus on Hope’s siblings. Family policy is that no-one gets involved in the celebrity lifestyle until they are 16 years old and Hope cannot wait for this. She fantasises about hot boys and copies her sisters and lone brother’s lifestyles. They care for each other but there is intense sibling rivalry.

Their mother is an actress in rehab, getting over an alleged marital split with her American husband who is into film production. He allegedly is into a steamy relationship with a tight-bummed young actress and is away from the family home.

Hope gatecrashes a family party and hears things she should not. She flees and on the train home falls into the arms of an American hot boy called Jamie. They develop a relationship that is remarkably akin to lurv in which they develop their own language that nobody else can possibly understand. Hope becomes Happy Girl Lucky.

Then Jamie drops a bombshell. Read it and find out what.

It is a good laugh for a cynic like me and I think Holly Smale is taking the water but it made me smile. Go on give it a crack.

 

Fing by David Walliams

March 1, 2019 Comments off

fingFing by David Walliams. Pub. HarperCollins, 2019.

This is the latest novel of madness, mayhem and laughter from the pen of David Walliams. It is about bad child behaviour and parents who try too hard to be nice to their child.

Mr and Mrs Meek are librarians and they have the most horrible daughter Myrtle. They give her everything she wants and now she wants the impossible – a Fing. What the hell is a Fing I hear you say? Exactly, but being librarians the Meeks’ discover a Fing in a volume titled Monsterpedia, which has a place in the back for another, as yet to be found, monster.

Mr Meek goes looking in the Fing’s known habitat of the “deepest, darkest, jungliest Jungle. Will he find it? read the book and find out. He does find the Honkopotamus and the two headed Croco-croco but what does a Fing look like?

I think Mr Walliams is also having a crack at the modern trend by kids to use fing and fink instead of thing and think, a habit that I find distasteful. Sure English is allowed to change but lets not be lazy and cheap about it.

Primary and intermediate students are going to love it. Easy to read, gross and funny and a warning to children to behave.

The Wonderful Whippet of Winifred Weatherwax by Philippa Stasiuk.

February 22, 2019 Comments off

whippetThe Wonderful Whippet of Winifred Weatherwax by Philippa Stasiuk. Pub. Tivoli Press, 2018.

I laughed all the way through this sumptuously written story about Kennel Clubs, best in Show dog competitions and the dog owners. I think Philippa Stasiuk is taking the water and she does it superbly well.

Heroine is Freddy, a 15 year old girl, real name Winifred Weatherwax. Freddy’s mother buys a whippet called Shumba. It has something unusual about it which Freddy recognises immediately even though she has no knowledge of dog breeding.

It turns out Shumba is of mysterious pedigree which the breeder is hiding from the rest of the dog world. Freddy brings the best out in the dog and it wins it’s first show in unprecedented fashion. Suddenly the best in Show world looks up determined to solve the mystery of this familiar first time winner.

Then champion dogs start to go missing and Shumba’s fortunes rise. Who is behind the missing dogs and will Shumba be next? Freddy and her friend Eli investigate.

Wonderful satire of the dog world and of New York social whirl. Freddy utters at one stage “I watched a woman spoon-feed her dog an organic, grass-fed lamb smoothie” and of New York society she describes Upper East Side tenants of having two things – a doorman and a therapist.

The writing is lofty, tightly written and hugely funny.

Savour this one.

For capable intermediate  and High school students. Adults will get a laugh out of it too.

The Dog Who Saved The World by Ross Welford.

January 17, 2019 Comments off

dog saved worldThe Dog Who Saved The World by Ross Welford. Pub. HarperCollins, 2019.

Ross Welford is one of the best childrens’ authors around, so if you haven’t read any of his books, two others are reviewed on this blog, this is a good one to start on.

Georgie is early teens and has a friend called Ramzy. Georgie works at a dog rest home in an old church they call St Woofs, looking after unwanted dogs. She tries to adopt a mongrel she calls Mr Mash but her stepmom has allergies and that is the end of that.

When Mr Mash jumps all over an old woman named Dr Pretorius, to prevent any further action Georgie and Ramzy agree to help her in an experiment using a virtual reality device.

On the day called The Big Experiment Day Georgie puts on the VR helmet and goes into a world where she is attacked by a huge scorpion. The experiment is cut short as this shouldn’t happen and when Dr Pretorius reviews images of what happened, it appears that Georgie was sent into the future, AND the winning numbers of Lotto can be seen in the shop window.

Then catastrophe, a disease has broken out in the dog shelter that is akin to Ebola and it is feared all dogs are going to die. Worse still the disease is transferable to humans. The World is threatened with major disaster.

How can a dog save the World? and does Dr Pretorius’s Virtual Reality device hold the key? Thrilling stuff, read it and find out.

Primary, intermediate and junior secondary students with a scientific bent or animal lovers, will love this. The story of the policeman and the dog poo is hilarious.

It is a very clever story with plenty of laughs and drama. Written in short sharp chapters it will keep the reader going long after they planned to stop. A great start to this years reading.

Maudlin Towers2. Treasure of the Golden Skull by Chris Priestley

December 6, 2018 Comments off

golden skullMaudlin Towers2. Treasure of the Golden Skull by Chris Priestley. Pub. Bloomsbury Childrens Books, 2018.

Cor blimey O’Reilly this is good. Quality writing, crazy plot, even crazier characters, full of humour and wit and so easy to read.

Mildew and Sponge are friends at a run down private school called Maudlin Towers. The opening chapter has one of the spires falling through the headmasters office. Both teachers and pupils are full of gloom about going to the school but feel they have nowhere better to go.

Then the School Board refuse to fund the repairs and the school is rumoured to be closing. How can this change?

Well it is discovered that the founding fathers of the school were pirates led by Greenbeard, captain of the Golden Skull, and the captain’s treasure could be hidden somewhere in the school and environs.

Firstly the school Board, who look and act like pirates, remove all the teaching staff and a new boy called Newboy joins the school. Sponge is walloped on the head and keeps seeing a parrot around the school grounds but his friend Mildew is skeptical “I had a cousin once who thought he could see Charles Dickens. It turned out to be a hatstand. He’s an MP now so be warned.”

The characters are weird. Miss Bronteen pines for a lost love on the moors and Kenningworth is a total rotter out of the top drawer. Then there is Miss Nevermiss!

Superb humour and excellent pen and ink sketches of the characters make this an excellent read for even the most reluctant boy reader. I was fascinated from go to woe and there is a lot of woe.

Intermediate and junior secondary.