Posts Tagged ‘Humorous stories’

Bad Panda

By Swapna Haddow

Illustrated by Sheena Dempsey

ISBN 9780571352418

Faber UK

Drum roll please! Dah dah dah dum!

Welcome to the Bad Panda blog tour. This is just the start of your journey. There are other blogs to follow with lots happening, including prizes. See the guide at the end of this post for tour dates.

One of the things that makes a children’s book successful, is the collaboration between author and illustrator. The team of Swapna and Sheena, works perfectly. They obviously understand each other and it shows, as the words and pictures compliment each other beautifully, and they deservedly win awards for their hard work.

Bad Panda is their latest book and is the first one in a new series.

Lin is just the cutest of all pandas. So cute in fact, that she is taken away from her family and friends and shipped off to a zoo where people can stare at her, take photos, and ooh and ahh over her. But Lin doesn’t want to be oohed over. Lin wants to go home and be with her brother, Face-Like-A-Bag-Of-Potatoes. On board the ship Lin is kept in a cage and it is there she meets Fu, another panda, also in a cage and being shipped off to the same zoo. They soon become friends.

Lin doesn’t want to be at the zoo so she begins to plot a way to to get back home but it requires her to give up her cuteness and become Bad Panda. Lin wants to become the baddest, meanest, most un-cute animal in the zoo… because if she is really bad, surely the zoo keepers will send her home.

When Lin growls at the pigeons people just take more photos because they think she is so cute. Of course, this only makes Lin angrier and more determined to be the baddest panda ever. More plotting required.

There is so much humour as Lin and Fu try to come up with different ways to be bad. Swapna is no stranger to humour. Her Dave the Pigeon books are full of moments to laugh out loud, and Lin and Fu are just as funny. Swapna makes writing humour look so easy. The jokes flow; some tongue-in-cheek, some ironic, but always the humour flows effortlessly and leaves the reader laughing.

Sheena Dempsey adds so much to the humour with her very funny illustrations. They are deceptively simple, mostly pink and black, but look at the eyes. There is so much character, personality and humour in the eyes of the animals. Her pictures of Lin growling are just delightful, as are all the rest throughout this early chapter book.

As in all good stories there is a villain, and here it is King Cobra, a snake with death-glare stares and mean intentions.

Short chapters and heaps of illustrations make this an ideal chapter book for new and independent readers. It is also an excellent book to read aloud.

Friends are important in all of Swapna’s books. Whichever book of hers you read, and there are many, friends always have a way of making things right. They also make things wrong, which is part of the humour, but eventually friends make all the difference.

Swapna Haddow and her family moved to New Zealand in 2018. That is not so long ago, but already she is very well established in the writing world up and down the country and is in much demand for school visits, particularly at Book Fair time.

I asked Swapna about the hunourous books she liked as a child and she told me she enjoyed anything by Roald Dahl. She said the “dark humour really appealed to me”.

If you click the link above you can go to Swapna’s website and follow the links to lots of free downloadable activities. Puzzles and things to draw. Great to do right now while New Zealand is in Lockdown.

Check out the video clip below and hear as Swapna reads the first chapter of her book. After the reading, you can watch Sheena demonstrate how to draw your own picture of Lin. I can’t even draw a straight line, but with Sheena’s video and instructions I did manage to draw something a little bit resembling Lin. Give it a go.

Do check out Zac and his blog on September the 6th (he is next on the blog tour) details below, as he has a book giveaway competition.

Thanks for being part of the Bad Panda blog tour. It’s a funny read and you won’t be disappointed.

 The Invincibles: Short Circuit (Book 2)

By Peter Millett

Illustrated by Myles Lawford

ISBN 9781775436003

Scholastic NZ

 

Book two in this adventurous series by author Peter Millett is just as much fun as the first book. The Invincibles; Tana, Scotty, Zinnia, Andrea and Muzza still have their super powers but this time there’s a problem and the children have all shrunk to tiny insect-sized versions of themselves. However, it does not stop them from getting into trouble or from trying to save the day against Tricky Ricky. More adventure, mystery and fun, although trying to escape magpies when you are very tiny morsel sized humans can be a little on the dangerous side.

A good series with short chapters and funny illustrations to break up the text making this ideal for readers who are just enjoying their first chapter books.

 

Miniwings: Moonlight the Unicorn’s High Tea Hiccup

By Sally Sutton

Illustrated by Kirsten Richards

ISBN 9781775434887

Scholastic NZ

Clara and Sophia have a secret and readers are encouraged to keep that secret safe. The girls have a small herd of miniwings, tiny little live horses. Guess what? They can fly and when they fly they always create a mess and cause trouble for the sisters who do everything they can to keep them hidden.

The miniwings are all back in this latest book and still up to their naughty ways. This time they get up to mischief at a high tea and get stuck into destroying all the fancy food. Watch out for some flying teeth. Yes, teeth!

