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Archive for the ‘Humorous Stories’ Category

Spaceboy by David Walliams. Illus. Adam Stower. Pub. HarperCollins children’s books, 2022

November 21, 2022 Comments off

Another amazing novel for children from the incredible David Walliams.

This time it is set in America in the early 1960’s when the space race between USA and the USSR was in full force. In the back is a timeline of important events in this race from 1957 with Sputnik 1 to 1969 moon landing.

Main character is Ruth an orphan (what else) who lives with her aunt Dorothy in the mid west, probably Kansas, on a dilapidated Ostrich farm. Aunt Dorothy is like a crocodile and treats Ruth badly and calls her Roof. Ruth has a three legged dog called Yuri after the first man in space Yuri Gargarin and she looks at the heavens every night from her bed in the attic of the farm house. and wishes her life were better.

One night a UFO crashes to the Earth and on board is a Spaceboy who talks English. Suddenly the farm is swamped with helicopters and moon buggies chasing the Spaceboy and Ruth with the help of Yuri the dog with an egg wisk as one hind leg, try to escape but without luck.

What secrets does Spaceboy have and how will it all end? There is a sort of David Bowie aspect to the novel with the four parts being named Life On Mars, Space Oddity, Loving the Alien and finally Heroes.

We meet some traditional American characters like the doughnut eating overweight sheriff, Major Majors the hollywood aging star like space boss, the incredibly vain President who wants it to be all about him, half mahcine half mad scientist Dr Schock and of course Spaceboy himself.

Loads of laughs enhanced by Adam Stower’s illustrations.

Just in time for Xmas this would make a great present for reluctant readers and David Walliam’s fans. Easy to read, I finished in under two hours and so will you if you want to but I would dwell on it if I were you. Savour it

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Bk17. Diper Overlode by Jeff Kinney. Pub. Puffin Books, 2022.

November 15, 2022 Comments off

This book is a laugh from start to finish and it took me just two sittings of one hour each to finish it.

Wimpy Kid Greg Heffley yearns to be rich and famous but things are not going his way. He decides that the best way of achieving this is to be friends with or know someone who is famous or going to be famous

He decides he will tag along with his older brother Rodericks heavy metal band, Diper Overlode and try to help them get famous to achieve his own desires.

Diper Overlode have modelled themselves on a once famous band called Metallichihuahua and so they set out to make a record and get name recognition.

Not as easy as it sounds as the boys explore the rock’n roll lifestyles with hilarious results. Every diper joke in the book is exploited as is every rock’n roll cliche. Adults will get a big laugh out of this as well as it mimics some well known antics by real bands.

Excellent for reluctant readers especially boys and for fans of the wimpy kid.

Bedtime Blast-off! by Mark Sommerset, illus. Pradyut Chatterjee. Pub. Dreamboat Books, October 2022

October 14, 2022 Comments off

Quirky Turkey is not the brightest tool in the shed. So when Bessie the cow slips him a hot coconut cup full of milk, chocolate and marshmallows, he thinks he will convince Little Baa Baa to drink it.

Baa Baa is a sleepy sheep but not sleepy enough to fall for this old trick. He leads Turkey on that the drink looks tasty and then says no thanks. I wonder why?

Turkey naturally is all exasperated and decides to drink it himself having forgotten the real contents. I wonder who will eventually drink the concoction? And what is Baa Baa’s aromatherapy for? Read this delightful story and find out.

The third part of a trilogy that began with Baa Baa Smart Sheep and I Love Lemonade this book begs to be read aloud to juniors. Adults will love it too.

Excellent illustrations that capture the stupidity of Quirky turkey and the sly sleepy cleverness of Baa Baa. Of course the question of morality of the whole event is raised? Should people do this to each other?

The 156-storey treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. Pub. MacMillan, 2022

September 23, 2022 Comments off

It had to happen, Andy and Terry’s treehouse now has another 13 storeys and this isn’t the end of the matter as 169 Storey Treehouse is planned.

This episode is about Xmas and the usual scenario of exploring the new 13 added storeys of which the best is the one inhabited by Quizzy the quizzical.

When Santa Claus crashes into the treehouse and his reindeer are caught up in the branches, Xmas is threatened. Then to make matters worse Santa falls into a cloning machine and there are Santas all over the place. Which one is the true Santa? Well having a quiz is a good way but will this reveal the true Santa? read it and find out.

The usual bag of madness and mayhem is superbly illustrated by Terry Denton and half the fun of reading these stories is looking at the illustrations. Then there are the observed public holidays of which “underpants on the head” day is my favourite.

Sure to be a favourite of reluctant readers especially boys but girls have a heroine with Jill. Don’t miss this it may be the second to last with 13 to the power of 2 a likely end. The Santas having an hilarious belly fight is a highlight of this novel.

The World’s Worst Pets by David Walliams, illus. Adam Stower. Pub. HarperCollins, 2022

May 16, 2022 Comments off

What can I add about David Walliams’ writing that hasn’t been written before except that it is superlative and he has done more to get reluctant kids into reading since J.K Rowling, Paul Jennings and R.L Stine.

This is a book of ten short stories about pets that have gone feral or are locked into a rivalry with another pet that is a catastrophe for the owners. Walliams also knows that kids like burps and farts and there is a knew noise a furp which is a combination of the two.

There is a story about the rivalry between cats and dogs in a musical context, why is there a musical about Cats and not Dogs but it can’t beat the battle for cuteness between a hampster and a gerbil. There is a bunny story, Picasso the horse, a silly snake, a grizzlie bear a supersonic tortoise, a furping goldfish and my favourite the burgling budgie which has a Dickensian theme to it. Loved Magwitch the one eyed magpie.

Adam Stower with his coloured illustrations enhances the characters and the humour.

