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,

through life!

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”

books.

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.

 

Tris

Lockdown Reading

 

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.

Tris 

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.

Twitter Recommends ...

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