Roald Dahl Funny Prize Shortlist announced

Roald Dahl Funny Prize Shortlist announced
The 2012 Roald Dahl Funny Prize judges with the shortlisted books
20 September 2012

A sequel to children’s classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Frank Cottrell Boyce, who wrote the script for the much lauded London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, has been selected as one of the books on the 2012 Roald Dahl Funny Prize shortlists. Cottrell Boyce, already an award-winning children’s author, is joined on the upper age category shortlist by David Walliams with a book about a jewel thief granny. It is the third book by Walliams to have been shortlisted for the Prize – unique in its recognition of the funniest books for children – since its inception in 2008.

Jostling with Gangsta Granny and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again for the winning prize on the seven – fourteen shortlist are books that find comedic light amongst the dark with stories featuring goblins, dragons, dark lords from parallel universes and darkest of all, teenagers and their embarrassing parents.

The shortlist for children aged six and under features a host of award-winning illustrators including Oliver Jeffers, Sara Ogilvie and Chris Haughton who are all previous recipients of the Book Trust Best New Illustrator Award (as is Joe Berger, illustrator of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again). This year’s books delighted the judges with ever popular themes of pirates and princesses given a modern twist tickling their funny bones; grumpy, dictatorial toddlers and babies provoking knowing chortles; and whimsical tales of a hapless dog and a spiraling episode with a kite and a tree generating wide toothy grins.

The 2012 Roald Dahl Funny Prize shortlists are:

The Funniest Book for Children Aged Six and Under

  • The Baby that Roared by Simon Puttock, illustrated by Nadia Shireen (Nosy Crow)
  • My Big Shouting Day by Rebecca Patterson (Random House Children’s Books, Jonathan Cape)
  • Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton (Walker Books)
  • The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle (Templar)
  • Stuck by Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
  • The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie (Simon & Schuster)


The Funniest Book for Children Aged Seven to Fourteen


  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again by Frank Cottrell Boyce, illustrated by Joe Berger (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • Dark Lord: Teenage Years by Jamie Thomson, illustrated by Freya Hartas (Hachette Children’s Books, Orchard Books)
  • The Dragonsitter by Josh Lacey, illustrated by Garry Parsons (Andersen Press)
  • Gangsta Granny by David Walliams, illustrated by Tony Ross (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
  • Goblins by Philip Reeve, illustrated by Dave Semple (Marion Lloyd Books)
  • Socks are Not Enough by Mark Lowery (Scholastic Children’s Books)

All will compete to be the winner of their category to receive £2,500, which will be presented at an awards ceremony at the Unicorn Theatre in London on Tuesday 6 November.

Broadcaster, comedian and 2012 Roald Dahl Funny Prize judge Mel Giedroyc comments:

There is nothing I like better in life than a good laugh. And to laugh with a book is a very special kind of laugh indeed. Be it a huge guffaw on the tube, a smothered chuckle at the bus stop, an embarrassed titter on the train – it's an intimate kind of laugh which says "this is my very own private laugh and it's mine, all mine!" People envy you this laugh, they are deeply curious about it, and they wish the laugh belonged to them too. It's a sheer privilege to tap into some great laughs from some fantastic books, and to hopefully put these books in the way of lots and lots of younger readers out there.

Chair of Judges and author of Fantastic Mr Dahl, Michael Rosen comments:

In this, the fifth year of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, it is splendiferous to see that children’s books are still celebrating the art of a right old malarkey. On our shortlists we range from people who have to babysit a dragon, people who drive around in cars that fly, a young lad whose parents take up nudism, a good bit of shouting, things getting stuck up trees, and people not behaving properly - especially dogs and pirates. Anyone who's interested in the idea of young people enjoying books will rush to get stuck in to this list of twelve great books - and indeed the previous years’ shortlists - to find clever, odd, intriguing and above all funny stuff to read. In a word: delicious.

Head to our Roald Dahl Funny Prize page to find out more about the prize - and this year's shortlisted books


Enter a competition to win a complete set of the shortlisted books


Please, please, please do you have an A3 poster for the 2012 books. I cannot find it and need one for a display in my school library.

Heather Wahl
28 September 2012

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