Posts Tagged ‘Humour’

Judy Moody Saves the World

Megan McDonald and Peter H. Reynolds (Illustrator)
judy moodyJudy Moody did not set out to save the world.
She set out to win a contest. A Band-Aid contest.
It all started with the Crazy-Strip contest – and the dream that she, Judy Moody, might one day see her very own adhesive-bandage design covering the scraped knees of thousands. But when her “Heal the World” motif merits only an honorable mention, Judy Moody realizes it’s time to set her sights on something bigger. Class 3T is studying the environment, and Judy is amazed to learn about the destruction of the rain forest, the endangered species (not) in her own backyard, and her own family’s crummy recycling habits. Now she’s in a mood to whip the planet into shape – or her name isn’t Judy Monarch Moody!

There are a few books in this series. While I was on holiday I went to the library and I chose this book, it was the 3rd book in the series but the only one they had. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t read the first two because it explained all the main characters.

I particularly enjoyed the interesting titles, for example, A Mr Rubbish Mood, Pigtoes, Pumas and Pimplebacks and finally Project P.E.N.C.I.L! They really caught my imagination.

This book has a lot of facts and I found them very interesting, I also learnt a lot about recycling.
“Did you know we throw away TWO AND A HALF MILLION plastic bottles every hour in this country!” (USA)

It gave a long list of things that we use every day which come from the rain forest and talks about riding bikes to help save fuel and the earth.

This book is American so some of the words are a bit different which was a little confusing like trash /rubbish, and Band-Aids /plasters.

Verdict: I love this book and now want to read ALL THE OTHERS!

Reviewed by Avilee Age 7 ½

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: March 2004
Format: Paperback
Pages: 160
Genre: Fiction, humour
Age: Middle grade
Reviewer: Avilee
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: None
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Badness For Beginners

Ian Whybrow and Tony Ross

badness“Remember,” said Dad. “You must both be on your worst behaviour.”
In a nice smelly lair far away live the wolf family. Mum and Dad are very proud of being big and bad. They want to teach their cub, Little Wolf and Smellybreff, how to be big and bad like them.
But sometimes, lessons in Badness are not that simple…

My three year old seems to have a bit of a fascination with big, bad wolves at the moment so when I took her to the library she chose three books with wolves on the cover and this was one of them. I could tell from that front cover that this was the story that she would like best and so it has been!

The picture is of a graffiti-ed wall and Little Wolf sitting at the bottom covered in black paint whilst his brother, Smellybreff, sits at the top looking naughty with a couple of plates of food perched ready to drop on his brother. It is a perfect insight into Badness for Beginners as Mum and Dad Wolf strive to teach their little ones how to be truly naughty.

Much of the story is funny for young children as it turns on its head all those well used phrases we say to them, remember your manners, say please, don’t eat too much you’ll be sick! And so on. Smellybreff gets it straight away, but Little sometimes, shockingly, says thank you by mistake.

Mum and Dad take the young wolves out and on the way they scare people, make trip hazards and create a hole in a bridge, among other naughty things. Little is trying to impress his parents, but not quite hitting it! They go to a café and show appalling manners culminating in Smellybreff being sick and all of them getting thrown out. On the way home Mum trips on a trip hazard and knocks into Dad a hole in a bridge!!! The Little Wolves are excited about what their badness has brought about, Mum and Dad are rather quiet about it all! Need I say more!!

I had a good chuckle reading this and so did both my girls. The older one (nearly 6 years) really got it, the younger appreciated they were being naughty but did miss the point that it was their own badness that caused their downfall (literally!). But there was something in there for all of us to enjoy and the pictures helped tell the story and explain it to my little one.