You can’t go wrong with this novel for kids and I am hoping that David will come up with a book about the Worlds worst politicians. There are plenty in the World today.

Masher by Fifi Colston. Pub. Puffin, 2022.

May 6, 2022 Comments off

This is literally a shaggy dog story for intermediate and junior readers and it is very funny. Reluctant boy readers in particular will love it and it would be a good story to read aloud to a junior class.

Freddy Foxworthy is an arty boy and he is daring. His father is a builder and his sister is flirting with the metal head a couple of house along from his. His name is Axl and he has a vicious Staffordshire bull terrier called Masher.

Freddy is inspired by a teacher to make a puppet made of paper mache but he struggles because it is too soft, so he mixes up a concoction of flour water and sugar to bind the paper mache together. Masher eats it all and dies. he is cremated and his ashes are left by the gate to Axl’s house.

In a comedy of errors Freddy kicks the ashes over, conceals the spilt ashes in a pie bag takes them home and mixes them in the flour mixture to stiffen up the paper mache, and uses it to complete the puppet.

The hand puppet morphs and comes alive as Masher and the action starts. Read it and see what happens. Freddy is a good role model. He is intelligent, imaginative and has good people skills, but will he survive a paper mache dog with all the appetites and qualities of the real thing.

There are lessons in how to form a business and how to do a puppet show as well as the crazy action that surrounds a talking dog puppet. Easy to read with great imagination.

The 13-Storey Treehouse (Full Colour Edition) by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton. Pub. MacMillan Publishers NZ, 2021

November 18, 2021 Comments off

This is the novel that started the crazy treehouse stories, the most recent one is reviewed elsewhere on this blog. This is a copy worth getting and keeping because of the colour and hardback cover and in 50 years time it will probably be worth big dollars.

It introduces Andy and Terry ( the writer and illustrator of course) and their living quarters in a 13-storey treehouse with a theatre and library, a bowling alley, a man-eating shark tank and a giant catapult amongst other things.

Andy & Terry are under pressure from Big Nose to finish a book and this is the series of preposterous stories that make up this book.

It starts with Terry painting a cat yellow and it turning into a canary and flying away then it graduates into Barky the barking dog show. Don’t barking dogs drive you Mad? Then comes the best story in the book when Terry gets a packet of sea-monkey eggs, germinates them in a bowl of water and one of them turns into a mermaid and eats all the other eggs.

Terry falls in love with the mermaid but there is danger ahead. Read it and find out what happens. All the story threads join up at the end to make a satisfying read.

The stories are designed to attract reluctant readers and their craziness will certainly bring them to the reading table. This is an 8 out of ten book for enjoyability and I am going to keep my copy.

As always Terry Denton provides the illustrations to Andy Griffiths’ crazy text. Don’t miss it.

The 143-Storey treehouse by Andy Griffith, Illus. Terry Denton. Pub. Pan Macmillan, 2021

November 9, 2021 Comments off

If you have never read one of these treehouse books then it is about time you did. They started with a 13 Storey treehouse and this one adds 13 more storeys than the last one and is just as addictive and crazy as the others.

Tery Denton who does the illustrations and Andy Griffiths are a well oiled machine, they know what appeals to reluctant boy readers and they know how boy conversations can drift into all sorts of areas that defy logic. They are fun and absurdity at the same time

The extra 13 storeys include a word-o-matic which knows every word in the world but gets stuck on every scrabble players dream word-Quezjex. Is it a word? if so what is it? read the book and find out. Other storeys include a too Hard basket and a SUPER BIG STUFF storey. Watch Andy get cut in half by a chainsaw then get stapled back together by a superbig stapler.

Andy and terry and friends go on an old fashioned picnic and meet a fire-breathing dragon amongst others and even sup on a fish milkshake. The craziness is boundless and the illustrations just enhance the loonacy.

A great Xmas present for the reluctant reader especially boys.

Partners in Slime by Belinda O’Keefe. Pub. Scholastic 2021.

May 25, 2021 Comments off

Thirteen year old Jake and his mate Cooper want to ride on a new roller coaster called the Steel Beast which is to open in 38 days time. Unfortunately they have no money and the beast is going to cost over $100.00 each to ride on.

Jake gets an idea to make money from his younger sister Paige who is a real handful for Jake to handle and she seems to have the ear of her parents. The idea is to make slime and sell it to the kids at school who Jake believes are gagging for it.

With the help of a web page and input from Coopers scientific uncle Ivor the boys make a very desirable product and it sells like hotcakes. The sister Paige and her girlie friends come up with a better product that smells of food product and the boys have been usurped.

What are they to do next? The answer is off this planet and the results hilarious. Will the boys get near the Steel Beast? Read it and see what happens.

The best part of this story is the business venture. How do you start a business from scratch? Once you have a product how do you market it? What do you do about competition?

A great read-a- loud for junior and intermediate readers with high boy appeal.

Space Detectives by Mark Powers, illus. Dapo Adeola. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2021.

April 8, 2021 Comments off

This is a short easy to read chapter book for newly confidant readers and reluctant boy readers. It is introductory Sc/Fi with a load of laughs and lots of weird creatures.

Ten year old Ethan and Mark are good friends and they run an ice cream parlour on the manmade planet of Starville. It is a glass bubble in space with all the elements of Planet Earth except that it is populated by both humans and creatures from other planets.

Both boys are detectives and want to start an agency up on Starville but there is a lack of work. The boys witness a crime in which a Tufted Grotsnobbler from Venus steals the handbag off the daughter of the Supreme Governor of Starville. They attempt to get the handbag back and are invited to a party at the Governors house for their efforts.

Then things get worse as Starvillians learn that their planet is heading for a collision with the moon. Can Ethan and Mark find out who is behind this dastardly scheme? Read it and find out.