Welcome to The Library
You'll soon find some great resources here, included school-librarian recommended reading lists. In the meantime, why not get acquainted with your librarian, Ms Tris Irvine. Here, she explains why we should all Embrace the Fart Joke ...
Most importantly, I’ve discovered that the absolute BEST way to engage reluctant
readers is to hand them a funny book. Ideally one slightly lower than their reading
level with lots of illustrations. That rush of happy brain chemicals as they laugh will
soon cause their brain to associate reading with feeling good. Thus a reader is born,
with all the amazing benefits that entails as they make their way, snorting anf giggling,
And funny books DO make young readers feel good. Books that make them laugh
out loud completely change their mood and cause a rush of endorphins that
leave them feeling joyful and fizzy for hours afterwards.
Reading a funny book with a child is a deeply bonding experience. It’s a
chance to be “kiddish” with them, to share their world for a while. If you’re
prepared to do silly voices, too, then you’re a book-reading hero. Plus the
opportunity to yell “The truth is a lemon meringue!” as you pass each other
for weeks after reading Mr Gum is not to be missed.
Farts are funny. As is anything gross. Just accept it and get out of that
grown-up head space of yours. Look at the story through the eyes of a child.
Funny doesn’t mean lightweight. Many books my daughter loves still have an
underlying message. They can allow us to laugh at our own flaws and
inconsistencies in a more gentle and subtle way that some more “serious”
I have to admit that as a reader, parent and a school librarian, I once gravitated to books
with a moral or message of some sort. It took my daughter’s love of the genre to open
my eyes to the benefits of funny books. Here, in a nutshell, is what my own nine-year-old
as well as my experiences in the school library have taught me …
So embrace the funny. Dust off your silly voices, and cuddle up on the couch with a good book for the best bedtime experience. Oh, and if you’re a teacher or librarian struggling to engage a child with reading, pass them a funny book. If you’re stuck for ideas, come back to this page in the weeks to come. I’ll be posting reading lists packed with LOLs that young readers will LOVE.
It’s week 5 of Lockdown – are you going full Groundhog Day yet? Things have settled in a vaguely mutinous
kind of routine in our house – more Pirate Ship than tight ship, there’s ‘some’ swearing, lots of drinking, and a
fair amount of crew mutiny when I announce that it’s time for PS4 to turn off and school to start. But mostly
the decks are swabbed and the crew fed and watered, and yes – there may be the extra rations of grog of
an evening for the senior crew members to congratulate ourselves on staying afloat for one more day –
but hey, whatever it takes right?
And of course, there’s books. The kids have found their books are a great way to pass time and escape
these four walls whilst their forced to stay home with their boring leadership team, and there’s an
interesting pattern emerging. Whilst their mean librarian mother usually whips books away from
them as soon as they’re read and pops them into the school library, there’s a pile of TBR kids fiction
to choose from on her bedside table for them to explore. But that’s not happening much.
Instead the kids are gravitating to the comfort of much read favourites, and in nearly all cases it’s
the books that have always made them smile or even laugh out loud. It seems that
funny books are the ones that add a feel good factor and much needed escapism to their days.
Well thumbed copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Clarice Bean, and Danger is Everywhere are strewn haphazardly about the house, like drunken fallen shipmates, cast adrift on the hammock or the deck, or one poor soul which inadvertently walked the plank into the paddling pool.
Sacrifices have been made to these gods of literature, including one unfortunate banana which Tom
Gates assured us would turn into art if we poked holes in it (it did but the kids then
pronounced it inedible so it was mushed up for banana bread). Hours have
been spent in the sunshine soaking up vitamin D and laughter as they read
aloud passages to each other, giggling in delight at the fart jokes and pranks,
and pure exuberant silliness of the prose.
So this particular Pirate Mum is glad that her crew fought her attempts to
get her mitts on these books, because right now they’re providing a lot
of happiness for the crew – and peace and quiet for the Captain.
Now – where did I put the tonic water…
The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak
A book with no pictures is going to be totally
boring right? What child wants to read a book with no
images or colour? But the thing is you HAVE to read
whatever the book tells you to because those are the RULES.
Even when it asks you to sing silly songs, or say weird
things, you HAVE to read them out. It’s against the law not to.
The silliness of this book means that the little ones in your life will LOVE it. I passed it to the teachers of YR and Y1 to read and the classrooms were in hysterics. The atmosphere was all pantomime: "Do i HAVE to keep reading?" "YESSSSS!" That’s the trick with The Book With No Pictures - commit to the act of hating to be silly. Now, anytime YR1 are brought to the library for story time this is book that they always ask for. It has Snort factor in bucket loads.
The Dave Pigeon series by Swapna Haddow
We were fortunate to win the first four books in the Dave
Pigeon series last spring, and since then they have been in
constant demand from the school library. Children throughout Key Stage 2 love the hilarious misadventures of Dave and his best friend Skipper, fully appreciating the loyalty of Skipper as he digs Dave out
of his self-imposed disasters. It is brilliant to witness the word-of-mouth recommendations from one child to another as they spread the joy of this pigeontastically funny series. (To read the full review click here.)
St George’s Catholic Primary Taunton
Editing Emma by Chloe Seager
Sixteen-year-old Emma has been healing her broken heart through Facebook stalking and generally obsessive behaviour. When she discovers her ex has "moved on", she vows to use the internet for good rather than stalking... Of course this doesn't go quite to plan and we hear Emma's hilarious inner thoughts about everything happening to her and around her. This is such a funny book and Emma's narration will make you laugh out loud at times. Ideal for year 9 and above. Fans of Beth Garrod's Superawkward will love this!
Sir Bernard Lovell Academy
Iguana Boy and the Golden Toothbrush by James Bishop
For me it has to be Dylan and his disappointing super power of being able to talk to Iguanas. Iguana Boy and the Golden Toothbrush written by James Bishop, illustrated by Rikin Parekh had me in stiches from beginning to end, I was crying with tears.
Mrs B @Kellylbuxton, Reading lead, year 6 leader and teacher for Courthouse Junior School, Maidenhead.
I asked Twitter which funny books it would recommend to young readers, and the readers, writers and librarians of Twitter responded! If you're stuck for a great read, check out this little lot. There should be plenty to keep the children in your life laughing out loud and snorting milk out of their noses! Thanks, everyone who took part.