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The Laugh Out Loud Book Awards 2023

laugh out loud book awards lollies 2023

Here at BooksForTopics HQ, we were delighted to be involved in judging the longlist for this year’s Laugh Out Loud Book Awards – also known as the Lollies. Created and managed by Scholastic, the Lollies are now in their sixth year of celebrating the best and funniest children’s books in the UK and Ireland – as voted for by children!

The impressive shortlist from which children could choose was selected by a star-studded judging panel headed by Michael Rosen, and we at BooksForTopics were delighted to see many of our favourites among the winners of these awards.

The winners in the Picturebook and Poetry categories, Wee? It Wasn’t Me! and Yapping Away, are both picks in our 2023 Primary School Gift Guide, while the successful titles in each of the 6-8 and 9-12 age categories, A Monster Ate My Packed Lunch! and The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh, feature on our Year Group Recommended Reads. The winner of the Non-fiction category was Unleash Your Creative Monster: A Children’s Guide to Writing.

You can check out the full shortlist for the 2023 Laugh Out Loud Book Awards below!

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Lollies: Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Books

Clare Helen Welsh
 & Nicola O'Byrne
A Lollies Book Award-winning funny story, all about wee, packed full of animal facts! The follow-up to the hilarious Poo! Is That You?Lenny the lemur is on holiday in Alaska. He's skipping across the snow, when he slips in a puddle. It's wet, yellow and smelly... WEE! But whose wee could it be?Lenny is on a quest to find out... Along the way, he meets various animals and learns all about their weeing habits! But the real question is: will he find that pesky puddle-piddler?Learn about caribou, turtles, wolves and more in the piddle-tastic Wee? It Wasn't Me! written by Clare Helen Welsh and illustrated by Nicola O'Byrne. Cleverly interweaving facts throughout, it also contains an information page at the back of the book, with a photo of each animal.
Ross Montgomery
 & Sarah Warburton
An irreverent and zany counting book that is gently thrilling and written in a deliciously infectious rhyme with witty and whimsical illustrations.Ten very foolish teachers have missed the last bus home. But LOOK – a shortcut through the forest! They'll be back in time for tea! Off they skip, unaware that in the woods a hungry horde of mischievous and hilariously goofy monsters is waiting… An irreverent and zany counting book that is gently thrilling with witty and whimsical illustrations.
Peter Bently
 & Claire Powell
King Albert-Horatio-Otto the Third had SO many clothes it was simply absurd …So when two seemingly well-meaning fabric merchants promise to make an outfit of only the very BEST and most special cloth, King Albert-Horatio-Otto the Third simply cannot resist. He MUST have these new clothes! Surely, the unquestionably charitable and not-at-all-suspicious-looking tailors are genuine, and the King won't end up looking red-cheeked … ?This funny and timely retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's classic fable 'The Emperor's New Clothes' will not only make children laugh, but also encourage them to think and speak up for what they believe.
Angela Woolfe
 & Duncan Beedie
Move over, Bond! There's a new hero in town – Charlie Palmer: super spy and fluffy llama!Charlie Palmer is a hotshot secret agent. Saving the world, fighting goons and looking cool while she does it is no big deal for her. Right now, she's on a top-secret mission to rescue a pair of . . . UNDERPANTS! Gadgets ready? Sunglasses on? Watch out, baddies! No villain is a match for this AWESOME llama!A hilarious and super stylish adventure from the incredible Angela Woolfe and Duncan Beedie. Perfect for fans of action-packed adventures like Supertato, Secret Agent Elephant and There’s a Superhero in your Book.

