Patricia Cleveland-Peck’s Top Five Funny Picture Books

Yippee! The next picture book in this hilarious series is coming out! You Can’t Take An Elephant on Holiday from Patricia Cleveland-Peck and David Tazzyman.

We know how important funny books are so, we invited Patricia to MyBookCorner, to pick out her top 5 funny picture books. Here they are…

Patricia Cleveland-Peck

1. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Beginning with a golden oldie, Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. With his whacky scenarios, Dr. Seuss did a great deal to make learning to read fun for children. Amazingly only 50 words are used to construct this story. With its multiple repeats culminating in its surprise ending, it is as fresh today as when written in 1960.

2. You’re Called What? by Kes Gray and Nikki Dyson

There’s a big difference between the sort of things adults find funny and the sort of things small children find funny. The best authors and illustrators of picture books, realising that the book may be requested 100 times, subtly appeal to both.

In You’re Called What? by Kes Gray and Nikki Dyson, there is a long queue of animals at the Ministry of Silly Animal Names wanting to change their bizarre names to something nicer but whenever an animal mentions his name, (one is the the bone-eating snot-flower worm…) the others just fall about laughing. The clever thing here is that these odd names are in fact the animal’s real ones, as is explained at the back of the book.

3. Not Now Bernard by David McKee

I love David McKee’s Not Now Bernard for its ironic humour. Bernard tries in vain to warn his parents that there is a monster in the garden. They are too busy to listen to him so the monster eats him up, ‘every bit’ – and then enters the house. The parents, still not taking any notice of a word Bernard says, think the monster is Bernard and the book concludes with the monster ensconced in Bernard’s bed – and we are left wondering if the parents will go the same way as Bernard. So no obligatory ‘happy ending’ here just a lovely touch of irony. Another one I like for its similar black humour is I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen.

4. Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers has no moral or hidden agenda, it is just the sort of ridiculous fun children love. Floyd gets his kite stuck up a tree so he throws his shoe up to dislodge it but the shoe gets stuck. He then throws up more and more things, all bizarre and unlikely – and the saga ends with a surprise.

5. Schnitzel von Krumm’s Basketwork by Lynley Dodd

I love Lynley Dodd’s books and it is hard to pick out one, but I think my favourite is Schnitzel von Krumm’s Basketwork. It begins with irresistible jaunty rhyme:
‘Tucked in a hidey hole under the stair
lay a rickety basket in need of repair,
a chewed up old cushion, a blanket all worn,
everything broken and smelly and torn
AND under the blanket, his paws on his tum, happily snoring lay
Schnitzel von Crum’

The little dachshund’s owners think it is time to get him a new basket but he only wants his old one back. Lots of children have a special, irreplaceable, blanket from which they don’t like to be separated and will sympathise with poor Schnitzel on his basket’s removal as well as celebrating his joy when it is restored to him.

Read our review of You Can’t Take an Elephant on Holiday.

Patricia Cleveland-Peck is the bestselling author of the Elephant series, including You Can’t Take an Elephant on the BusYou Can’t Let an Elephant Drive a DiggerYou Can’t Call an Elephant in an Emergency and You Can’t Take an Elephant on Holiday, out on 27th May!

The books, now with over 239,000 copies sold, are firm favourites with children who love the simple humour, engaging rhymes and fun array of creatures that get into all sorts of mishaps. Her latest book, You Can’t Take an Elephant on Holiday, is jam-packed with crazy creatures that make the world’s WORST holiday companions!

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