The illustrations have lots of pinks and purples, greens and blues and they are definitely cute and certainly funny.

A little bit naughty and lot of fun. If you like this one, there are others in the series just as funny.

Dogman: Brawl of the wild

By Dav Pilkey

ISBN 9781338236576

Scholastic

Dogman is back again for more hilarious adventures. These graphic novel books are always in hot demand. I could buy twenty copies and still have children waiting to read them. They are brightly coloured graphic novels with quirky cartoonish illustrations and heaps of humour. Lots of tongue-in-cheek humour that parents will love too. Will he get a fair go in his latest adventure?

Yes, the same author and illustrator that brought you Captain Underpants brings you funny stories about Dogman, half dog, half human.

The Top Secret Undercover Notes of Buttons McGinty, Book 1

By Rhys Darby

ISBN 9781775434979

Scholastic NZ

 Buttons McGinty is sent to boarding school to a place named Ranktwerp Island Education Fortress for Gifted Lame Unruly Minors, a.k.a. R.I.E.F.G.L.U.M. It is however, not quite what he is expecting and is full of surprises; not all of them good ones either. He makes new friends and together they face the bad guys and a whole lot more. Buttons is obsessed with Morse Code which turns out to be a good thing as there are mysteries to be solved. The biggest mystery, of course, is what happened to his parents and where are they now.

Buttons keeps a journal and writes his thoughts and ideas about everything that is happening. In some cases it is a word-by-word account. As you can see from the the page below the font is just as if Buttons was hand-writing in his journal which adds a real sense of authenticity to the novel. He is funny, quirky, adventurous and a thinker. Much of his thinking is outside the box but that is what make him so likable. You can almost hear his brain ticking over as his thoughts spill out rapidly onto the pages of his journal. 

Definitely a book for fans of adventure and humour, with a dose of good old-fashioned friendships. Watch out for a lurking Bigfoot. Great read for 8 – 12 year old readers and really, anyone who enjoys a good laugh.

Check out the back of the book with the Morse Code Key and see if you can solve some of the clues throughout the book. 

Dave Pigeon

By Swapna Haddow

Illustrated by Sheena Dempsey

ISBN 97805713233302

Faber and Faber

Dave Pigeon is a series of first chapter books for newly independent readers and those who just love a good funny story. Dave is as you imagine rightly, a pigeon and so is his best mate Skipper. They demonstrate many good qualities; kindness, teamwork, friendship, and resourcefulness. They also demonstrate rather hilariously, deviousness and cunning. A disastrous encounter with Mean Cat results in a a broken wing for Dave and a surprise rescue by Mean Cat’s human owner. In order to stay safe and enjoy their new home with the human, they need to get rid of her cat. Their plans are very funny but not exactly successful but that is what makes this book a delight. This would also make a great read-aloud especially in junior classes. I love how hopeful and determined the pigeons are in trying to get what they want.

The books are illustrated with quirky drawings on almost every page which adds to the appeal and success of these award winning books for ages 5 – 8.

I am also delighted with the fact that the author has moved from the UK to my home city in New Zealand.

Check out some of the other books in the series for more hilarious antics and adventures.

Dave Pigeon (Nuggets!)

ISBN 9780571324439

 

 

Dave Pigeon (Racer!)

ISBN 9780571336906Dave Pigeon (Racer!)

 

 

The short but brilliant career of Lucas Weed

By Chrissie Walker

ISBN 9781775435082

Scholastic NZ

 


Author Chrissie Walker has captured the mischievous nature of 10 an 11-year-old boys in her award-winning novel The short but brilliant career of Lucas Weed. Lucas  is still a newcomer at Fernwood School and all he really wants is some friends. Good friends he can hang out with not just at school, but after school too. A conversation one morning with fellow students Thomas, Hunter and Oscar leads to a prank with a frog on the loose and chaos in the classroom. Finding himself suddenly popular with these boys, Lucas plans more pranks.  He plans bigger pranks and that can only mean bigger laughs. This is a fun novel where boys take centre stage and cause a little mayhem but it’s okay because despite everything, Lucas and his new friends are likeable, believable characters. However, just how far are Lucas and his new friends prepared to go for a laugh?

I can see teachers having a lot of fun reading this out to their classes.

The World’s Worst Children 2

By David Walliams

ISBN 9780008259679

HarperCollins Children’s Books

 

 

Humour is David Walliams forte and he does it once again with style in his latest book about the world’s worst children. They are all indeed horrible, incorrigible, selfish little rat bags. There is nothing PC about these books which makes them funny and perfect for children. Sometimes the world of political correctness gets in the way and ruins a good story. Sometimes, particularly with the way of the world these days, we just need an excuse to laugh. This book gives us permission to do just that.