Lollies: Best Laugh Out Loud Books for 6-8-year-olds

Joanna Nadin
 & Rikin Parekh
Chapter book
A laugh-out-loud young fiction series from bestselling author Joanna Nadin, perfect for fans of Horrid Henry.According to head teacher Mrs Bottomley-Blunt, 4B is the WORST CLASS IN THE WORLD. She says school is not about footling or fiddle-faddling or FUN. It is about LEARNING and it is high time 4B tried harder to EXCEL at it.But Stanley and Manjit didn’t LITERALLY mean to flood the toilets when they should have been monitoring the playground. And they definitely didn’t LITERALLY mean to bring a penguin home from the zoo on their school trip. These things just happened even though they had a FOOLPROOF plan to get away with them.
Pamela Butchart
 & Thomas Flintham
Chapter book

There are few authors who can make my own children squeal with delight quite so readily as Pamela Butchart. As a teacher, I really appreciate the accessibility of the books too and always get a positive response when I recommend them to even the most reluctant of readers.

This story is about a class trip to cabins by a lake, where the children are sure there is a monster and a humorous mystery unfolds. 

Thomas Flintham’s illustrations are easily recognisable and perfectly capture the chaotic, wonderful humour of the series. A must-read!

Nadia Shireen
Chapter book

Grimwood is a wacky, anarchic animal story, full of nonsensical mayhem. The story will certainly appeal to KS2 (although possibly not the most sensitive in this age group – as there are incidents of biting off heads, tails or feet!). There’s a dark and whacky humour to the story that will delight fans of Dahl or Mr Gum and plenty of discussion points such as the relationship between the fox cubs, the changes in their personalities and the desire to find refuge. The book could work as a class reader and a fun and quirky independent read for ages 7-11.

Steven Lenton
Chapter book

Grant the Genie and Puppy Teeny double up on fun adventures in this short illustrated chapter book series. The books in the series do link together, but equally can be enjoyed as stand-alone reads.

The books feature gorgeous black and white illustrations throughout in Lenton’s highly recognisable style, plus the bonus of a draw-a-long activity for extra interaction.

The smaller format of these books makes them inviting to hold for younger children with well-spaced text and larger font appealing to beginner readers looking for a bridge between picture books and chapter books.

This is the first in the series, and highly recommended for a feel-good short chapter book.

Lollies: Best Laugh Out Loud Books for 9-12-year-olds

Helen Rutter
Chapter book

This debut novel from Helen Rutter is inspired by her own son who has a stammer, and it delves into the worries and thoughts that Billy has about having a stammer and how he thinks the outside world will see him because of it.

When eleven-year-old Billy starts Bannerdale secondary school, he wants to fit in and be popular. In fact, he hopes to realise his dream of becoming a comedian and being known throughout the school as ‘Billy Plimpton, the Funniest Boy in School’. One thing stands in his way though – he decides he won’t talk until he’s ‘got rid’ of his stammer.

Each chapter begins with one of Billy’s jokes, and although the issues tackled in the book are serious, it’s a warm and funny read. The story shows that we all have differences, and it is important to accept ourselves as we are.

This is a lovely book with a positive message, as well as being packed with jokes which will make both children and adults laugh.

Rosie Jones
 & Natalie Smillie
Chapter book
Hello! My name is Edie Eckhart and I'm eleven years old. I'm a little bit different. I have a disability called cerebral palsy, so I talk slowly and fall over a lot. It's never really bothered me because I've never known anything else.Edie Eckhart is Excited with a capital E to start secondary school with her best friend Oscar - the fish to her chips, the bananas to her custard. But when she and Oscar are put into different tutor groups on their first day, Edie is devastated. Who will play secret hangman with her in class? Who will she eat sausage rolls with?But while she's plotting her reunion with Oscar, she accidentally gets cast as the lead in the school play. As Edie discovers a passion for performance, she also finds new friendships, talents, and dreams. After all, it's easy to shine on and off the stage when you're Amazing with a capital A.
Neill Cameron
Chapter book

Mega Robot Bros is a long-running comic strip in The Phoenix, written and illustrated by Neill Cameron. There are three spin-off graphic novels, which are wildly popular in the school library, so we were delighted to see mega-powerful Freddy appear in a more traditional novel form too! The format is similar in style to Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates, but I would say there is a touch more text, so it’s a nice step forward for children who love the illustrated format and are ready for a slightly more complex story.

