What to Read After... Funnybones
Published on: 09 October 2022
Funnybones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg is a corking childhood classic. Generations of children have loved giggling at the silly skeletons’ antics and the rhythmic, repetitive text – and not just at Halloween. We’ve put together a list of similarly entertaining picture books to share at any time of the year.
For spooks and scares
To continue the spirit of Funnybones, Four Silly Skeletons by Mark Sperring and Sue Hendra is packed with skeletons having funny mishaps. The bright illustrations contrast brilliantly with the dark, dark night, like in the Ahlbergs’ book, and in another Halloween classic: Meg and Mog by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pieńkowski. Join Meg the witch and Mog her cat in a wild Halloween party!
For more witch and cat fun, there are many Winnie and Wilbur books to enjoy, where the long-suffering cat Wilbur sorts out Winnie the Witch’s messes. Try Winnie’s Haunted House, by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul.
If you’re wanting more of a ghostly experience, Gustavo the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago is a gem. Gustavo is excellent at walking through walls, but he’s not good at making friends. This is a story of courage. Would you talk to a monster, after all?
If you simply want a giggle – and who doesn’t? – then Giles Andreae and Nick Sharratt’s Pants is a joy to read aloud. Simple and silly, there is nothing funnier than pants. Unless it’s a pig in sunglasses… In How to be Cooler than Cool by Sean Taylor and Jean Jullien, four animals go to the playground and attempt to look cool. It turns out it’s more fun to just enjoy what you’re doing. Which is something that the vegetables instinctively know in Veg Patch Party by Clare Foges and Al Murphy. They are putting on a music festival and dancing the night away. Watch out for the Red Hot Chillis!
For memorable word play
All the books listed here are brilliant to read aloud, but, like Funnybones, there are always a few that are particularly fun. The Oi Frog! series by Kes Gray and Jim Field has an ever-impressive succession of animals sitting on rhyming items, and an unimpressed cat (on a mat). It’s a winning combination of hilarious words and expressive pictures – like Ross Collins’ There’s a Bear on My Chair. Deceptively simple, this funny story involves a mouse trying to move a bear off the chair. The bear’s expressions are particularly enjoyable.
If you like a bit of interaction with a book, try I Say Boo You Say Hoo by John Kane. The child is asked to respond to the book’s questions – and this is guaranteed to result in happy shouting out and much laughter. Gently Halloween-themed, it is a perfect read at any time.
Finally, we couldn’t end this article about Funnybones without mentioning another brilliant Alhberg book Burglar Bill, also set at night. This too has memorable word play and repetition – I’ll ’ave that’ – and lots of humour. A brilliant book for all ages.
New or old, there are many hugely enjoyable picture books to discover. Which are your favourites? Let us know by leaving your comments in the box below or tweeting us @BookTrust using the hashtag #WhatToReadAfter