Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011

Latest update 'Roald Dahl Funny Prize on hold'

The Roald Dahl Funny Prize ran from 2008 to 2013, with the aims of promoting laughter and humour as a feel-good factor when reading, drawing attention to funny books as readable and enjoyable books, and rewarding authors and illustrators who write and illustrate books using humour. The Prize is currently on pause.

A rhyming picture book about pirate cats has seized the bounty for the funniest book for children aged six and under in this year’s Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Cats Ahoy! is written by Peter Bently (who was also shortlisted in 2009 for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize), and illustrated by Jim Field. It is joined on the podium by The Brilliant World of Tom Gates, the winner of the seven to fourteen category, and the first in a series of books about Tom, an expert doodler and master of excuses, written and illustrated by Liz Pichon.

 

Both winners received their award and prize cheque of £2,500 on 8 November 2011, presented at an awards ceremony at the Unicorn Theatre in London by the judges and Roald Dahl’s widow Felicity Dahl.

 

 

There must be something in the sea air as both Peter and Liz are coastal residents; Peter lives in Totnes in Devon, which he credits as the inspiration for Cats Ahoy! and Liz lives in Brighton, a veritable hub of funny writing talent, also being home to previous Roald Dahl Funny Prize winners, Sam Lloyd and Louise Rennison.

The real beauty of these books is not only the deep down in your belly, shoulder shaking laughter that the words induce, but the expertly crafted interactive relationship they have with the VERY funny illustrations. These two books are master classes in how to write and how to draw funny.  

Michael Rosen, Chair of Judges

Although only in its fourth year, the Roald Dahl Funny Prize is already established as a highlight of the literature prizes calendar. In recent evaluations of Booked Up, our free books programme for Year 7s in England, 70% of pupils stated that funny books were their favourite type of book. This finding demonstrates something that we have seen time and time again at Booktrust: that humour in writing and illustration has great appeal to children and can help them discover a love of books.
Viv Bird, Booktrust Chief Executive

This year, the Prize saw the children’s role in the judging process expanded. 400 pupils from England were selected to read the shortlisted titles, discuss them with their classmates, and pick their favourite funny book in the relevant category for their age. Their votes were then combined with the votes of the adult judging panel to find the two winners for 2011.

Two participating classes, one from St Joseph's Infant School in Wembley and one from The Littlehampton Academy, also won a competition to perform to the audience at the award ceremony.

 

Find out more about the Roald Dahl Funny Prize Junior Judges

The funniest book for children aged seven to fourteen

  • Winner

    The Brilliant World of Tom Gates

    Liz Pichon
    Scholastic

    This book oozes personality and with so much going on it promises to maintain the attention of young readers for hours at a time

Read an interview with Liz Pichon

Tom means to do his homework but is easily distracted, mostly by thinking up ways to annoy his sister Delia, get tickets to ‘the best band in the whole world’ Dude3 and to attract the attention of the class clever-clogs and Tom’s love interest Amy Porter. This book is a must for anyone who doodles, likes to wind up their sibling, has a serious caramel wafer habit and enjoys having their chuckle muscles exercised. That will be most people then.  

 

Michael Rosen, Chair of Judges

About the shortlist

A collection of whimsical animal fables from Monty Python’s Terry Jones has made it onto one of the shortlists for this year’s Roald Dahl Funny Prize, which celebrates the funniest books for children. The comical treasury of stories, illustrated by Michael Foreman, is joined on the shortlist for children aged seven to fourteen by chortle-inducing stories featuring the misadventures of school children, a stinky troll and comical attempts to get rich quick.

 

Shortlist

  • Letters from an Alien Schoolboy

    Ros Asquith
    Piccadilly Press
  • The Wrong Pong

    Steven Butler

    Illustrated by Chris Fisher

    Puffin Books
  • The Get Rich Quick Club

    Rose Impey
    Orchard Books
  • Animal Tales

    Terry Jones

    Illustrated by Michael Foreman

    Pavilion Children's Books
  • Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster

    Joanna Nadin

    Illustrated by Jess Mikhail

    Usborne

The funniest book for children aged six and under

  • Winner

    Cats Ahoy!