You’ve got a Freddy in your class, I’m sure – a boisterous child who hasn’t quite got control of their limbs and personal responsibility yet. A child who always wants to do the right thing, but gets it horribly wrong on a regular basis – and perhaps they’ve got an older sibling who always seems to get it right. Now equip that child with deadly lasers, a jet pack, no sense of danger and some excellent sidekicks and you’d be right in thinking absolute mayhem ensues!

Poor old Freddy is banned from using his superpowers at school after one too many incidents, but as you can imagine, there’s always a good reason – or perhaps a desperate, world-saving reason – to use them! Throw in a dodgy bully and some tricky friendship situations, and you know it’s all going to go wrong despite his best efforts to follow the rules. What makes Freddy vs School stand out is that Freddy learns and grows beautifully. He has to work hard to re-establish his friendships after disaster strikes, and to understand other people’s points of view. It’s so deftly done that it doesn’t feel preachy at all. I think Freddy is going to be really popular with primary school children looking for a hilarious, feel-good read.

Pooja Puri
 & Allen Fatimaharan
Chapter book
This brilliantly illustrated, laugh-out-loud, wacky adventure through time by Pooja Puri is the perfect blend of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Jurassic Park. Before you start reading, there are a few things you should know: 1. I, Esha Verma, am a genius inventor extraordinaire. 2. There is nothing I cannot invent. This includes words. 3. I did not mean to send my sister back to the Age of the Dinosaurs. That was HER OWN FAULT (Mum and Dad, if you're reading this, please take note). Esha Verma, her snotty apprentice Broccoli and his cunning pet tortoise have a dream. They are going to win the legendary Brain Trophy - the ultimate inventing prize. This year's entry: A TIME MACHINE. But the day before the competition, Esha's IGNORAMUS big sister hijacks the time machine and is lost in the Cretaceous age. With help from a new recruit for The Office of Time, Esha and Broccoli will have to face hungry dinosaurs, mysterious black holes and malfunctioning inventions to get them back in time.

Lollies: Best Laugh Out Loud Non-fiction Books

Andy Jones
 & Olaf Falafel
A funny and accessible guide to creative writing, packed with practical advice, exciting story prompts and a cast of creative monsters. Winner of the Lollies 2023 Book Awards for Non Fiction!In the pages of Unleash Your Creative Monster, budding writers will sink their teeth into story basics, essential writing tools and the hidden secrets of the wordsmith. Featuring top tips on finding inspiration, how to keep a story moving and beating writer’s block, this essential guide has everything you need to unleash your creative monster.
Mike Barfield & Jess Bradley
Graphic Novel Non-fiction

This colourful, cartoon-style reference book brings history to life with humour and fun. Following on from the enormous success of its award-winning predecessor ‘A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu and You‘, this book is packed full of information and facts, presented in an entertaining comic style that is a joy to read.

The book is divided into three main sections – Ancient History, The Middle Ages, and The Modern Age. Within each section, relevant ‘day in the life’ comics describes certain aspects of history. We learn about the typical day of a Neanderthal, an Inca Farmer, and a Gladiator, as well as the more unexpected daily routines of a wheel, a Samurai sword, and a stick of chalk!

Additional ‘bigger picture’ pages give extra details and more in-depth information – for example on Civil Rights, the Terracotta Army, and the world map. ‘Secret Diaries’ provides a wider viewpoint over a larger timescale – we find out from Isaac Newton’s cat that he got stuck in an apple tree, dislodging one of the fruits; The diary of a wooden board from Leonardo da Vinci’s studio stretches over four hundred years and sees the board end up in an art gallery in Paris. ‘Newsflashes’ are interspersed throughout the book and give more context to the ‘days in the life’ and ‘secret diaries’ by filling you in on what else was happening in the world at the time, and there is also a world map and a glossary for easy reference.

Readers will enjoy the variety of historical information, which feels like a balanced view of different areas of the globe. This is a great book to sit and read individually, or to dip into when exploring related topics.

