Archives for category: Genre: Funny

Published by Puffin

One of the joys of working in the Children’s section of a bookshop is the books you come across. Those books that as an adult you aren’t supposed to read (though I can never understand why you shouldn’t), unless you have a ‘reason’ to do so – like, working in the Children’s section of a book shop. I’m not sure I would care about it, even if I didn’t, but since I do, if I need an excuse, that’s what I’m using. At least that is the one that seems to be acceptable to those who feel I should have an excuse for reading such marvellous stories as Flour Babies.

I have seen the book on our shelves for years. Never picked it up – but did so the day before yesterday and became entranced by it. I finished it yesterday – which is the way of things; good books ‘go’ faster, but this is one of the funniest books I have ever read – touching too – simply one of the best books, ever.

It tells the story of 4C, their teacher Mr Cartwright, our hero Martin Simon and the yearly Science Fair – they are not what you might think of as the brightest pupils in the school – they are in fact those pupils that have slowly settled to the bottom of the heap, however, Mr Cartwright is ever hopeful that something might be made of them, some of them, perhaps. Since they haven’t passed any exams, they have lost out on the more interesting experiments for the fair, exploding custard tins and the like and have the choice of: textiles, nutrition, domestic economy, child development, or consumer studies. The start of the book begins with them voting for which of these subjects they should use as their topic for their contribution to the school’s annual fair. None of them seem inspiring, apart from domestic economy, which might, but probably won’t, have something to do with food.

This book is a joy, a real gem – this is a small excerpt from it…from pages 98 – 99 which is the beginning of a discussion the pupils have that is frankly superb.

‘Or cook and eat them.’

Mr Cartwright felt obliged to step in at this point to pull 4C’s lively discussion back on the rails.

‘No, I don’t think so, George. Not cook and eat them.’

‘Oh yes, sir.’ George was adamant. ‘They taste exactly like pork. I read it in a book.’

The general clamour for more information was almost drowned out by potential individual     researchers.

‘What book?’

‘Do you still have it?’

Pork?’

‘What about crackling? Do babies make proper crackling?’

A book for boys, girls and parents – and perhaps (with consideration to page 99), those who might become parents through a ‘slip’ or intentionally.

Simply marvellous. The book made me laugh out loud on the tube, tears falling down my face whilst my bemused fellow commuters looked on in wonder when I explained that ‘No, its not an adult book, but everyone should read it…’

It is a pity, I think, that it isn’t required reading in schools across the country.

Read it.

Published by Penguin

I don’t often read adult books; I spend too many hours reading those written for children and young adults.

A few years ago though I came across Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum crime novels.  I’m not sure how many there are in the series now – this though, is the first, and possibly the best – though that is uncertain.

At the beginning of the book Stephanie has just lost her job working as a lingerie buyer, and decides it is worth visiting her cousin Vinnie who runs the local bounty hunter office to ask if his job for an office worker is still available.

Under threat of exposure, (he has an interesting personal life) Vinnie agrees to take Stephanie on as his latest bounty hunter.

The books are gritty. They are certainly not for young adults (at least not from this blog), but they are also some of the funniest books I have ever read. The relationship between Stephanie, Joe Morelli (a local policeman with a history) and Ranger – an almost mystical bounty hunter already employed by Vinnie, is central to the story.

As is often the case the characters are what makes these books so wonderful (and why I’d love to own a Ranger’s T-shirt) -they are all extraordinary: Lula, initially a minor character in this the first of the books, develops into one of the pivotal people in the series – larger than life and twice as gutsy, though with the need to stop off regularly for doughnuts, and perhaps the odd handbag sale. Grandma Mazur is Stephanie’s maternal grandmother – and is quite unique amongst grandparents – willing to try anything and with a hobby of attending viewings at the local funeral parlours. Morelli and Ranger, as mentioned above, Stephanie’s parents and of course Rex. The longest living hamster I have ever come across. He is an integral part of the books. Rex doesn’t do a lot (hamsters don’t on the whole), but he has been known to bite, when necessary…

These cheer me up, when life gets difficult. They are in parts, extremely violent, but to counter that they are also extremely funny. Do read them in order – One for the MoneyTwo for the Dough, Three to get Ready…if you don’t, you won’t appreciate the characters as they develop.

