What to Read After... David Walliams
Published on: 17 June 2018 Author: Emily Drabble
David Walliams has become a powerhouse of children's books - but if you know young readers who have torn through all of his stories, what can they try next? We have some suggestions, and you shared your recommendations too...
David Walliams celebrates a spectacular 10 years of writing books this month, including The Boy in the Dress, Mr Stink, Gangsta Granny and Billionaire Boy. His books have been a phenomenal success - there are 23 million copies out there! - and it's got to the point when it would be tough to find a child in the UK who had neither heard of nor read David's books.
What do children love about them? Above all it's because they're very funny, which is unsurprising, really, considering David Walliams' background in comedy writing! There are a LOT of LOLs - together with outrageous comedy baddies whom we can recognise straight away, rather like the baddie in a pantomime. On top of that, the hero children feel ordinary and relatable.
The illustrations by former Children's Laureate Quentin Blake for the first two books and latterly Tony Ross are perfect (and also serve to give the books a Roald Dahl-esque feel). Although long, the books are a fairly easy and whizzy read, and it's satisfying for kids to finish a hefty hardback!
Many, many children claim David Walliams as their favourite author, but how can you keep the love of reading going when they've finished them all, or gone to secondary school and grown out of them?
For the obvious suggestion...
David Walliams is sometimes called Roald Dahl's natural heir and he's certainly an acknowledged fan. If you need any reminders of titles, check out this BookTrust round-up.
For those mainly in it for the laughs...
Very different from David Walliams, but also laugh-out-loud funny, are David Docherty and Chris Judge's Danger is Everywhere presented by Docter Noel Zone (yes, Docter-with-an-e!) and sequels Danger is Still Everywhere and Danger is Really is Everywhere.
For the lovers of David Walliams' comedy baddies
How about Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events books, starting with A Bad Beginning? Count Olaf is slightly creepier than David Walliams' baddies, but these books are fantastic reads - and there are 13 in the series.
For funny books with a touch of poignancy...
Frank Cottrell Boyce's Millions is a truly brilliant read for those who loved David Walliams' Billionaire Boy. In fact, Frank has written so many great books - don't miss Framed and Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth.
Other suggestions are current Australian Children's Laureate Morris Gleitzman's funnier books including Toad Rage, Toad Surprise and Bumface. And then there's Pamela Butchart! Anything by this hilarious writer would work - try Petunia Perry and the Curse of the Ugly Pigeon.
For older children who need to move on from David Walliams...
Many children race through David Walliams when they're at primary school but then find themselves bereft at secondary school when the 'what to read after' question becomes truly pertinent.
First of all, any and all books by the late, great Louise Rennison would be a good start. Try Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging for starters - it's not as grown-up as it's name suggests and would be perfect for an 11-year-old.
We also asked, Amy McKay, former school librarian of the year, for her recommendation:
For me Dave Cousins is the perfect author for young people looking for a great book to read after David Walliams. 15 Days Without A Head and Waiting For Gonzo are both achingly funny, yet deal with serious issues that growing readers will appreciate. Dave's ability to apply a light touch to dark subjects is incredible and he's a big hit with our students. Watch out for the bank scene in 15 Days Without A Head – so funny it's dangerous to read in public!
As always, you gave us some brilliant ideas about What to Read After David Walliams on social media - here are just some of your recommendations...
Mr Gum - Andy Stanton
How to Train Your Dragon - Cressida Cowell
We had heaps of people suggesting Cressida Cowell's ever-popular How to Train Your Dragon series, which we can't disagree with! @bitsybookworms was one of those recommending these books, saying that they're 'also laugh out loud funny and there's also lots of them to keep them going!' Very true - and when you have finished, you can check out our ideas about what to read after HTTYD...
Spangles McNasty - Steve Webb
These riotous books were first recommended by @EmmaRadford4, but @KarenMcCombie was quick to join in with the love: 'Ah yes - the splendidly named Spangles McNasty, from splendid author Steve Webb! Perfect funny stuff suggestion.'
