Archive for the ‘Humorous Stories’ Category

Five Go Gluten Free by Enid Blyton, Text by Bruno Vincent

August 20, 2019 Comments off

glutinFive Go Gluten Free by Enid Blyton, Text by Bruno Vincent. Pub. Quercus, 2016.

Satire can be wonderfully entertaining especially when applying modern day ethics and habits to the Famous Five. The Five are now in their 20’s with University degrees and careers ahead of them.

Anne, George, Julian and Dick plus dog Timmy are housemates and on Anne’s birthday she gets a book by a woman called Portia who opens her eyes to the toxic nature of the modern western diet.

Turns out Portia is a friend of Cousin Rupert whom he met at a party by Silvio Berlusconi and Rupert convinces Anne to go on a wellness gluten free diet.

Anne in turn convinces the others to go on the diet and calls it their new adventure. They are extremely reluctant and fight it all the way until Anne decides they should go back to Dorset to consolidate the new diet which will make them energised and happy.

No more cakes and lashings of ginger beer. It does not go down well even with Timmy whose whatsits once could be collected in a bag but would now need a hoover to mop them all up.

Will the Dorset trip /come adventure help with the diet? Read it and find out.

Very funny and totally true to the original stories. For everybody. The front cover is perfect with original drawings throughout the text.

The Funny Life of Teachers by James Campbell, Illus. Rob Jones.

July 31, 2019 Comments off

teachersThe Funny Life of Teachers by James Campbell, Illus. Rob Jones. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2019.

This is the sort of book that you need in a library because the cover says to the reluctant reader “pick me up and have a look”.

It is the sort of book that you don’t have to read at the start and go through to the finish, you can pick it up and read from anywhere. It is a collection of short ditties about every aspect of school life with emphasis on the teachers.

It describes teachers in the classroom, in the staff room whether they are nice, good, bad, or evil with an emphasis on the ridiculous and the funny. It describes the library and the librarian, the school secretary how to give an excuse for being late and how to do a fart without pooing yourself.

The illustrations enhance the silliness and describe aspects of British schools that are not common to New Zealand like school lunches and the infamous dinner lady.

All in all a good laugh especially for reluctant readers.

Funny Kid 5: Slapstick by Matt Stanton

June 23, 2019 Comments off

slapstickFunny Kid 5: Slapstick by Matt Stanton. Pub. HarperCollins, 2019.

I sat down and read this latest episode in the life of Funny kid, in one sitting. It was about  the sport of ice hockey and questioned why sport is so popular with some but not with others.

Max is not sporty although some of his friends are. He wonders why people get so much fun out of putting a ball through a hoop or hitting a ball into a hole with a stick. He is soon to find out why in a very funny way.

While attending an ice hockey game with his friend Hugo he is asked to hit a puck into an open goal in a competition and amazes himself by doing it even though he falls flat on his face. He is stirred by the roar of the crowd and next days paper article about the new sports star.

His friends then form an ice hockey team to take on the local high school side.  Former teacher Mr Armstrong makes a return as coach with a wig and the hilarity continues.

Great read for reluctant boys and girls of middle school. I think it is the best yet in this series. Others are reviewed elsewhere on this blog.

Knock Knock by Deano Yipadee and Paul Beavis

June 11, 2019 Comments off

knock knockKnock Knock by Deano Yipadee and Paul Beavis. Pub. Scholastic, 2019.

Knock Knock jokes have been around forever and before I responded to “Amos who” to a school mate.

In this picture book for juniors Gerri Giraffe tells knock knock jokes to his neighbours. They are not amused. But all is not lost for him, read it and see why.

Amusing rhyming text that has been put to music that you can download. Paul Beavis’s illustrations of Gerri and the other animals in this book are a delight

Flights of Fancy. Stories, pictures and inspiration from Ten Children’s Laureates.

May 31, 2019 Comments off

flights fancyFlights of Fancy. Stories, pictures and inspiration from Ten Children’s Laureates.

Some fine advice from 10 of the best children’s writers that the World has ever had. Each author talks about their own approach to writing and shows examples of what they have done. The advice is so good children can use it themselves to start writing or to improve their performance.

Quentin Blake shows how to use pictures to tell a story or to illustrate someone else’s story.

Anne Fine tells of how to get books back that you have loaned to someone else.

Michael Morpurgo and Jacqueline Wilson tell their approaches to writing and each tell a simple story.

Michael Rosen shows how to use words to write poetry and make them do things that are funny, sad, angry crazy or whatever.

Anthony Browne tells you how to play the Shape Game with examples from other authors.

Julia Donaldson rewrites the story of the Hare and the Tortoise.

Malorie Blackman talks writing the same action from the point of view of more than one character.

Chris Riddell gives a 5 point plan using sketches to tell stories

Lauren Child gives her characters a different font to illustrate their voice.

Altogether a brilliant collection of ideas and inspiration for young and older writers. All said that libraries and librarians were fantastic things.



Fabio the World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective and Mystery on the Ostrich Express by Laura James, illus. Emily Fox

May 26, 2019 Comments off

fabioFabio the World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective and Mystery on the Ostrich Express by Laura James, illus. Emily Fox. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2019.

While traveling on the Ostrich Express from Laloozee to the Coral Coast, Fabio the World’s greatest Flamingo detective and his sidekick Gilbert the Giraffe discover a ruthlessly planned crime.

Zazie the Fox is wearing the famous Laloozee Ruby around her neck and when it is stolen I thought aye aye, this is a fit up. Am I right?

Well known thief Janice the Claw is on the scene with her band of Hyenas but all is not as it seems. Fabio with his Hercule Poirot like perceptions is nobody’s fool.

Nice tongue in cheek stuff from Laura James but it is Emily Fox’s superb illustrations that enhance the mystery and the fun of this  novel for newly confident readers. Older readers will love the fun.

The first novel The Mystery of the Missing Hippo is also reviewed on this blog

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