The burping, farting, greedy children whose social skills are totally lacking, do get what they deserve in the end which I kind of like. While trying to read this book this morning my cats decided they would keep me company. The story I have pictured here just happens to be about Cruel Clarissa, a girl who was absolutely awful towards cats. She would pour pepper on their food, tie two cats tails together and many other nasty things. I don’t think my cats were very impressed with Clarissa’s nastiness.

 Great for readers to read on their own but even better, this is perfect to read aloud and share with children, grandchildren and classes at school. 


Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja

By Marcus Emerson

ISBN 978176029554

Allen & Unwin

It’s my first day at a new school and the only person I know is my cousin, Zoe (but she might be a little too cool for me). I was just another scrawny kid until a group of ninjas recruited me into their clan. It was a world of trouble I wasn’t prepared for. This diary is a warning: the life of a ninja is dangerous, scary…and awesome.

My name is Chase Cooper, and I’m a 6th grade ninja.

This is a quick and funny read for those going beyond their first chapter books. Short, sharp chapters help keep  pace and suspense going. We’ve got a secret society of ninja’s, bullying, a bit of thieving and lots of humour. It doesn’t take long before you find yourself liking Chase and worrying about the trouble that lies ahead for him depending on his choices.  This is a book, which for all it’s fun and games, does beg the question of what we might or might not be prepared to do in order to belong. Loyalty also comes into play here as Chase begins to see the true value of family and friends. Ideal for ages 7 up. A thoroughly enjoyable read set in a school where almost anything can happen.
Heaps more books in this new series.

Brobot

By James Foley

ISBN 9781925163919

Fremantle Press

 

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“Sally is the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, and she just knows she can build a better brother than the messy, smelly version she has. Sally’s invention – Brobot – is fantastic, that is until the remote gets broken and Brobot careens out of control. Sally realises that maybe there’s more to a brother than just his inconveniences”

 

What a brilliant cover. The blue is beautiful and bright and just calls for the book to be picked up. This is a great introduction the the graphic novel format for young readers. The very funny illustrations are broken up with just the right amount of text for newly independent readers. I love the very comical expressive eyes particular when Sally gets mad. They really are a window to the soul and in this case, Sally’s honest big-sister frustrations are quite obvious. This is very funny, especially for those readers with younger siblings. I mean who hasn’t thought of ways to dispense with, or swap a younger brother or sister – momentarily of course! Sally does find that her creation isn’t quite what she hoped for but her little brother seems to be totally oblivious to her plans and sits their looking perfectly cute. I do think this would make an ideal little series so I hope there are more adventures with Sally.

An ideal book to encourage creative  and makerspace thinking.

 

Teaching notes found here.

Barking mad

By Tom E. Moffatt

ISBN 9781775433743

Schloastic NZ

5

 

At first, Fingers refuses to believe that his Granddad has gone BARKING MAD! But what straight-thinking grownup goes around LICKING the postman, growling like a dog and chasing hospital security guards up trees? And when Fingers and his sister Sally discover a BIZARRE machine in Granddads workshop, mix-ups turn into MIND-SWAPPING madness one look at Granddad’s dog DaVinci is proof of that!

Finn and his sister Sally arrive at their grandfather’s home only to find a hospital security guard, two ambulance men and a policeman all trying to get their granddad into an ambulance. Granddad has completely lost the plot and is doing the strangest things. Finn discovers the reason and then gets caught up in a mission to save his granddad.

Barking mad will suit readers from middle primary upwards. Short chapters, funny illustrations and a story that keeps going and going. Every time Fingers gets close to finding a solution he is confronted with a new dilema. Funny, quirky, and a good read aloud.  Lots of laugh out loud moments, especially when Finn ends up his sister’s body.

Barking mad is the winner of the Tom Fitzgibbon Award. I hope to see more from this newly published author Tom E. Moffatt

All the wrong questions : who could that be at this hour
By Lemony Snicket

I am currently reading this book and enjoying the rather dry humour which is so much a signature of Lemony Snicket’s books.
Questions – so many questions but are they the right ones. Love the way the author talks to the reader explaning the meanings of words. The whole interaction between reader and writer is one of the things that make Snicket special.
Lemony Snicket is 13 and begins recounting his early experiences as an apprentice to S. Theodora Markson, a rather unpleasant and pretentious woman who isn’t quite as intelligent as she thinks she is. They are investigating the theft of an heirloom from a house in the town Stain’d-by-the-Sea. It used to be a seaside town but the sea was drained! Will continue reading as am enjoying it and want to see how it ends. It is book one in a series of four.

Noah Barleywater runs away
By John Boyne

I am also reading this book at the moment – well listening to the audio book in the car on the way to work and when I am out and about. (I “read” so many books in the car these days – great way to catch up on books I have missed). Noah Barleywater is a fairytale of sorts with wonderful humourous characters. Noah is running away from all his worries and problems and heads down an untrodden path through the forest. He meets an unusual toymaker with a story to tell. Together life will change forever for Noah.
The good thing about the audio book is the narrators accents. Brilliant!