Adam Murphy,Lisa Murphy
Adam himself interviews the dead famous who made names for themselves in history by creating the greatest and most ground-breaking works of fiction ever - many you'll have heard of, and many you should have heard of! And then discover their most famous stories - as told in the inimitable Corpse Talk style!Let William Shakespeare keep you on the edge of your seat with Macbeth, Charles Dickens thrill you in Great Expectations, and Mary Shelley send shivers up your spine in Frankenstein. Learn about the greatest stories ever told, and the people who made them up!
Chae Strathie
 & Marisa Morea
Part of Nosy Crow's list of publishing in collaboration with the British Museum and developed in consultation with one of the world's leading experts on the Aztecs.A kid's life in the Aztec Age might sound like fun, what with all that brilliant sunny weather and exciting festivals, but actually life for kids could be pretty hard. In this hilarious book, written by award-winning author Chae Strathie, children will learn just how tough life really was, from being jabbed by cactus spikes to snacking on maggots . . . and even wearing jaguar skins!Probably the first book about the Aztec Age that involves wedgies and skateboards, this is a must read for kids with a passion for horrible history!Brought to life with rich, humorous illustrations by super-talented Marisa Morea.Other titles in the series include: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, Prehistoric Times.

Lollies: Best Laugh Out Loud Poetry Books

Joshua Seigal
 & Sarah Horne
Joshua Seigal, winner of the 2020 Laugh Out Loud Book Awards, brings his raucous humour, creativity and wit to another brilliant collection of poems. Ideal for fans of Michael Rosen, this book will delight all young readers and fans of funny books. From hilarious to heartfelt poems - and everything in between - this collection offers something for everyone. Discover the eight steps for having a successful tantrum, and why you should NEVER attend a Teddy Bear's Picnic (you have been warned). Packed full of fun illustrations by Sarah Horne, and covering a range of imaginative topics, Yapping Away is the perfect follow-up to Joshua Seigal's prize-winning collection I Bet I Can Make You Laugh. Ideal for children as young as 3 to read with adults, or for children aged 5-7 to read by themselves.
Alex Wharton
From forgotten jellybeans to sparking daydreams, Alex's poems, written for primary school age children, are both funny and thoughtful, and aim to spark familiarity and inclusion. And the illustrations from Katy Riddell will focus on the fun and dreamlike quality of the poems' engagement with the natural world. These poems use rhyme, rhythm and free verse and are ideally suited to performance in a school setting, nurturing a love of language, reading, confidence and self-expression.
Barry Timms
 & Ged Adamson
Get ready for a magical and hilarious adventure about the most fantastic unicorn EVER!This book is NOT about a unicorn! Well . . . OK, maybe it is! But THIS unicorn has a horn that can turn into the most incredible things - a magic wand, a helicopter, even a space rocket! Join the hilarious adventure and prepare to be amazed by your brilliant new friend.With wonderful wordplay and a funny and sweet friendship at its heart, this is NOT a unicorn book to be missed!This fabulously funny story has stacks of appeal for both girls and boys - watch out for rockets, rainbows, helicopters, massive fish, ice cream sundaes and magical adventures.Shortlisted for the Laugh Out Loud Book Awards 2023!Every Nosy Crow paperback picture book comes with a free "Stories Aloud" audio recording. Just scan the QR code and listen along!Product Details
Michelle Harrison
 & Elissa Elwick
Black cats born at midnight Are different indeed A mischievous, odd And peculiar breed.Who says that two magical cats are better than one?When Trixie is at school one day, Midnight gets up to some mischief with the bathroom mirror and brings her reflection to life! The mirror-Midnight causes all sorts of chaos ‒ safely on the other side of the glass. That is, until Twiggy the broomstick accidentally smashes the mirror, setting the destructive double free!As Trixie, Dad and Nan get tangled up in the turmoil, can they work together and send the badly behaved magical cat back to where it came from before it’s too late?A bewitching new series from the best-selling author of A PINCH OF MAGIC, Michelle Harrison. Told in rhyming verse and illustrated in colour throughout, this is perfect for readers of SQUISHY MCFLUFF, HUBBLE BUBBLE and GOBBOLINO.

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