Verdict: Brilliant naughty humour, a really fun read.
Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: May 2005
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Humour, Manners
Age:Picture book
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: British book
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Model Misfit

Holly Smale
Model Misfit“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek.”
Harriet knows that modelling won’t transform you. She knows that being as uniquely odd as a polar bear isn’t necessarily a bad thing (even in a rainforest). And that the average person eats a ton of food a year, though her pregnant stepmother is doing her best to beat this.
What Harriet doesn’t know is where she’s going to fit in once the new baby arrives.
With summer plans ruined, modelling in Japan seems the perfect chance to get as far away from home as possible. But nothing can prepare Harriet for the craziness of Tokyo, her competitive model flatmates and her errant grandmother’s ‘chaperoning’. Or seeing gorgeous Nick everywhere she goes.
Because, this time, Harriet knows what a broken heart feels like.
Can geek girl find her place on the other side of the world or is Harriet lost for good?

Ok, so when I heard that there was a Geek Girl 2 I was so pleased because I am Geek girl’s biggest fan (I even have the glasses!) so pleased in fact I read it in 2 days flat. (Not quite a personal record but very close!) So Harriet Manners is 15 and she is a Geek… and a model, spotted a year ago unexpectantly by a top modelling agency (if you have no idea what I’m on about then read my last Geek Girl review) she is kind, clumsy and it’s her GCSE final today and after that she will have the whole long summer holiday ahead of her. So she does the exam and announces to her friend Nat that she has the summer holiday planned out. Nat tells her that because she was caught trying out eye shadow in Boots instead of practising her French GCSE so she has to go to a desolate farm in France to practice there. Suddenly Hattie has a lot of time on her hands…

After ruining yet another modelling opportunity she thinks her modelling career is all over until her agent tells her that she is going to Tokyo and all she has to do is convince her parents…

When she gets there she meets her Grandmother, her ex-boyfriend and some new friends… or foes. After being attacked by an octopus, getting stuck in a box with a cockroach, slipping over in a lake and wearing high-heeled shoes in a Sumo wrestling ring, I think she could say her modelling career has been well, interesting.

Find out about new friends, new enemies, new family members and a whirlwind trip to Tokyo. Boyfriends, best friends, babies, bugs and loads more in a book not to be missed!

Verdict: you will die if you don’t read this book. Enough said.

Reviewed by Daisy (12)

Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s
Publication Date: September 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 356
Genre: Contemporary, Humour
Age: YA
Reviewer: Daisy(12)
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book
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Dixie O’Day: In the Fast Lane

Shirley Hughes and Clara Vaulliamy (illustrator)
dixie O'dayIntroducing Dixie O’Day and also, of course, his friend Percy! This dashing duo are always getting into adventures – here they enter the All-Day Car Race little knowing what is ahead of them! Dixie and Percy run into all sorts of peril, as does their arch enemy, Lou Ella. But who will win, and will Lou Ella get her comeuppance?

It gives me great pleasure to introduce two dashing gentlemen, Dixy O’Day, the bow tie wearing, responsible car owner, and his best friend, co-driver, and all round good chap, Percy. These furry fella’s enjoy the simple things in life; Sunday motoring in the country, picnicing at the seaside and relaxing in the evening with a good cup of tea and their favourite biscuits. Not that they are adverse to a little excitement, which is handy as they do seem to get themselves in to tricky scrapes with alarming regularity!

While we still enjoy sharing our favourite picture books, my six-year-old daughter has started to request “grown up” chapter books for her pre bed reading. Although these books are written for early readers, with simple stories that appeal to her interests, I have found that the leap from picture book to chapter book to be a steep one. Particularly when I am reading an un-illustrated segment, I have noticed that my daughter’s concentration wanes mid chapter and without a visual reference and in the absence of descriptions she has trouble keeping track of the secondary characters.

From the very first page you know that you are getting something different. Dixie O’Day is a very British book about a pair of well-mannered British chaps. Beneath the excitement of the great Didsworth to Dodsworth car race there are some very gentle lessons about taking care of your possessions, consideration for others, manners and doing good deeds.

In a world full of apps, technology and extra digital content it was a delight to watch my daughter interacting with the book in a much more traditional way- exploring the included character interviews, games and maps – these added extras have pulled us back to the book as much as the story itself.