Embassy of the Dead - Will Mabbitt
Amy McKay had already given us some great suggestions, but she couldn't resist adding another one on Twitter, flagging up Will Mabbitt's Embassy of the Dead. That seemed like a very popular suggestion, with @dawnafinch agreeing: 'It's a blast! Really enjoyed it.' And @ImogenRW added that it is 'hysterical'. Definitely seems like one to check out, then...
Alex Rider - Anthony Horowitz
These brilliant adventures were suggested by @joliddement, who has some evidence to back up her recommendation - her son! 'My son, who is 11, has gone from David Walliams' books to the Alex Rider books by Anthony Horowitz,' she said. 'I bought him the set for Christmas and he read them all through January and loved them all.'
Storey Street - Phil Earle
This recommendation came from @bookloverJo, who described the Storey Street series as 'magnificent'. 'Brilliant characterisation and plots filled with humour and heart make these books totally irresistible reads,' she added. A ringing endorsement!
Some brilliant funny women
Over on Twitter, @272BookFaith had heaps of great ideas for us, saying: 'Kids love David Walliams' books because they're funny, so here are a load of hilarious books by brilliant authors, because sometimes people forget that #womenwritefunny too!' Among her recommendations were books by Susie Day, Ruth Fitzgerald, Francesca Simon, Karen McCombie, Sibéal Pounder, and Laura Dockrill, plus classics like The Worst Witch and Pippi Longstocking and Liz Pichon's fabulous Tom Gates series (that was a very popular suggestion all round, including from @amers_b, who explained that her 7-year-old read three of the books over the weekend).
For a bit of fantasy
Over on Facebook, Helen had some great ideas for us, with a bit of a fantasy slant. 'My son loved Sky Song [by Abi Elphinstone] and he's currently reading The Silver Donkey [by Sonya Hartnett], which he can't put down. I'm looking forward to starting him on The Deptford Mice [by Robin Jarvis] and the Redwall trilogy [by Brian Jacques] which were some of my favourite books when I was little. Also, all of the junior Terry Pratchett books are great - he loved The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and Dragons at Crumbling Castle.'
More famous authors
We saw lots of recommendations for David Baddiel's books on Twitter, while other celebrity authors who seemed popular were Greg James and Julian Clary ('The Bolds had a huge thumbs up from my 8-year-old,' explained @EmmaRadford4).
For older readers
If your children have just outgrown David Walliams' books, what should they try as they head into their teenage years? @franchacha suggested Paul Zindel and Judy Blume's stories, saying: 'I loved both these authors as a teen - they get it and make you feel part of it. Saving them for when my little one is there and looking for something more.'
Even more suggestions
We were blown away by just how many recommendations you came up with, so here are a few more for you to get stuck into:
- @HaxbyExplore suggested books by A.F. Harrold, including the Fizzlebert Stump series (packed with laughs), plus Matt Brown's 'very funny' Compton Valance titles (namechecking The Time Travelling Sandwich in particular).
- James Patterson's Middle School and I Funny books got the thumbs up from @Mummy30, while @amers_b said her 7-year-old is enjoying Jacqueline Wilson's stories.
- Steven Butler's books got a big thumbs up from @EmmaRadford4's boys (while his story The Nothing To See Here Hotel was described as 'fabulous' by @bitsybookworms). If you like that, Emma's boys also recommended the Treehouse books by Andy Griffiths, Dirty Bertie, and Roddy Doyle's Rover series.
- @Lonbookproject helped us out by turning to a 'die-hard 10-year-old David Walliams fan'! They've recently been enjoying Max and the Millions by Ross Montgomery, Night Speakers by Ali Sparkes, and What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible by Ross Welford.
And one final thought...
If you want more fun from David, why not check out this brilliant pack of fun activities, which you can download here (PDF).
More from David Walliams
Still hooked on David Walliams and want to find out more about him and his books? Head to his author page to explore our reviews of his stories.
More What to Read After
Is your child hooked on How to Train Your Dragon or wild about Wonder? Whether their book obsession is Rainbow Magic or Diary of a Wimpy Kid, get more fab recommendations in our other What to Read After blogs.