They are American (set in New Jersey) and I have to admit that they are the only American books I have so far loved.

Read them – and laugh.

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Published by Walker Books

Not Yet Published June

I initially thought this was going to be a book about swimming. Which it is. It is also a story of accepting who you are. It is a tale of dreams, and hope too…

Lou Brown is about to attempt to win a race that will result in her training to become an Olympic swimmer. It all rests on this one race.

As her fingers touch the end of the pool she is certain she has won – there have been no sounds of the others for some while and she has been pushing herself to keep ahead of the pack ever since.

The results are not what she or her best friend expect.

The results are so much more than just becoming another player in Olympic dreams.

I found this book enticing and funny – I loved it – to the extent of being annoyed that my lunch break just wasn’t long enough to allow me to reach a point where it was good to stop. I shouldn’t have to go back to work when I’m in the middle of a good book at lunch…

Brilliant.

Published by Anderson Press

This is a blast of a book – a rollicking fun-filled, super hero adventure.

It really was great fun to read. Similar to My Brother is a Super Hero by David Solomons, though instead of two brothers this is a story of two friends.

A good super hero story, with a little romance, danger, fashion, homework and good friendship thrown in for good measure.

I am not sure the cover does the book as much justice, I’m afraid, as perhaps it might – but for a good blast of super hero fun – this certainly fits the bill.

Enjoy.

Published by Nosy Crow

This is a book for those followers of superheros, whether they be Batman, Superman or any of the others that regularly save the world from destruction. This is not a graphic novel. Initially I wasn’t sure about this one and felt it was perhaps too light. I have, since I finished it, however, changed my mind.

A younger brother finds his brother has been given super powers. With that comes responsibility and he finds that he gains responsibilities too, that both surprise and challenge him. A superhero needs not only support, a cloak, but a mask and secrecy too.

Further more, there is usually someone out there, who is trying to take over or destroy the world and sometimes a superhero can do with a little help. Well quite a bit.

This was great fun, it also dealt with some serious issues. If your brother is a superhero has been captured, what exactly do you tell your parent’s? Especially the day before the world is due to end…

Light, but fun and we can all do with a little of that!

Once more, I am unsure as to whether the cover will stay as it is advertised on the ‘Net’ – advertised for July.

Published by Puffin / ISBN 978 0141355146

Not yet Published – 4th June 2015

This is a story of pirates. Of child-bagging.

The deed.

It is the story of a bone leg, possible world domination, a crew of monkeys, a wolf (Idryss Ebenezer Split, a captain of a pirate ship), Pelf, a goat with a pipe, a silent loris (Omynus Hussh, possibly one of the most evil pirates to ever join such a gang of evil doers) a pig, a Puffin, (that looks not unlike ‘Fat Puffin’ from the Puffin Club from many years ago), an orangutan, and Old Sawbones, a saltwater crocodile to name just a few.

It is also the story of pirate ship battles, the high seas, secrets, dreams, snuglets, friendship and evil… The narrator tells the tale, with drama and with cliffhangers. He has some consideration for those more lily-livered readers (usually parents), who might find the loss of a hand, or possibly two, (by poison and the chopping block), of ghosts and a toxic bite a bit much, but children of wise parents will know that this is just what is needed in this life of soft beds, safety and parents…after all, I suspect the narrator certainly does…

A truly hilarious, brilliant adventure illustrated superbly, not to say excellently by Ross Collins along with a good use of type fonts make this a wonderful book. It really is stuffed full of adventure.

Published by Hachette Children’s Group / ISBN 978 1842556931 / Series 

A wonderful gothic tale by this inventive and extraordinary author. The majority of his books are on the whole for older readers, however this is the start of a brilliant series for this younger age group. In this the first book of this brilliant series we are introduced to the Otherhand family and Edgar who is a very grumpy discontented raven. He is disturbed to find that the family ignore his warnings after he sees something that shouldn’t be there, and the castle itself begins to flood…

There are six volumes in the series –

Flood and Fang 9781842556931

Ghosts and Gadgets

9781444001860

Lunatics and Luck

9781444001884

Vampires and Volts

9781444001907

Magic and Mayhem

9781444003406

Diamonds and Doom

9781444003482