The chapters were the perfect length to maintain a fidgeting child’s attention, but long enough to that my daughter didn’t feel short changed at bedtime. The chapters each ended on a gripping cliff hanger and on more than one occasion I gave in (gleefully*) to my daughters pleas of just one more chapter.

In my experience the illustrations in similar books are usually black and white. While the illustrations in Dixie O’Day benefit from the edition of just red, pink and grey, the use of different retro prints add to the overall texture of the pictures and makes the overall book feel as if a much larger colour palate has been used.

I loved the retro 1940-1950’s styling. Everything from the illustrations themselves, the language use, even the compact size of the book, all nod to a past era. Although I was born long after the mimiced era, everything about the book made me feel nostalgic for my own childhood. Saturday mornings watching wacky races on the television, rummaging in charity shops for very British books about adventures, midnight feasts and lessons in morality.

Verdict: With it’s fast paced and exciting chapters and vibrant illustrations on every page Dixy O’Day is the perfect bridge between the chapter books my daughter craves and the picture books we already love.

* another step closer to creating a mini bibliophile

Reviewed by Caroline

Publisher: Bodley Head
Publication Date: August 2013
Format: ARC
Pages: 128
Genre: Children’s, Humour
Age: Early reader
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book
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My Busy Being Bella Day

Rebecca Patteson

busy being bellaBella is going to have a very busy day at nursery – but what about baby brother Bob? He gets to stay at home with Mummy, and Bella can’t help but imagine all the wonderful things he’ll get to do. But Bella discovers there’s some good things about being bigger and going to nursery after all, and maybe she’ll be surprised about what Bob and Mummy have been doing without her…

It was a joy to hear Rebecca Patterson read us this book at the Random House Spring Showcase. How exciting to hear the author read with the emphasis and expression she intended it to have. I really enjoyed bringing it home to my children and passing her rendition on to them myself, but if you haven’t had this chance don’t be put off, the layout of the text and the use of bold and large sized print in places makes it easy and a delight to read aloud. It also fully expresses the way a young child might think and speak about the things they are experiencing.

This story follows Bella in her time at Nursery, spending some of it convinced that brother Bob is having a much better time at home, until she gets caught up in pre-school activities and forgets to think about Bob, then she goes home to find out if her assumptions were correct. This is so true to life, it fits the conversations I have with both my girls who each think the other is probably having more fun than they are. There is real insight into the world of a pre-schooler.

It is also a funny story, the humour is in the everyday things, banana’s with SPOTS, licking foam, being the noisiest teapot. There is humour in the pictures, the facial expressions, the situations and the pictures of Bella’s thoughts. The illustrations are bright and colourful. I enjoyed the fact that they started right at the beginning before there was any text and continued after the story had finished. It gave us an extra insight into Bella’s day and also made my girls look more closely at the pictures to try and see what they told us about the story.

Verdict: This is a lovely funny story with a sweet ending and on a theme that any child with a brother or sister can identify with.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Random House Children’s
Publication Date: May 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Humour, School
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Provide by publisher at event
Challenge: British book
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Shhh! Don’t Wake The Royal Baby

Martha Mumford and Ada Grey (illustrator)

dont wake the royal babyIt’s chaos at the Royal Palace – the Royal Baby just won’t go to sleep. Waaaaah! Waaaaah! Waaaaah!
The Royal Family has tried everything to pacify the little bundle of joy – from proferring the golden royal dummy to death-defying parachute jumps with the Queen. But, just when the little one seems to be settling, another disturbance is just around the corner. From yip-yapping corgis to marching guards and noisy party planning, the palace is awash with noise. Will it ever be peaceful enough to lull the baby off to sleep?
A laugh-out-loud celebration of the new addition to the Royal Family, guaranteed to raise a few giggles.

