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Manchán is the kind of boy who loves mucking about with his best friend, regularly gets into scrapes, and is horrified at the career path his mum has chosen for him - no way can he become a monk. Yes, a monk, because while Manchán shares all the characteristics of a modern boy, he lives centuries ago when there were wolves and druids in the forests, and Vikings on the seas. His world is presented as something of a dream for today's children, days can be spent picking blackberries or messing about in coracles, and a pig can be your pet. In a series of self-contained adventures, we get to know Manchán, his family, Muck his pig, and best friend Pagan-of-the-Six-Toes very well, and spending time with them is a real treat; John Chambers even wins readers round to the view that 'monking', as Manchán describes it, might not be that bad after all. Charming, quirky, and lots of fun.
A Dirty Bertie collection to delight his legions of fans who revel in his revolting ways! Featuring nine stories from Fangs!, Scream! and Zombie! A review for Fangs! - Disgusting Dirty Bertie is back for a new set of mucky adventures. As ever he has some crazy plans up his sleeve most of which involve him being disgusting in more ways than can easily be imagined. This time Bertie dresses up as a vampire for his school’s book week. But someone else has the same idea and soon things are going far from smoothly for Bertie! ~ Julia Eccleshare
September 2018 Book of the Month | Think you know super-hero stories? Think again! Dylan, aka Iguana Boy, has an unusual super-power – he can talk to iguanas. Despite the derision of his superhero siblings, he’s already managed to save the world once (detailed in book one of the series) and therefore has a place at Superhero HQ. It’s not quite what he’d hoped for, then he’s put in charge of a special superhero team, the CITD no less… Even though that actually stands for Cats in Trees Department, Dylan and his band – including his five iguana sidekicks – manage to foil a criminal mastermind. Absurd situations and a range of fabulously comic characters, both human and reptile, put this at the top of the superhero comedy tree, with regular, very funny cartoon strips adding to the enjoyment.
Well, here’s a book that ticks some absolute favourite first reader boxes: Vikings – tick; bare bottoms – tick; knickers – tick; a bouncy rhyming text just right for reading aloud – tick; lively, action-packed illustrations – tick, tick, tick! The plot concerns some chilly Vikings and their quest to obtain yeti hair with which to knit cosy new knickers, and while it all builds to a tremendous and satisfying climax, most readers will be totally won over on page one, with the lines: “Well, they’d got into a fight, had their undies set alight,/ Now their pants were all in pieces and their bums were turning blue!” Just great fun!
Always look a gift-horse in the mouth could be the message of this highly entertaining, very funny new book from master of the madcap adventure Barry Hutchinson. Lisa-Marie and her step-brother Vernon are out shopping for a present for Dad when they wander into the local Create-a-Ted store, tempted - Vernon in particular - by the sign in the window offering 'free' Hallowe'en bears. No sooner have they left with one teddy bear witch, one teddy bear vampire, and one teddy bear Elvis (for Dad) than the trouble starts. The bears come to life and - Bearvis excepted - they are anything but cuddly. Can Lisa-Marie and Vernon stop squabbling long enough to save their parents and their town from the marauding teddies? It manages to be both silly and exciting and, I'm glad to say, sets things up nicely for further adventures.
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | This must be one of the brightest and best picture books of the year. With minimalist illustrations – simple shapes against blocks of Day-Glo colour – and short lines of text, Morag Hood tells a story that will dazzle and entertain all readers. Cherries, Bat tells us, ‘are my favourite things’, following this up with a fiercely delivered threat: ‘Do not take my cherries.’ In later pages though we see the cherries being stolen. Bat is inconsolable until one of the thieves leaves a pear in their place. Bat’s emotions – joy, anger, confusion, despair, surprise and joy again – are rendered brilliantly in the tilt of an eyebrow and the angle of the head while the intensity of those emotions will be hilarious yet recognisable to child and parent alike. Superb!
Get a peek behind the scenes and find out how the holidays REALLY happen in this hilarious picture book from rising star Fred Blunt. Santa has it so easy: a workforce of elves to make the presents, a team of reindeer to deliver them, even a hi-spec factory! The Easter Bunny has to make and wrap all the chocolate eggs in his garden shed, and deliver them himself on foot. No wonder you often find them thrown all over the place in your garden! Now Bunny has had enough - he hatches a genius, chocolately plan with unexpected results.
The Bolds, for those who don’t know, are a family of hyenas living disguised as humans in a quiet street in Teddington. They wear clothes and hats to cover their hyena features, so the neighbours have no idea what they really are, though they notice they laugh a lot, as will readers of these hugely entertaining stories. In this adventure the Bolds run into trouble. A couple of foxes are disturbing the human residents of Fairfield Street putting themselves in danger of being captured. But when the Bolds try to help the foxes they get a very rude response. The story is full of incident, packed with humour (including masses of very good jokes) and the Bolds continue to demonstrate that kindness, tolerance, and a good sense of humour are the elements for a happy life. Required reading.
From the million-copy bestselling author of THE PARENT AGENCY and BIRTHDAY BOY comes a wildly entertaining wish-fulfilment adventure that asks the question: what would happen if the strictest head teacher swapped bodies with the naughtiest kid in school? Strictest head naughtiest boy = chaos. Bracket Wood is about to be visited by the school inspectors. But there's one big problem: Ryan Ward. The maestro of practical jokes, Ryan has played so many tricks that in the end the Head Teacher just walks out. And then the new Head Teacher, Mr Carter, arrives. A man so strict even the teachers are scared of him. So imagine his surprise - and Ryan's - when they swap bodies. Now Ryan is Head Teacher - and his mortal enemy is one of his pupils. It's every naughty kid's dream! But soon Bracket Wood School is in a total mess - and only its worst ever pupil can fix it...
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2018 | | Uncle Gobb is back for a third utterly ridiculous, absolutely hilarious and totally originally told adventure. Michael Rosen and Neal Layton use a brilliant integration of words and pictures to tell this meandering and many-layered story which engages readers with the complexity and creativity of storytelling.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2018 | Former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell weaves a wonderful fantasy adventure around some of the best loved fairy story characters in this hugely attractive and thoroughly entertaining picture story book. Little Green Cape sets out with a handful of useful things including a strong straight stick, comfortable clumpy boots and an invitation to a party. Once in the wild woods she is in a magical world where even the trees have faces, full of surprising characters. There’s a Beast looking for his Beauty, three Bears who are mistrustful of strangers, a talking harp, three little pigs, seven dwarves and many more. Young readers will love both feeling they know the stories being surprised by some of the turns of events.
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