    Peter Bently

    Illustrated by Jim Field

    Macmillan Children's Books

    When Alfonso the cat hears there's a boat coming into harbour carrying its largest ever catch, he hatches a plan. It's brave! It's bold! And it involves a ghost pirate ship, some rather gullible fishermen, and cats LOTS of cats. With an infectious rhyming text and laugh-out-loud illustrations, this book is set to become a firm favourite for fans of life on the high seas.

Read an interview with Peter Bently and Jim Field

 

View Jim's gallery of illustrations

Cats marauding as ghost pirates to steal fishy bounty from lily-livered humans: what more do you want from a funny book? Jim Field’s illustrations of the cunning pirate cats and Peter Bently’s majestic rhyming words had the judges in fits of giggles, most notably Grace, who also snorted on five separate occasions. Apparently she likes cats.

 

Michael Rosen, Chair of Judges

About the shortlist

The shortlist for children aged six and under had the judges giggling with glee, with picture books about swashbuckling cats, a limelight-hogging peacock, bedtime monsters, tales of fitting in at school and a furry search for a new home.

Shortlist

  • Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School

    David Mackintosh
    HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Cats Ahoy!

    Peter Bently

    Illustrated by Jim Field

    Macmillan Children's Books
  • First Week at Cow School

    Andy Cutbill

    Illustrated by Russell Ayto

    HarperCollins Children's Books
  • A Place to Call Home

    Alexis Deacon

    Illustrated by Vivianne Schwarz

    Walker Books Ltd
  • Limelight Larry

    Leigh Hodgkinson
    Orchard Books
  • Bedtime for Monsters

    Ed Vere
    Puffin Books

Judges

The author and illustrator team behind the Horrid Henry books, Francesca Simon and Tony Ross, Twitter queen, author and comedic columnist Grace Dent and Yes Man author and journalist Danny Wallace join Michael Rosen to judge this year's Roald Dahl Funny Prize.

The judges have a busy few months ahead of them with their own projects as well as judging the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. A 3-D blockbuster movie based on the character of Horrid Henry is due to be released this summer with an all-star cast including Angelica Houston, Richard E Grant, Prunella Scales and Girls Aloud singer Kimberly Walsh.

Grace Dent’s new book How to Leave Twitter: My Time as Queen of the Universe and Why This Must Stop, has just been published by Faber and Faber, and Danny Wallace will be presenting the Breakfast Show on XFM from August.

Michael Rosen comments on the appointment of his fellow judges:

 What a team! People whose comedic feathers have been tickling young people's funny bones for years. I can't wait for the judging sessions where we grapple with the outrageous gags of this season's most hilarious books - and this is the perfect gang to do it with.

About the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011

The Roald Dahl Funny Prize ran from 2008 to 2013, with the aims of promoting laughter and humour as a feel-good factor when reading, drawing attention to funny books as readable and enjoyable books, and rewarding authors and illustrators who write and illustrate books using humour. The Prize is currently on pause.

 

Books were awarded in two categories: Funniest Book for Children Aged Six and Under and Funniest Book for Children Aged Seven to Fourteen, with a shortlist of six titles in each category. The winner of each category received £2,500, which was presented at an awards ceremony, held in 2013 at the Cambridge Theatre in London, home to the Royal Shakespeare Company's multi award-winning production of Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical.

 

Follow @Booktrust and #rdfp on Twitter to keep up-to-date with news on the Prize.

We are not currently accepting entries to the Roald Dahl Funny Prize.

 

For reference the 2013 terms & conditions and entry form are below.

 

Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2013 Terms and Conditions

Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2013 Entry Form

 

If you have any questions, please contact Booktrust on rdfp@booktrust.org.uk