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Books That Are Great For Making You Laugh

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Five Books that Made Me Laugh

 Five Books that Made Me Laugh – Martin Howard

I never get tired of banging on and on about funny books, because they’re important books. (I swear I’m not just saying that because I write funny books!)

Whatever your brand of humour – dark, silly, clever, snippy, absurd – laughter has a bazillion benefits from relieving stress to helping people connect with each other. Researchers have even shown it helps us live longer. If the emotional, mental and physical benefits aren’t enough, ask yourself – is there anything that makes life feel as great as a laugh that leaves your face aching? Well, alright, maybe, but you won’t find it in a book. So, when BooksforTopics asked me to pick a theme for my five books, I was a rat up a drainpipe. Here are five funny books I couldn’t do without …

Andy Stanton
Chapter book
Shabba me whiskers! It’s a bold new look for Mr Gum, the best-selling cult classic, ready for a new generation of nibbleheads. ‘It’s time for action,’ said Mr Gum to nobody in particular. ‘Nasty action.’ Good evening. Mr Gum is a complete horror who hates children, animals, fun and corn on the cob. This book’s all about him. And an angry fairy who lives in his bathtub. And Jake the dog, and a little girl called Polly. And there’s heroes and sweets and adventures and EVERYTHING. You’re a Bad Man, Mr Gum! is the first book in the internationally best-selling series by Andy Stanton, which has won everything from the Blue Peter Book Award (twice) to the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and the Red House Children’s Book Award.
Terry Pratchett
Chapter book

The Colour of Magic was Pratchett’s first Discworld book. It came out when I was thirteen and I gobbled it, and then every other book he ever wrote. It was different from anything that had come before: sui generis, I think posh people call it. In a class of its own. Rubbish wizards, elderly barbarian heroes with false teeth, a flat planet carried on the back of a giant turtle … The Colour of Magic took tired ideas in fantasy writing and turned them on their head, creating something completely new and fresh. Also, did I mention funny? So, so funny. I still read the entire Discworld series from start to finish at least once a year and it always makes me think the world is a better place for having had Terry Pratchett in it.

Elys Dolan
Chapter book

For various reasons I have an emotional connection with all the above books, but there’s loads of other amazingly funny stuff out at the moment. I would have sponged up today’s funny books when I was a young reader. Jennifer Killick’s Alex Sparrow, Swapna Haddow’s Dave Pigeon series, Sam Copeland’s Charlie Changes into a Chicken, Dashe Roberts’ Bigwoof Conspiracy … I could go on and on. Elys Dolan’s ‘… For Beginners’ (Knighthood, Wizarding, Royalty) books stand out because they’re exactly my sense of humour: absurd, unexpected, and deeply, deeply silly. Just when you think the adventures of Dave the dragon and his mate Albrecht the goat cannot get any more ridiculous, Dolan somehow finds another level of absurd. Dragons in legwarmers doing lunges? Count me in!

Martin Howard
 & Chris Mould
Chapter book

Fasten your seatbelts and brace yourself for a rip-roaring adventure into the cosmos. Brimming with humour, imagination and all things wacky, The Cosmic Atlas of Alfie Fleet is reminiscent of the stories of Douglas Adams written with a younger audience in mind. With a plot that feels like anything could happen next, this is the kind of story that will appeal to readers who love to laugh at the wacky and the unexpected. Read our full review on the blog.

Martin Howard
 & Chris Mould
Chapter book

Alfie Fleet and the Professor are on a planet-hopping quest-keep up if you can! With the Universal Travel Agency about to open its doors, Alfie’s adding the last few entries to his Guide to the Universe when disaster strikes in the form of an old adversary. Alfie needs help fast… and he only has to travel through a few galaxies to find it!

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