The Grunts in a Jam by Philip Ardagh

The Grunts in a Jam

Written by Philip Ardagh
Illustrated by Axel Scheffler
Part of the Grunts Series

7+ readers   9+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Books of the Year 2014 Award winning Philip Ardagh’s Mr and Mrs Grunt are as disgusting as ever as they trundle into this fourth adventure in their ramshackle caravan which, in a typically unusual way, is drawn by an elephant. Still up their always crafty and usually revolting tricks (and with lots of witty asides to the reader), Mr and Mrs Grunt have an encounter with a doctor who’ll find he has a lot less garden when he has treated a very swollen nose, engage in some serious skulduggery in the preserves, jams and jellies competition and even end up in prison (again). As ever, Sunny and Mimi have a lot to do just to keep the hilarious show on the road.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Mr and Mrs Grunt live in a homemade caravan with their son Sunny. They are taking Mrs Grunt’s mother to Bigg Manor so that she can enter her jams in the country fair. However, nothing is straightforward with the Grunts, and they end up in jail. This highly entertaining book featuring the revolting but very funny Grunts is full of subversive humour. (Ages 8–10)
~ Andrea Rayner

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review the first title in the series, The Grunts in Trouble.

  • Edgar Perez, age 6 - 'In general I thought the book was very good, funny and amusing. I would definitely read more books about these characters.' Read full review >
  • Rodrigo Davies, age 7 - 'The Grunts in Trouble by Philip Ardagh is absolutely superb! This book made me laugh so much, I couldn’t stop reading it!' Read full review >
  • Oliver Lonsdale, age 6 - 'I liked this book about the Grunt family because it was funny.' Read full review >
  • Daniel Bisland, age 7 - 'I enjoyed the book because it’s funny and I wanted to read on. I recommend it to free readers like me!' Read full review >
  • Jessica Cobbin, age 7 - 'This book is dead funny, and I stayed up late to keep reading it, even when my Mummy wanted me to go to sleep.' Read full review >
  • Robyn Loveless, age 8 - 'A funny story with wacky and crazy characters.  Both boys and girls who are fans of Mr Gum will love it.' Read full review >
  • Gabriella Chatham, age 7 - 'The Grunts in Trouble is a hilariously laugh out loud story about a crazy family.' Read full review >
  • Chloe Fernandes, age 8 - 'A hilarious story about a crazy family called The Grunts. They get up to a lot of mischief involving a large elephant and some spectacular fireworks!' Read full review >
  • Tomasz Hawryszczuk, age 9 - 'The Grunts are a really funny family. They live in a caravan which they made themselves, they stole their son from a washing line and they are always getting up to mischief. Really funny book.' Read full review >
  • Brodie Greenslade, age 8 - 'The Grunts is a funny story of an unusual family and their even more unusual search for an elephant.' Read full review >
  • Ollie Wright, age 8 - 'This book is funny, full of trouble and excitement. I liked all the jokes in the story, and all of the bees!  Oh, did I mention the bees? I should warn you about the bees!' Read full review >
  • Lily Benner, age 9 - 'A hilariously funny book. I laughed from beginning to end.' Read full review >


The Grunts in a Jam by Philip Ardagh

The gloriously grubby Grunts family head to a country fair so Mrs Grunt's mother can enter her homemade jam in the Preserves, Jams and Jellies Competition. There's nothing in that plan to suggest they'll encounter sabotage, bad poetry and prison, is there? Hmmm. This is The Grunts we're talking about...


Philip Ardagh's Grunts are the 21st-century Twits and his wonderful wordplay is as fabulous as ever in The Grunts all at Sea - The Telegraph

Philip Ardagh is a national treasure - The Independent

About the Author

Philip Ardagh

Philip Ardagh was our Guest Editor in May 2010. Click here to see the books that inspired him.

Philip Ardagh, whose very first Grubtown Tale won him the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, is author of numerous books including the award-winning Eddie Dickens adventures, which have been translated into over 30 languages.

He wrote BBC Radio’s first truly interactive radio drama, collaborated with Sir Paul McCartney on his first children’s book and is a ‘regularly irregular’ reviewer of children’s books for the Guardian. Married with a son, he divides his time between Tunbridge Wells and Grubtown, where he cultivates his impressive beard.

And if your children love Grubtown then do get them to go to

Drawing on the weird and wonderful characters and settings from the Grubtown books, features six distinct Grubtown locations – including the Daily Herald newspaper office, the Duckhouse/Museum and Smoky’s cinema. The site incorporates fun audio and video - what more could you ask for!

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Book Info


288 pages
Interest Age: From 7


Philip Ardagh
More books by Philip Ardagh

Author's Website


Nosy Crow Ltd

Publication date

4th September 2014




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