As the description said the royal baby just won’t sleep and the royal parent s and grandparents try a whole host of ways to try and get him to settle down. The Duke takes him for a helicopter ride, the Queen takes him parachuting, he is read stories and so forth. But every time they succeed in getting the royal baby to sleep something in the royal household wakes him up again, my personal favourite was Prince Harry and Pippa preparing a party to celebrate his arrival with the cry of ‘More blini’s’. Indeed this is a funny book, seeing the royals trying to get this baby to sleep in weird ways is amusing, some of the humour made me smile more than my daughters who didn’t always get the joke.. They did enjoy the story and find some of it funny though.

The illustrations are a great back up to the story, the depictions of the royal family are recognisable and add to the enjoyment. The Queen in a onesie with crowns all over it and pink fluffy slippers was great (but one of things that will have made me smile more than my daughters). The girls liked the pictures of the soldiers, the corgi’s and the funny things they did with the baby.

Verdict:This is a light-hearted story that can please adults as well as children. Any parent knows the frustrations of trying to and quiet down a crying baby! It is a nice piece of memorabilia for children to enjoy now qand look back on later.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens’
Publication Date: July 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Humour
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Provide by publisher
Challenge: none
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Otter Chaos!

Michael Broad

otter chaosThe otterly bonkers Brown family are HUGELY excited, as today’s the day they move to their new home. But when they get there they find the beastly Black family have got there first!
This riverbank ain’t big enough for the both of them, so there’s only one thing for it: war. Well, not REAL war. Otters are more into playing than fighting, so instead they decide to hold a giant sports day – and may the best otters win! Whether that’s the Browns or the Blacks, only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure, it’s bound to be OTTER CHAOS!

I love this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But I love animals anyway so reading a story about them is great!

This book is amazing. When the Brown family, a family of Otter’s decide their house is getting too small for them, Papa Brown, Mama Brown, Grandma Maple, Grandpa Brown, Cocoa, Beanie, Woody, Chestnut and Nutmeg (The twins), decide to move to a bigger, better house only to find another otter family (their arch enemies) were already living there. The only way to settle the dispute over who lives there was an ‘Otterly’ chaotic sports day!

I don’t want to give it away but an act of surprising kindness by Woody cost the Brown’s the victory.
This is a surprising book with a twist at the end. I really like Jim Field’s illustrations too. I’m looking forward to the next book Otter Chaos – Dam Busters.

Verdict: I love this book and think this book is for boys and girls aged 7 to 12 .

Reviewed by Izzy (9)

Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books
Publication Date: January 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
Genre: Children’s, Humour, animals
Age: Early Reader
Reviewer: Izzy
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British Book
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The Pirates Next Door

Jonny Duddle

pirates next doorThe Jolley-Rogers – a pirate family, are moving to Dull-on-Sea, a quiet seaside town. Stopping to fix up their ship, this unusual family get the whole neighbourhood spreading rumours. Defying the grown-ups, Matilda from next door decides to become friends with the youngest pirate son. When the Jolley-Rogers leave, the town discovers they were wrong to assume the worst – the pirate clan have buried treasure in everyone’s gardens (shown in a stunning double-gatefold). Matilda feels sad until she discovers her own treasure – an incredibly exciting new pen friend.

I picked this up because the front cover made it look like such fun as a boat full of pirates is rolling up the road. I wasn’t disappointed on the inside either as the story was great and the pictures a pure delight.

So to the story, there is an empty house on the street in Dull-on-Sea (great name) and one day a pirate family move in complete with pirate ship (which needs mending hence the break from the sea). Tilda next door is very pleased to have a friend in the ‘pirate boy’ but the rest of the neighbourhood are less than welcoming. They come together to moan about the piratey aspects of the new residents. However in reality the pirates are not any of the things that are being said of them. They are actually very wise pirates who know that these people are complaining and, in a cunning twist, they set out to show them that pirates are not actually bad at all by leaving a gift for each of the neighbours. Of course after that everybody loves them!

If you like to use books to talk about issues with your children this is a great way to take an early look at prejudice and not judging people you don’t really know.

