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Archive for the ‘Humorous Stories’ Category

Kid Normal by Greg James & Chris Smith, illus. Erica Salcedo.

August 8, 2017 Comments off

kid normalKid Normal by Greg James & Chris Smith, illus. Erica Salcedo. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2017.

This novel for middle school, intermediate and junior secondary school readers is one of the most bizarre stories I have ever read. That’s not putting it down, its a compliment because reluctant readers are the big challenge these days and this story will suck them in.

There are two strands to the plot, one for each author, and they are skillfully brought together as the book proceeds. The first is about Murph, a boy who has moved schools so many times he is fed up to the back teeth. He is mistakenly accepted by a school that deals with children who have a weird talent or capability some of super hero status but not all. They discover Murph is just normal but he adjusts to his new life. Will he become a hero?

The second strand is about Clive Meeke a scientist working on DNA who is pressured by his boss. Who isn’t these days? While conducting an experiment with a wasp in the room things go pear shaped and Meeke becomes power crazy Nektar, half man half wasp.

If you want to know any more you will have to read it yourself but if you just want a snippet to get the feel of the book there is a short story in the middle of the book that mimics James Bond, about a super hero The Blue Phantom,  that is just brilliant.

Written by two BBC Radio 1 jocks who have the gift of the gab the story is never drab. Some of the idiom and metaphor are superb with Erica Salcedo providing illustrations that enhance the plot and give you an idea of what the characters look like.

It is a good laugh and reading should be fun.

Middle School. Pottymouth and Stoopid by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein.

July 21, 2017 Comments off

stoopidMiddle School. Pottymouth and Stoopid by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2017.

It was a miserable wet day and I needed something easy to read that would make me laugh and think at the same time so I grabbed Pottymouth and Stoopid. I was not wrong.

I love these Middle School stories they deal with serious issues like bullying, poverty, inequality, snobbery and friendship and they turn them into heart warming stories.

Pottymouth (Michael) is a black boy who invents new words that sound like swearing but are not. His friend is Stoopid (David) and they met at nursery school and are still friends at middle school. They are not as they are described by their school mates and are ploys to the old statement of “give a dog a bad name”.

Michael is a foster child and Michael comes from a broken relationship. Both boys and their mutual friend Anna Britannica are terrific. They have fun together but they have many low points that make them angry.

David’s father is a frustrated writer and a penny pincher but when he takes David and Michael to lunch one day he listens to their stories and this is to change their lives.

I do like a happy ending and am always on the side of the underdog. These are great stories for the reluctant reader, easy to read superbly illustrated by Chris Grabenstein and essential in every school library.

Funny Kid for President by Matt Stanton.

June 14, 2017 Comments off

funny kid presidentFunny Kid for President by Matt Stanton. Pub. ABC Books imprint HarperCollins, 2017.

If you want to make an impact with primary and intermediate school students in order to get them reading then hitting on the poo, bum, weeze formula is the way to do it. Make the school the setting and introduce a range of characters from bullies to total weirdos and you’ve got it made.

Matt Stanton is the latest to take up the challenge of getting boys in particular to read and he does it so well I think I will read them all myself.

Max is a bit of a clown, he doesn’t think too deeply about things but he is not a dummy. He is Mr average and that covers a lot of kids. He decides to run for class President because it is a first and he sees it as a way to get back at his mean teacher Mr Armstrong who has accused him of pooping on the floor. Max wishes to clear his name as the phantom pooper and to combat his nemesis Abbey Purcell at the same time.

He is assisted in this mission by his best friend, but only on a temporary basis, Hugo, and has an ally that he would rather not have in the form of a duck who keeps chasing him around and biting him on the bottom.

Elections are in the air so compare this election to the alleged serious elections that are to come, you might find that there is not much difference.

Easy to read with a variety of large fonts and splendidly perceptive black and white illustrations. This series is destined for legendary status.

The World’s Worst Children 2 by David Walliams, Illus. Tony Ross.

June 11, 2017 Comments off

worst children 2The World’s Worst Children 2 by David Walliams, Illus. Tony Ross. Pub. HarperCollins, 2017.

You don’t need to advertise a new David Walliam’s book, the children all know before you do, so if you have never read one get hold of this and get part of the magical lunacy that catagorises his books.

In this book we meet ten improbable children with ten very real foibles that are exaggerated into a laugh out loud series of cautionary tales aimed at the reluctant reader.

Stacey wants to be a superstar but can’t sing and won’t be told. Frankie is fussy with his food and won’t eat vegetables, Harry never does his homework, Clarissa is cruel to cats and Colin wants to win everything that he does. Recognise some of these? Of course you do. Read it and find out what the other five are.

As ever Tony Ross interprets the written text with superb and equally bizarre illustrations that this time are in colour.

Simply written and very appealing, get hold of this quick before somebody reads it before you. There is no age limit on this novel and there will be a 3rd part.

Middle School. I Funny. School of laughs by James Patterson, illus. Chris Grabenstein.

May 16, 2017 Comments off

school laughMiddle School. I Funny. School of laughs by James Patterson, illus. Chris Grabenstein. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2017.

I have reviewed a number of books by these two authors and they always have a funny way to address issues that concern children such as bullying and friendship which always have a positive ending.

The novels are easy to read, appeal to the reluctant reader of primary and intermediate age and are expertly illustrated.

In this novel wheelchair bound comedian Jamie has finished with his TV show and returned to school with his friends Gilda, Joey and Pierce. Once again they have to contend with bullies Stevie and Lars but this time the bullies have an ally in the new Headmaster, Coach Ball.

Coach Ball has a flattop haircut and a closet full of tracksuits and has a desire to close the school library and turn it into a wrestling arena. The new librarian Ms Denning has a month to prove that more than 50% of students are using the library or the die is cast.

Jamie and his friends set out to help, but how come Coach Ball drives a $140,000 Masaerati? Read it and find out.

 

T

it’s my pond by claire garralon

April 18, 2017 Comments off

my pondit’s my pond by claire garralon. Pub. Book Island, 2016.

This multi layered picture book has some depth and a lot to say about the human condition. It is for everybody but a great junior story with much to discuss and think about.

Yellow duck sees a nice pond and claims it for his own. White duck sees the pond too and negotiates to share it with yellow duck. Then many ducks of different colours take their share and all is tense as each duck guards his/her own piece of pond.

Black duck arrives and  tells them they all look miserable and that ponds should be fun places. They all agree and things are fine.

Suddenly everything changes. To find out what it is you will need to read the book yourself but be warned it is brilliant.

Simple written text and easy on the eye primary coloured illustrations. You will love it.

My Pictures after the storm by Eric Veille.

March 28, 2017 Comments off

after stormMy Pictures after the storm by Eric Veille. Imprint Gecko Press, 2017.

What does an octopus look like after it has been stood on by and elephant? or a boys bedroom after two boys have played sword fights in it?

This French picture book is zany, it is clever, it is perceptive and it is gloriously funny. The front cover shows a lion after the wind has blown his mane all over the place and this establishes the pattern of this picture book.

But what really emphasises the humour are the eyes even on an inanimate object like a tractor or a gumboot and watering can. The illustrations are colourful and require no text but what text is written is concise and often enhances the humour.

This is a before and after picture book for the pre school and primary student. It is a great book for granddad or grandma to show their grandchildren or a parent to their youngsters. Adults will have a chuckle too.