The Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2010

A hilarious tale about a dog who loves books has won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2010 for children aged six and under.

Dog Loves Books is written by Louise Yates, who was inspired by Quentin Blake as a child to become a children’s illustrator. She pipped the legendary illustrator to the prize for the Funniest Book for Children Aged Six and Under.

Chair of Judges Michael Rosen said:

‘An outrageous idea, beautifully told and illustrated. Sometimes, what you want from a new book is a surprise, something fresh and odd. So this book leaves behind some of the staples of present-day humour and gives us humour on every page with a dog that just wants to read books.’

The book faced tough competition from ‘a bumper crop of fantastically funny stories’ about dancing dogs, cross-species adoption, a scary monster, a genius’s underpants, a boy-mad teenage girl, an ogre, the luckiest boy alive, a walking fish and a mischievously messy duo.

‘If you want giggles, laughs, roars and riots these are the books for you and your children,’ said Michael Rosen.

Louise Rennison is the winner of the Funniest Book for Children Aged Seven to Fourteen with Withering Tights (HarperCollins Children’s Books).

…We don’t really need research to know that laughter is the best medicine. Finding something light, fun and amusing lifts the spirits, and is a subtle reminder that life holds hope, energy, and creativity. To la

ugh is to connect: it connects us to the child we are reading with and to the inner child within

all of us.

-Virginia Mallin

The Roald Dahl Funny Prize was founded in 2008 when Michael Rosen was Children’s Laureate. The first prize of its kind, it was created to honour those books that simply make children laugh.

So what are the benefits of a funny book? According to our Resident Psychotherapist, Virginia Mallin, ‘Recent research proves that even smiling raises our levels of happiness. But we don’t really need research to know that laughter is the best medicine. Finding something light, fun and amusing lifts the spirits, and is a subtle reminder that life holds hope, energy, and creativity. To laugh is to connect: it connects us to the child we are reading with and to the inner child within all of us.’

Roald Dahl was most certainly connected to his inner child. He once declared:

‘I don’t sit here roaring with laughter but you have wonderful inside jokes all the time and it’s got to be exciting, it’s got to be fast, it’s got to have a good plot but it’s got to be funny. It’s got to be funny.’

Find out more about the Roald Dahl Funny Prize.

Also shortlisted were: For children aged six and under:
Angelica Sprocket’s Pockets by Quentin Blake (Jonathan Cape), Dogs Don’t Do Ballet by Anna Kemp, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie (Simon & Schuster), The Nanny Goat’s Kid by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Tony Ross (Andersen Press) One Smart Fish by Chris Wormell (Jonathan Cape), The Scariest Monster in the World by Lee Weatherly, illustrated by Algy Craig Hall (Boxer Books).

For children aged seven to fourteen:
The Clumsies Make a Mess by Sorrel Anderson, illustrated by Nicola Slater (HarperCollins Children’s Books),  Einstein’s Underpants and How They Saved the World by Anthony McGowan (Yearling),   The Incredible Luck of Alfie Pluck by Jamie Rix, illustrated by Craig Shuttlewood (Orion Children’s Books),  Mr Stink by David Walliams, illustrated by Quentin Blake (HarperCollins Children’s Books),  The Ogre of Oglefort by Eva Ibbotson (Macmillan Children’s Books)

Do you agree with the panel’s choices for the short list and winners? Have you read other picture books with children that have made them hoot with laughter?

Article by Veronica Peerless

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