The illustrations are brilliantly drawn, detailed and humorous. They clearly show the exuberance of the pirates and the complete disapproval of the neighbours as they move in. My girls will tell you that the best of all is the big picture. It shows all the neighbours lawn’s marked with crosses (as x marks the spot of course) and you open it out to see them all desperately digging in search of their treasure. There is lots to look at on every page and they are the kind of pictures you keep seeing more things in each time you go back to them.

Verdict: So both the girls and I loved this, written in rhyme means they get to read it with me these days, it is a firm favourite.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Templar Publishing
Publication Date: March 2012
Format: Picture book
Pages: 36
Genre: Pirates, Humour
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British book
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The Hueys In …It Wasn’t Me

Oliver Jeffers

the hughesWhat’s all the arguing about? There are plenty of Hueys to go around in this hilarious story from a New York Times bestselling author and artist
The Hueys are back! Oliver Jeffers’ egg-shaped creatures may look the same, think the same, and even do the same things, but that doesn’t mean they always agree. The only problem is, they can’t seem to agree on what they disagreed on in the first place! Which ultimately leads to an even bigger disagreement! Confused? Well, so are the Hueys. Which only adds to the fun and hilarity.

Although I’ve seen Oliver Jeffers’ books and know they are wonderful, for some unknown reason we don’t have any and my girls haven’t come across them. Being given this to read was an excellent opportunity to remedy this situation.

In this story the Huey’s, who usually agree on things, have a disagreement.

Oliver’s drawings are great, they are simple, and yet in no way simplistic. The Huey’s are draw in black and white line drawings with splashes of colour. The argument is a cloud of colour and lines above their heads as they grumble and moan. It’s just how to imagine a row. It also made it really relatable for the children. As any parent knows children fall in and out all the time, often over the most trivial of things. They were glued to the story and at the first reading you could see them checking out the pictures and taking it all in.

I loved the page where Gilespie has asked what the problem is and the Huey’s all stand in silence as none of them can remember what the problem was in the first place. Dare we say so often typical of all of us not just children?

I also loved the way the text was partly narrative and partly speech bubbles, something my older girl who is learning to read also picked up on.

The other thing that I found interesting about this was that after hearing it the first time, instead of the ‘again’ we so often hear, my five year old wanted to take the book off and go by herself to look at it. She spent a good while just sitting looking at the pictures.

Verdict: So a highly recommended book with an ending that made me laugh out loud. We must invest in more of this author’s work.

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: April 2013
Format: Hardback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture book, Humour
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: None
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Cordelia Codd

Claire O’Brien
cordelia coddOne day, I, CORDELIA CODD, will be glamorous. I’ll take taxis everywhere, have a ridiculous-looking, floppy little dog, and Wednesdays will be manicure day.
But for now, I’m stuck with a 50% reduction in parents
two mean ex-best friends
rubbish day Wednesdays
and a mum with a broken heart.
Dad has GOT to come home and help me out…

I read this book with my Mummy and I’m glad I did. I didn’t quite get all of it, because I am in year 4 and Cordelia is in year 7 but I still enjoyed it. Half way through reading it at bed time, my big sister (Daisy) who is in year 7 started to listen in and she was hooked! She enjoyed hearing it so much that she borrowed the book and read all the chapters we had already read so she could then join in and listen to the rest of it.

Cordelia is a film loving, costume designer 12 year old who has a happy life until a bad thing happened which affected her and her mum very badly. As a result of that, she did some bad but quite funny things. I’m not going to tell you any more stuff, although it does involve a boxing glove and some paint! You’ve got to read it yourself. I think this book is aimed at kids over 9 definitely as there is one or two bad uses of language but over all I loved it!

It kept all of us listening, sometimes it made me feel sad but sometimes it made me feel grateful for what we have in our family. I really wanted to be Cordelia’s friend.

Does it have a happy ending? Read the book and find out!

Verdict : I can’t wait to read the next one, ‘Cordelia Codd, Frankly Ruby I don’t give a Damm’ (secretly my Mum can’t wait to read it either).

Reviewed by Izzy (9)

Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication Date: June 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
Genre: humour
Age: Middle grade
Reviewer: Izzy (9)
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book
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